Updated: Apr 8
Here are a few considerations for reducing sciatic pain during your pregnancy!
As your belly grows bigger, your posture can change to accommodate, causing more of a curve to the lumbar region of the spine. Many women’s posture changes without them even realizing it. The pelvis tucks under as the belly protrudes out, putting extra pressure on your lower back, which can cause sciatic nerve pain.
Think about how you are standing. Don’t let your butt sink forward. Think about having squared hips, with your ribs over your hips, and your shoulders over your ribs – everything stacked one right on top of the other. It may take some getting used to, but you’ll find that you’re relieving pressure off of that lower portion of your back and it can lessen your pain throughout the day.
If you’re struggling to find a good posture for your pregnancy, look into getting a session with a physical therapist – specifically a pelvic floor physical therapist. You can describe your symptoms and areas of pain to them and they can provide you with practical solutions with exercises that you can work on at home.
Surprisingly, a lot of back pain can arise from tight hips and a tight butt. Getting those muscles lengthened out and relaxed can ease a lot of the pain that you feel in your back or down the backs of your legs. Stretching out your lower body can work wonders!
A word of caution here – pregnancy causes a laxity in your joints as your body grows to accommodate baby. Stretching can be a great thing, but you need to be careful about overstretching and causing harm. The later on you are in your pregnancy, the less you should do a lot of stretching. Try foam rolling to relax those muscles in your butt, hips, and thighs!
One of the internal changes that your body goes through is a shifting of the pelvis. The pelvis widens to make way for the baby that will pass through when giving birth. That shift, plus the increase in weight can contribute to sciatic pain. This is where a trip to the chiropractor can help you!
Chiropractors are trained in how to deal with these changes in your body and can give you adjustments that can give you tremendous relief! Plus, many chiropractors have special tables that can allow you to lay on your belly – did you hear that? Lay on your belly!! After not being able to lay on your belly for months, this is a fantastic feeling! Find a chiropractor in your area and schedule an adjustment. It just might be the key to solving your pain!
Obviously, I am a huge proponent of fitness during pregnancy. While at home workouts will be great for you, one form of exercise that can be easily overlooked is swimming. Swimming is easy on the joints and can give you the feeling of being weightless, which during pregnancy is a feeling you don’t come by often!
Check out your local community centers or gyms in your area as many have pools as part of the benefits that they offer. Often schools and or local community colleges have pools that are available to the public at various times throughout the week.
Rest and Self Care
Many women are constantly on their feet while pregnant. Whether you have to stand for your job or your chasing your other kids around all day, being on your feet the majority of the day can wear on your correct posture and add to your sciatic pain.
Try getting a belly band or support belt to help carry the weight of your belly and take some of the stress off of your back while you’re on your feet. Sit or lay down as much as you can, even for short times throughout the day, to rest and relax. You can also use a heating pad or ice packs, whichever makes you feel better, on the painful areas to ease your discomfort.
You have enough going on during pregnancy; you don’t want sciatic nerve pain complicating your daily life and activities. And remember, different solutions work for different people – what worked for your best friend might not work for you. Try several or all of these suggestions until you find the one that gives you the relief that you’re looking for. Then approach your pregnancy and fitness journey with a new-found sense of determination!