How To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy

Chiropractor For Sciatica During Pregnancy

How to Stop Sciatica when Pregnant. Effective Home Exercises to Stop Sciatic Nerve Pain.

If youre looking for a more effective, safe, and natural way to relieve sciatica during pregnancy, head to a professional chiropractor. Many of the tactics on this list are often employed by chiropractors to help relieve sciatica pain. But they may also suggest spinal adjustments if your sciatica is severe and unbearable.

And dont worry, chiropractic care is safe during pregnancy. Theres a misconception about the risks of chiropractic care during pregnancy, but its unfounded. Its one of the safest non-invasive treatment options out there, pregnant or not.

In addition to relieving pain, chiropractic care can:

  • Help you with stretches and physical therapy to prevent sciatica.
  • Give you tips on how to maintain proper posture during pregnancy.
  • Provide relief for postpartum back pain.

What Is Pregnancy Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It runs through the back of your knees and the muscles in your lower leg. When your sciatic nerve gets pinched, bruised, or injured, it can cause pain in your lower back, legs, pelvis, and heel. This pain is known as sciatica. Sciatic pain can be triggered by:

  • Injury, such as a pelvic fracture
  • Herniated disc with nerve root compression

Sciatica pain usually only occurs on one side of the body at a time, although some people feel sciatic pain on alternating sides. If you have an injury that affects only one side of your body, you will most likely feel the pain on that side.

Sciatica Pain Relief During Pregnancy Starts With An Actual Sciatica Diagnosis

If in fact the shooting pain down your leg is sciaticaâyouâd fall into the 1 percent of women that need sciatica pain relief during pregnancy.

However, that pain in your lower back may not actually be sciatica.

âA lot of people come to physical therapy with a prescription while theyâre pregnant for any sort of back or hip pain and itâs assumed to be sciatica. Thatâs why the most important thing to do during a virtual examination with a new patient is confirm a sciatica diagnosis so the treatment plan addresses the true root cause.â

While sciatica during pregnancy may be rare, that lower back pain youâre experiencing is extremely commonâand treatable! Between 50 and 80 percent of pregnant people experience lower back or even shooting pain in the third trimester. Symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction or piriformis syndromeâthe pain in your low back or hip due to too much or too little movement in joints of your pelvisâcan feel like sciatica but aren’t.

The first step to feeling better is getting the right diagnosis. Itâs critical to first rule out other common causes of hip pain during pregnancy during an in-person or virtual physical therapy evaluation to confirm a true sciatica diagnosis.

âMore on Motherly about sciatica during pregnancy, MRIs, and other frequently asked questions.

Read Also: How Soon Can I Tell Im Pregnant

Relieving Sciatic Pain During Pregnancy Without Medical Intervention

Sciatic pain can often be relieved by sitting or lying down. Lying on the unaffected side of your body can be particularly helpful. Other measures that may lessen sciatic pain include:

  • Taking warm showers
  • Getting a gentle prenatal massage
  • Stretching and moderate exercise
  • Avoiding heavy lifting
  • Using good posture, keeping your weight balanced when sitting or standing
  • Going swimming: the feeling of weightlessness will decrease pressure on your spine
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication as your obstetrician recommends
  • Using cushions to correct your posture & increase your comfort level
  • Wearing flats or low-heeled shoes
  • Wearing a pregnancy support belt

Most important, listen to your body. If your pain increases when you engage in a particular activity, stop.

What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy

Sciatica Exercises For Pregnancy

With all the changes happening in your pelvic region – and depending on where your baby sits inside of you – lower back pain is common during pregnancy. As your hips shift with hormone changes, and your babys weight increases, extra pressure is often applied to your sciatic nerve.

Your sciatic nerves run from your lower back to your feet. Sciatic nerve pain in pregnancy occurs due to the enlargement of your uterus as the baby grows. Sciatica puts pressure on the nerves, causing pain, numbness, or tingling sensations in the lower back, hips, buttocks, or thighs. People often report a tingling sensation or pain down one side of their body or down one leg.

Many pregnant women experience sciatica, but the severity and stages in which it presents will vary.

As your pregnancy progresses, and your belly and breasts grow, your center of gravity shifts forward. This can put extra weight on different areas of your pelvis and stretch your lordotic curve. As you get closer to your due date, you may notice that sciatica pain decreases or changes. This is usually because the baby is shifting position to prepare for birth.

Although sciatica and hip pain in pregnancy are common, you should still notify your doctor that it is occurring. Sciatica can be caused by things other than pregnancy and should be addressed. There are also some options that may help soothe the pain you are feeling and reduce sciatica symptoms.

Also Check: How Can You Accidentally Get Pregnant

Sciatica And Pregnancy: How To Get Pain Relief

Fortunately, you can usually improve sciatic pain with a comprehensive, conservative care program. Dr. Langhorst suggests trying the following to seek relief from pain related to sciatica and pregnancy.

  • Manual manipulation: A chiropractor can help treat sciatic pain however, make sure they are aware you are pregnant.
  • Physical therapy: Work with a physical therapist to develop an exercise program that combines stretching and strengthening or try the exercises below.
  • Pelvic tilts and kegels: Starting pelvic tilts and kegels early in pregnancy and continuing can help keep your pelvic floor engaged.
  • Lay on your side: When resting or sleeping, lay on your side and use a firm mattress.
  • Heat: The use of a heating pad can help relieve soreness and for pain that is persistent.
  • Pain medication: Always consult a physician before taking pain medication during pregnancy. Typically, Tylenol is safe for most pregnant women to take.

How To Cure Sciatica During Pregnancy

Rest is necessary for sciatica recovery. Although uneasiness is typical, acute pain is unusual. Several over-the-counter drugs may be helpful if the discomfort is intense.

Pregnant women must use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines as the last option. Acetaminophen is a common over-the-counter pain reliever.

Although it isnt as effective as NSAIDs, it can offer some comfort. Before taking any drug, check with your physician to ensure it wont affect your unborn child.

Recommended Reading: How To Pay For Pregnancy

What You Can Do To Relieve Sciatica

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

Ways To Relieve Sciatica Pain During Pregnancy

How to Relieve Sciatica during Pregnancy

If you have sciatica pain during pregnancy, you are not alone. Sciatica and pregnancy go hand in hand. About two-thirds of all women develop sciatica during pregnancy.

Once you have determined that you have sciatica, you can try different remedies to relieve the pain. Some simple sciatica remedies include stretching, gentle exercises, and massages.

These stretches are safe for sciatica during pregnancy:

Try these gentle exercises for sciatica pain relief during pregnancy after youve discussed them with your doctor:

Be sure to talk to your doctor before doing any exercise while youre pregnant. Every pregnancy is different, so your doctor may want you to avoid certain things for your health. Swimming can be especially beneficial because the water allows your body to be more buoyant, which can remove strain and pressure on your joints and bones while exercising.

Gentle massages can help relieve sciatica during pregnancy. Try these methods:

  • Tennis ball on the floor: Lie on your back and place a tennis ball under your lower back. Roll the ball around, massaging your back muscles. This is a good massage while you are in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • Tennis ball on the wall: Place a tennis ball between your back and the wall and roll the ball around. This massage works great for women who are in their third trimester.
  • Massage therapist: Light strokes on and around the lower back can do wonders for an inflamed and painful sciatic nerve.

Also Check: Can You Be Pregnant On Birth Control

When To Call Your Doctor

Mild sciatica will go away with time and resolves with childbirth. However, you should call your doctor when self-care and home remedy measures fail to help symptoms or if the pain gets worse, becomes severe, or lasts more than a week.

Get immediate medical help for sudden severe pain in your low back or leg, accompanied by muscle weakness of the leg, or if you have problems controlling your bowels or bladder. These might be signs of a condition called cauda equina syndrome, which is a medical emergency and requires surgical intervention.

What Can You Do To Relieve Sciatica Pain

To relieve sciatic pain:

  • Take warm showers and use warm compresses or a heating pad .
  • Try Kegel exercises and pelvic tilts to help strengthen muscles
  • Swim for exercise. Because of the buoyancy, swimming takes the pressure off the nerve.
  • Try alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and massage therapy. Be sure to find practitioners who are experienced with treatment during pregnancy.
  • Ask your caregiver which pain medication would be most effective and safest for you and in what doses.
  • Ask your caregiver for a referral for physical therapy to build strength and good posture.

Sciatic pain usually goes away within a few months after the baby’s birth. If yours doesn’t, talk with your caregiver about possible underlying problems.

Lower back pain during pregnancy is very common. Read our article about the various types of lower back pain to learn what might be causing yours and how to deal with it.

Learn more:

BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

Also Check: Do You Still Discharge When Pregnant

Ways To Deal With Sciatica Pain During Pregnancy

Along with the exhilaration of bringing a new person into the world, pregnant women too often feel many aches and pains, including sciatica the shooting pain caused by a stressed or pinched sciatic nerve. Though sciatica can be difficult to live with for 6 months or more, there are several steps you can take to relieve this pain.

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our doctors specialize in relieving all sorts of back pain and successfully treating sciatica regularly. This blog is designed to help you understand what sciatic pain is and how it can be alleviated during pregnancy, both in and outside of our offices.

Natural Ways To Treat Sciatica Pain If Youre Pregnant Or Postpartum

5 Sciatica Pregnancy Stretches To Ease The Pain

Sciatica, is pain tingling or numbness running down, your buttocks and thigh. In pregnancy it’s cause by pressure of the uterus on your sciatic nerve. Sciatica during postpartum is the residual effects of pregnancy and birth. While most women experience pain relief afterbirth, some begin to experience an escalation of pre-existing pain after delivery.

There are two sciatic nerves that run down our lower back and legs to our feet. Sciatic nerve pain is not a major cause of concern during pregnancy. But if it becomes unbearable you should consult your doctor as this could be more than sciatica nerve pain happening. You can treat the pain naturally in a few ways.

1. Massage

Not just any massage, a trigger-point massage. The sciatic nerve sits underneath a muscle called the piriformis, which is located beneath your glutes. When the piriformis muscle gets tight, it pinches the sciatic nerve, hence the tingling and numbness. During massage, pressure is applied to the trigger point in the piriformis muscle, as well as the muscles in the lower back and glutes to relieve the pain.

2. Cold and Heat Pack

Cold and heat may not calm down the inflammation but it does help reduce the pain a bit. You can apply an ice pack or a heating pad as needed for 15 minutes.

3. Essential Oil

4. Yoga

5. Exercise Stretches

  • Butterfly Stretch

  • Seated Hip Abductor

  • Recommended Reading: How Soon Do You Get Constipated When Pregnant

    What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain

    Sciatic nerve pain is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve the nerve branches off of your spinal cord in your lower back and runs through your buttocks and down your legs. This very large nerve helps the lower part of your back, legs, and feet feel sensations like pressure, temperatureand yes, pain.

    During pregnancy, sciatica can arise if your growing baby and expanding uterus put pressure on your sciatic nerve pressure on this nerve can cause inflammation, irritation, and pain. Youll know its sciatica if youre experiencing shooting pains that start in your lower back, and radiate down your legs. Sciatica is most likely to occur later on in your pregnancy as your baby gets bigger the extra weight puts pressure on the nerve.

    Sometimes sciatica is caused by other conditions such as a slipped disk or a spasm of the piriformis muscle deep in your buttocks.

    Natural Ways To Relieve Sciatica During Pregnancy

    by Dr. Brent Wells

    Sciatica is incredibly common during pregnancy. It can be so bad that some women have trouble walking even a short distance. Plus, sleeping is hard enough during pregnancy its nearly impossible when you add sciatica to the mix.

    Fortunately, there are a number of natural ways to relieve sciatica during pregnancy. Keeping yourself and the baby healthy should be your top priority. So, you may not want to do anything that you otherwise might, like take over-the-counter pain relievers, which is understandable. Try these natural ways to relieve sciatica safely during pregnancy.

    You May Like: How Often Should I Go To The Chiropractor While Pregnant

    What Causes Sciatica During Pregnancy

    You can blame sciatica during pregnancy on the usual suspects:

    • Weight gain and increased fluid retention can put pressure on the sciatic nerve where it passes through the pelvis, compressing it.
    • Your expanding uterus might also press down on the sciatic nerve in the lower part of your spine.
    • Your growing belly and breasts shift your center of gravity forward and stretch your lordotic curve . This can cause the muscles in your buttocks and pelvic area to tighten up and pinch the sciatic nerve.
    • Your baby’s head can rest directly on the nerve when he starts to settle into the proper birth position in the third trimester.
    • A herniated or slipped disc caused by the extra pressure of your growing uterus can be the culprit, although this is less common.

    Warm And Cold Compresses

    PREGNANCY SCIATICA PAIN Relief | Prenatal Stretches to Relieve Back & Leg Pain

    Alternating warm and cold compresses can help relieve sciatic nerve pain.

    Use ice pack for 20 minutes at affected area several times a day after the pain begins. It helps reduce inflammation at

    In between cold compresses use warm compresses to help sooth sore muscle.

    Remember to cover skin with towel before using warm or cold compresses to protect your skin.

    Don’t Miss: What Are Some Symptoms Of Pregnancy At 2 Weeks

    Causes Of Sciatica During Pregnancy

    Sciatic pain is typically caused by lumbar spine problems, such as a bulging or herniated disc. It can also be caused by bone changes, such as spinal narrowing or stenosis, osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease, or another condition affecting the spine called spondylolisthesis. These situations can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing symptoms.

    Sciatica due to a herniated disc during pregnancy isnt common. But, sciatic-like symptoms are common with low back pain in pregnancy. In fact, between 50 and 80 percent of women have back pain during their pregnancies.

    Sciatic symptoms can also be caused by muscle tension and unstable joints. Pelvic bone pain, sacroiliac joint problems, and a condition called piriformis syndrome, which is a problem with one of the muscles in the buttocks, are common causes of sciatic pain during pregnancy. This is due to an increase in pregnancy hormones like relaxin, which can cause your ligaments, the structures that attach bones to joints, to loosen and stretch, especially in your pelvic area.

    Your babys weight can also add to SI joint trouble or piriformis syndrome because it puts extra pressure on your pelvis and hip joints. Occasionally the position of your baby can add pressure to your sciatic nerve.

    What You Need To Know About Sciatica During Pregnancy

    Sciatica will most likely occur during the third trimester, when both you and your baby are bulking up . Most women typically experience pain just on one side, though you may feel it in both legs.

    Sciatica can be constant or intermittent, depending on the amount of pressure placed on the nerve. Pain may increase as you put on more weight and retain more fluid.

    And it can stick around for a few months or so after youve given birth, until youve shed the excess weight and fluid pressing on the nerve.

    Recommended Reading: Can I Take Azo While Pregnant

    Five Stretches To Relieve Hip And Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Although you may be limited for movement as you approach your due date, there are still some stretches you can do to keep your sciatica and hip pain during pregnancy to a minimum.

    A few tips before you start stretching include warming up your muscles a bit, being careful not to bounce, and taking it easy.

    Listen to your body, and if it hurts, always stop.

    Go for a short walk before you stretch to get your blood moving in your muscles first.

    The hormone I mentioned earlier, relaxin, is already loosening your ligaments, so you may notice that youre more flexible than youve been before. This does not mean that you should push it. Because of your pelviss added flexibility, it is easy to overdo a stretch and injure your body.

    Many of the best stretches to do during pregnancy come from practicing yoga. If you can, consider attending some prenatal yoga classes in your area. This will give you a chance to learn from a professional, and ensure that the body positions are safe during pregnancy.

    Here are my top five yoga poses to help relieve hip pain from pregnancy:

    Related Posts

    Recent Stories