It’s very common for women to experience aches and pains during pregnancy due to the extra strain put on the body, including sciatica.
The increased weight of pregnancy can put pressure on the discs in between your vertebrae causing them to bulge, compressing nerve roots in the lower back leading to uncomfortable symptoms in the sciatic nerve. A bulging or herniated disc is the most common cause of sciatica symptoms, though in pregnancy there may be other reasons.
Issues with the pelvis and the sacroiliac (SI) joint can also cause sciatic pain, or piriformis syndrome. Here the piriformis muscle in the buttock presses on the sciatic nerve causing symptoms. Pregnant women may be more vulnerable to these causes, as ligaments soften and stretch after hormonal changes.
The good news is that there is a range of treatments suitable for pregnant women that can give sciatica pain relief.
Gentle yoga stretches, for example, the pigeon pose, can be an effective sciatica treatment, and you will also benefit from the peace of mind that this practice brings.
You may wish to try more targeted stretches that work the piriformis muscles, the muscles of the lower back, hamstrings and hip rotators and flexors.
A customised pregnancy massage focusing on the hips, lower back and legs can soothe away the symptoms of sciatica. A session with a practitioner specialising in prenatal massage can be especially beneficial as they will be mindful of your changing body.
Swimming and hydrotherapy are highly recommended for pregnant women for promoting a feeling of weightlessness, bringing welcome relief for all sorts of aches and pains, including sciatic pain.
The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion can also give sciatica relief, relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve while you are sitting down. The sciatic nerve is stretched without the pressure of sitting on it, thus taking pressure off it and giving the user some respite.
Of course, before embarking on any course of treatment you should consult your medical practitioner to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you. Remember to be kind to your body and listen to what it’s telling you – if the pain worsens during any form of sciatic nerve treatment, stop and seek medical help.