Women may experience sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy, when the pelvic bone or the growing uterus exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve. Though it can be very agonising, there are several exercises for sciatica in pregnancy which can provide relief. Exercises for sciatica are those can help the uterus lift off the nerve and strengthen the muscles supporting the back and hips.
With the back parallel to the ground, get down on your hands and knees. Slowly, let your stomach sag down. Then, raise your back up, all the while tightening the muscles of your abdomen and stomach. Do about 30-40 such rocks in four sessions spread across the day. This exercise reduces the pressure of the uterus on the sciatic nerve and strengthens the abdominal muscles.
Sit on the floor with the legs bent at the knees and soles of the feet together. Lean forward gently. This will stretch and strengthen the muscles of the hips and thighs.
Sit on a chair with your back straight and head facing forward. Put your left ankle on your right knee. Slowly lean forward and hold this position for a count of thirty. Relax and repeat for the other side. Do this exercise twenty times on each side as it will improve the flexibility of the hip muscles.
Stand with feet about two feet apart and face the front. Bend your left leg and at the same time, lift your right foot onto the heel. Feel the stretch along the back of the leg. Count till five, release and repeat with the other leg. Do about five stretches for each leg. This exercise is for the hamstrings.
Sit on a firm chair, slightly forward to leave room to lean back. Place your hands on your knees and gently, round your back so that you slump forward. Now in this slumped position, lean back till you feel the crunch in your abdominal muscles. Roll your shoulders further forward and feel the abdominal muscles contract. Move slightly forward and feel the abdominal muscles disengage. Repeat twenty five times, twice a day.
Light exercises such as walking and swimming are also recommended for sciatica in pregnancy. All exercises should be geared towards improving posture and strengthening core muscles.
Though there are a lot of exercises for sciatica in pregnancy, always discuss your exercise plans with your doctor before embarking on them. In case there is excessive pain, pressure, dizziness or contractions, stop and seek medical attention immediately.
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