Try these simple stretches to get rid of sciatica pain during pregnancy

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 11, 2017
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Sciatica, aka lumbosacral radicular syndrome, occurs due to irritation in sciatic nerve that begins in the lumbar or lower spine and ends in the thigh region. A person with sciatica may experience pain in buttocks as well in thigh. The pain can range from deep, dull to shooting and sharp. However, with right treatment you can get rid of the pain.

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Image source : getty

What causes sciatica during pregnancy

Lumbar spine problems such as a bulging or herniated disc are majorly responsible for causing sciatic pain. It can also be caused by bone changes such as spinal narrowing or stenosis, osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease, or spondylolisthesis. All the aforementioned situations can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing symptoms and pain.



Although sciatica due to herniated disc during pregnancy is not common but sciatic like symptoms are common with lower back pain during pregnancy. Infact, between 50-80 percent of women complain of back pain during their pregnancies.



Other causes of sciatica during pregnancy include muscle tension, unstable joints, pelvic bone pain and sacroiliac (SI) joint problems.

Ways to relieve sciatica pain during pregnancy

 

Seated piriformis stretch

The piriformis muscle is deep in the buttocks. When tight, it can irritate the sciatic nerve. However you can  relieve tightness in the muscle by stretching. This can help decrease sciatic pain.

How to do it

  • Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
  • If your left side is affected, put your left ankle on your right knee.
  • Keep your back straight and lean forward until you feel a stretch through your buttocks.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat throughout the day.

 

Table stretch

Table stretch will make you feel relaxed as it helps stretch the  muscles of the back, buttocks and the back of the legs.

How to do it

  • Stand facing a table with your feet slightly wider than your hips.
  • Lean forward with your hands on the table. Keep your arms straight and your back flat.
  • Pull your hips away from the table until you feel a nice stretch in the lower back and back of the legs.  
  • You can also move your hips side to side to increase the stretch in the lower back and hips.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat twice a day.

 

Pigeon pose

This popular yoga pose helps relieve sciatic-like pain during pregnancy. With a few small changes, it can be practiced comfortably while pregnant.

  • Target muscles: hip rotators and flexors   
  • Get on your hands and knees on the floor.  
  • Slide your right knee forward so it’s between your hands.
  • Slide your left leg back, keeping your foot on the floor.
  • Place the rolled towel or a yoga block under your right hip. This will make the stretch easier and allow room for your belly. 
  • Lean forward over your right leg.
  • Slowly lower yourself toward the ground, putting a pillow under your head and arms for support. 
  • Hold for 1 minute. Repeat on other side. Repeat a few times throughout the day.

 

Hip flexor stretch

The hip flexors are the muscles along the front of the hip that help move the leg forward during movements like walking. Many women have tight hip flexors during pregnancy. This can affect pelvic alignment and posture, causing pain.

  • Kneel on the floor on your hands and knees.  
  • Step one foot in front of you so that your hip and knee are at a 90-degree angle.  
  • Shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your back hip and leg.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on other side.

 

Image source : Getty

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