Sciatica affects many pregnant women. The belly increases in size as the baby grows and when the baby’s head or the uterus puts pressure against the sciatic nerve, a main nerve that travels from the backbone through the hips and down the legs, the full blown symptoms of sciatica are manifested. It feels like a constant pulsating dull ache commencing at the lower back, moving through the hips to the legs. Pregnant women with sciatica feel acute discomfort until the baby’s position shifts and the pressure on the sciatic nerve is relieved.
Exercises prove to be the leading aid for the treatment of sciatica in pregnant women, by strengthening the muscles of the abdomen, the lower back and the hips, the set of core muscles that support the additional weight of the baby which stresses the middle body considerably. Simple exercises that strengthen these muscles improve posture. As pregnancy progresses, the spine arches to accommodate the growing belly, making it difficult to stand properly, aggravating sciatica. Exercises realign the body and relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve resulting in considerable relief.
Some of the suggested light exercises that relieve sciatica during pregnancy include
Cycling, using an ‘exercycle’ is a useful option but could be dangerous if climbing and balancing is a problem. One must keep in mind that the exercises being performed should improve posture and free movement of the muscles of the abdomen, lower back and hips, otherwise referred to as the core muscles. These exercises should not be exhausting and 3 to 4 workouts of 15 to 20 minutes should be sufficient to improve circulation and probably relieve sciatic pain.
Some specific exercises to relieve sciatica pain are described below:
It is always advisable to consult a doctor prior to taking up this exercise plan. In addition if the exercises cause further pain, dizziness or contractions one should consult the doctor immediately.
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