Coping with Pregnancy Sciatica

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Dealing with pregnancy sciatica can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but it is not. There are things you can do, and things you can avoid doing, to manage your pain and make your symptoms more tolerable.

You can get through this.






"caused by pressure on the nerves"

Sciatica is caused by pressure on the nerves that go into your lower extremities.

This can occur when the ligaments in your back get soft and stretch allowing extra motion between the vertebrae of your spine. This increased mobility can put pressure on the nerves where they come out of the spine.

"your growing uterus"

The other common cause of pregnancy sciatica is your growing uterus.  As your uterus expands it can cause pressure against your back squeezing the nerves as they come out of your spine.  Pregnancy can also cause posterior pelvic pain,lower back pain, and hip pain.

Rarely, pressure on these nerves can also cause cauda equina syndrome.

This occurs when the nerves that control your bowels and bladder and/or the muscles in your legs are squeezed so tight that they quit working.

Whenever you are having sciatica, if you begin to have difficulty controlling your bowels and bladder, or if you begin having lower extremity weakness you must see your doctor immediately.

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Exercises for Pregnancy Sciatica

"conditioning and learning good back mechanics"

The best treatment for sciatica during pregnancy begins before you are pregnant, with conditioning and learning good back mechanics. The best exercises for sciatica are exercises that strengthen your core.

The stronger your muscles are, the more they can stabilize your spine and protect against the abnormal motion that can cause pregnancy sciatica.

You can strengthen your core with crunches and exercises to strengthen your back.

"conditioning and learning good back mechanics"

An exercise program for sciatica during pregnancy can be most effective if it is started prior to becoming pregnant. Adding in some light aerobic exercise such as brisk walking will multiply the benefits of your stronger core.

But if you are already pregnant, how much you can do, will depend on your level of overall fitness and your stage of pregnancy.

"Avoid bending and lifting whenever possible..."

Many of these exercises can be done in the early months of your pregnancy but before starting any exercise program when you are pregnant you should discuss it with your doctor.

Another very important thing that you can do to prevent pregnancy sciatica is practice good back mechanics. Avoid bending and lifting whenever possible, and when you must bend, bend at the hips and not in your back.

"protecting the little joints in your back"

If whenever you bend, you keep that little hollow in the small of your back, you are protecting the little joints in your back and it will not get sore.

If you get down on your knees to pick things up off the floor, and avoid bending, it will protect your back.

"lie down for 15 minutes every few hours"

If you have someone around to help you let them do all of the bending and lifting chores. You can do things that don't require bending and lifting or you can just rest.

Getting adequate rest throughout the day will help to minimize your pregnancy sciatica. If you can lie down for 15 minutes every few hours that will help to keep you going throughout the day.

"There might be messes that don't get cleaned up..."

When you are living with sciatica, if there is no one around to help you, there might be things that just don't get done. There might be messes that don't get cleaned up, toys that don't get picked up, and bathrooms that don't get cleaned.

And that is okay.

When you are pregnant you need to make time for you. This is a very special time that will not last forever. Soon enough, it will be over, and you can get back to your normal life.



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