Understanding Sciatica and Pregnancy
And What You Can Do

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Understanding your sciatica and pregnancy will help you discover the best ways to manage your symptoms and limit your discomfort without using drugs or other things that may harm your baby.

"popular ways to control your sciatica and pregnancy"

There are many different approaches to managing your pregnancy and sciatica. What works best for you will depend on your pain tolerance and your level of discomfort, your level of fitness, your other responsibilities and how much help is available, and your interests.

Two of the most popular ways to control your sciatica and pregnancy are yoga and Pilates. These popular techniques combined stretching and strengthening exercises to improve your conditioning and breathing techniques that help to control your pain.






"described as a severe ache"

Sciatica is usually described as a severe ache, deep in the buttock or thigh.  Your pain may be worse with standing or walking, and relieved by sitting or lying.  Some women experience sciatica that is very positional, occurring only with a particular position.

The pain may radiate up into the back or down into the lower leg. You may also experience lower back pain, posterior pelvic pain, or hip pain.

"a rare but serious condition"

You should always be alert for symptoms of cauda equina syndrome. This is a rare but serious condition that can develop with severe sciatica.

The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include problems with your bowels or bladder, or lower extremity weakness. It is normal for a pregnant uterus to press on the bladder and many women will leak a little urine when they laugh or cough or sneeze.

But if you begin having difficulty controlling your bowels or bladder, or if you experience muscle weakness in your legs you should contact your doctor immediately. You may be developing a very serious condition.

"you may experience the back pain of pregnancy and sciatica"

Sciatica is caused by pressure on nerves. When you are having sciatica during pregnancy it is most commonly the nerve roots that are being compressed as they exit the spinal column or where they pass through the posterior pelvis.

Changes in your hormone levels associated with pregnancy cause your ligaments to become soft and pliable this allows excessive motion of the vertebra in your spine. If this abnormal motion presses on nerve you may experience the back pain of pregnancy and sciatica.

Your enlarging uterus may cause pressure on your back and on the nerves as they pass through your posterior pelvis. These nerve roots join to form the sciatic nerve. If they are compressed by your uterus you may experience pregnancy sciatica.

"start before you become pregnant"

Before beginning any exercise or treatment program for sciatica and pregnancy you should discuss it with your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you and your situation.

The best treatments for dealing with sciatica and pregnancy start before you become pregnant. A regular program of stretching and strengthening exercises along with cardiovascular workouts will ensure optimal physical conditioning to help you through your pregnancy.

"daily 30 minute brisk walks will magnify the benefits of both"

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Yoga and Pilates for Sciatica and Pregnancy

Two popular programs for stretching and strengthening the muscles of your core are yoga and Pilates. Both of these disciplines have prenatal exercise programs. Combining these exercises with daily 30 minute brisk walks will magnify the benefits of both.

The practice of yoga combines stretching and strengthening for physical conditioning, and meditation for focusing the mind.

Yoga classes are available and many centers have prenatal classes. When taking regular yoga classes you should notify the instructor that you are pregnant and she will work with you to make the appropriate modifications.

These videos demonstrate some yoga postures that you can do at home:

         Pregnancy Yoga Standing

         Pregnancy Yoga Sitting, Kneeling and Squatting

"after childbirth to lose weight and regain their figure"

After being developed by Joseph Pilates during World War II, Pilates exercises have enjoyed a recent resurgence among many groups. They focus on a very controlled series of movements to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your core, abdomen, and back. Specific breathing techniques are useful to control pain.

Classes with a qualified instructor are often recommended and specialized prenatal instruction is often available. Many women continue their Pilates classes after childbirth to lose weight and regain their figure.

Pilates movements place a special emphasis on coordinating breathing and muscle control. These videos will demonstrate some Pilates training that you can do at home:

           Prenatal Pilates Exercises

           Pilates Exercises to Strengthen the Pelvic Floor

"exercises to condition your body will help you adjust"

Managing your sciatica and pregnancy can be easy but it takes planning and consistent effort. Doing simple exercises to condition your body will help you adjust to the many changes you are experiencing.

This is a very special time that will not last forever; you should do everything possible to make it into an enjoyable experience.



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