I’m now almost at 30 weeks of pregnancy, and I’m feeling good overall. The main physical pregnancy related symptom that I’m not especially enjoying is some sciatic pain. I’m really, really glad this isn’t as intense as it’s been in the past, but it’s still not fun.
I did a little bit of research to see what is helpful for this, and thought I’d share some of the suggestions I learned about with you. Some of them I currently do, some of them I’ve done in the past, but they all can be useful.
- Chiropractor – I went to a chiropractor weekly with my sixth pregnancy, and after an appointment I had a lot of relief. However, it didn’t last long; the chiropractor told me it was because the heightened amount of relaxin a pregnant woman has in her system makes it harder for the body to ‘hold’ the adjustment in place. Currently, my health insurance doesn’t cover a chiropractor (not that I know of, anyway), and it hasn’t been something that’s been problematic enough to pay out of pocket for a visit.
- Stretching – the sciatic nerve comes through your gluteus muscles, so stretching them and your hamstrings can help. Even a short stretch can be helpful, but it’s even better if you can hold the stretch for a minute or two. I do this whenever I get sciatic twinges and have found it very helpful.
- Posture – make sure your pelvis is tucked in when you stand. The sciatic nerve runs through a really small area. When your belly gets bigger, it can cause the lower back to arch excessively (lordosis), and this can put pressure on the sciatic nerve by tilting the pelvis a certain way. Try to remember to keep your lower back somewhat flat by drawing the sacrum down. Keeping the abs engaged is also helpful.
My fifteen minute morning workout (T-Tapp) has a focus on proper body mechanics and this has been helpful for me keeping my posture decent even though my workouts have been very sporadic. I do wonder if I did this regularly if I’d have any sciatic pain, but this has remained an academic questions since I haven’t made daily workouts a priority use of my time and energy. I do the basic back stretch at least once a day, though.
- Icing – start with icing (15 mins on, 15 mins off) for the first couple of days to get any swelling down. Afterwards, you can use heat (hot baths or heating pad), either by sitting on a heating pad or taking crazy hot baths.
- Homeopathy – I’ve never tried this but read that the the homeopathic remedy Hypericum Perforatum works very well.
- Nutrition – I do believe that many physical symptoms have their root at the level of a nutritional deficiency, so when I read the following, I found it plausible: the leg you’re having pain in determines what the deficiency is. The right leg indicates a potassium defiency, the left leg indicates a sodium defiency. To increase your potassium, you can supplement with black strap molassas. For sodium you can use alfalfa concentrate caps (not tablets) or liquid chlorophyll; I’ve also read that spirulina works really well in treating sciatica.
Here’s a site with more information about what sciatica is technically, as well as more tips for how to minimize sciatic pain.
If you’ve experienced sciatica and have tips of your own to share, please do so in the comments section below!