So tell me Robin what is going on with my sciatica? Is it sciatica? It radiates this way and I wake up at night with pain. What can I do to help with this?
In 28 years of working with my pregnant moms-to-be, if I had a nickel…!! The question though needs to be answered and in the least maybe some good hands on advice to help. So what is sciatica?
The dictionary definition is- sciatica [sahy-at-i-kuh]
- pain and tenderness at some points of the sciatic nerve, usually caused by a prolapsed intervertebral disk: sciatic neuralgia
- Any painful disorder extending from the hip down the back of the thigh and surrounding area.
As baby grows and the pelvis softens, more pressure is put in the lower back and hips. Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction can also be experienced as sciatic pain. Due to the increase of pregnancy hormones that soften (like relaxin) the ligaments soften and stretch more readily especially in the pelvic area.
Stretches and good massage contact can be the ticket to help with this issue.
- Piriformis stretch (outlet of the sciatica nerve) sit on a chair or firm birth ball. If for example your left side is affected our your left ankle on your right knee to externally rotate the leg. With your back straight lean forward on a stable bed counter, table. An added bonus, have your partner while you are in this position firmly push (enough not to get pushed off the chair or ball!) on either side of the sacrum with gently alternate pressure side to side, slowly working outward towards the hip then back to either side of the sacrum again.
- Lean forward while standing on a counter, table, couch, back of stable chair. With soft slightly bent knees sway your hips from side to side. This helps to release the tension not only the sacrum but the hamstrings, abdominal muscles like the obliques and the psoas.
- Remember to put your feet up! A good yoga posture for this is to use a wall. With your bum as close to the wall as you can comfortably do, raise both legs so they are resting against the wall. You can even put a small pillow under your bum to lift the hips slightly higher. Rest and relax with your arms out from your sides and your head resting on a small pillow as well and your eyes relaxed and closed.
- Visit your Massage Therapist!! There are people out there to help you, use them!! A good massage with an experienced Massage Therapist who specializes in pregnancy techniques can help to drastically reduce sciatic issues.