Exercise for sciatica relief is a great remedy when used in moderation. Exercise keeps the muscles moving and the blood flowing–key aspects of strengthening the body against sciatica. But when you enter the gym, you more than likely will be confronted with a goldilocks scenario. Determining how often to step foot inside as well the amount of exercise you need to strengthen our muscles and bones without overworking them is a difficult task for many gym newbies as well as dedicated gym-goers. Let’s find out whether certain degrees of exercise work with your goal to keep your musculoskeletal system healthy and manage the pain of your sciatica during pregnancy or against it.
Meet the pelvic tilts, a simple exercise that can massage your lower back into a state of sciatica-free bliss. Requirements? Nothing but a floor or wall–and perhaps a little motivation for your sciatica-fighting workout routine. The pelvic tilt exercise for sciatica pain can help you banish those symptoms!
Yoga is the practice of improving your mental, spiritual and physical well-being through a series of stretches and breathing exercises. Using yoga for sciatic pain during pregnancy can be an alternative or supplement to a heavy gym-based workout. Involving a variety of stretches that work your lower back and spine, yoga not only offers short-term pain relief from sciatica but a full-body workout that leaves you with lasting results such as a strong musculoskeletal system. As an expectant mother, you should invest in a yoga mat during you pregnancy and make yoga a routine way you keep up with physical health–during pregnancy and beyond.
It is as if Dori from Finding Nemo was speaking to pregnant women suffering from sciatica: “Just keep swimming” is her advice in the popular cartoon movie. As an expectant mother, you need to keep going and not give up when you encounter the shooting pain or numbing sensations of sciatica; this discomfort in your lower back and legs is common and temporary, usually ending when you give birth. There are also ways to reduce the symptoms, as Dori’s words of wisdom also address. Relieve sciatic suffering by taking up a new hobby: swimming. That’s right, you could literally jump into a swimming pool to soothe your sciatic pain. Many expectant mothers successfully use swimming for sciatica relief.
Replace your stressed “Ahhh!” during pregnancy with the relaxing meditation hum of “Ommm.” Especially during pregnancy, your lifestyle can be busy and hectic as you prepare for the arrival of your baby. Incorporating yoga–whether it be through classes or self-teaching with books or tapes–into your routine may be just the lifestyle change you need to not only relax your sciatic pain but also your life. Remember, stress is also a risk factor for and contributor to sciatic pain. Sciatica and yoga go well together, and combining the two to defeat sciatica pain during pregnancy is a good idea. Let’s look at how you can allow your body and mind to breathe easier with yoga.
Prevention is possible! But preventing sciatica can be tricky, as sciatica does not stand on its own as a medical condition; rather, it is a symptom of another medical problem. Because sciatica is usually a sign of a deeper health issue, it has a variety of underlying causes. Ideally, the best strategy for preventing sciatica during pregnancy would be to tackle these causes of sciatica–which range from a spinal nerve tumor to a shifted pelvic bone. But many pre-existing medical conditions that can lead to sciatica are not known about before pregnancy. Many instances of sciatica also result from normal pregnancy changes (e.g. the baby’s weight, the enlarging uterus) or unforeseen pregnancy mishaps (e.g. the baby taking an unfortunate position in the womb, a pinched nerve or herniated disc), making the causes difficult to target and treat.
Wake up, sleepyhead! Your slouched spine needs to rise and shine. An alert and upright spine is a strong spine–and a strong spine helps you avoid disc damage and other spine-affecting diseases that can lead to sciatica during pregnancy. The sun, with its vitamin D-boosting abilities, is an energy source for your body that can not only help you achieve this straight spine but also bulk up it up along with your other bones. With 80 to 90% of our vitamin D supply coming from our exposure to the sun, going out into the sunshine may be just the solution to energize and revitalize your skeletal system–and avoid sciatica during your pregnancy. Sciatica and vitamin D–what a dynamic duo!
Calcium, a mineral and main component of your bones, can fortify your bones and your pregnancy. Because many cases of sciatica during pregnancy stem from pre-existing medical conditions or health issues that were caused or perpetuated by weak, brittle bones–especially in the spinal cord and pelvic region–you need to take extra care of your bones in the days before you become pregnant. Calcium deficiency and sciatica go hand-in-hand. To maintain bone density and prevent bone loss, kick up the calcium levels in your pre-pregnancy diet.
In Season 6, Episode 4 of the popular TV show, How I Met Your Mother, Marshall and Lily have a baby talk that changes their lives. During a cab ride, they make a cradle list–a knock-off of the traditional bucket list that includes things to do before they start having kids. Seeing Coney Island, taking a trip to Paris as well as learning how to ski and ballroom dance all land on their list. If you want to prevent sciatica while you are pregnant, you might want to add one more to your cradle list: lose weight. Weight loss and sciatica is a match made in heaven!
The average American spends 1/3 of their life tucked under blankets. But just because you are zonked out does not mean sleeping is an inactive state; there are many biological processes and changes that occur while your eyes are shut that affect your overall health: your body is rejuvenated and repaired from the day’s damages as you dream, melatonin is released at night to control your waking-sleeping cycle, and your sleeping arrangement may leave you with neck or back pain when you arise.