Get your heart pumping! Try adding cardiovascular exercise to your workout schedule before and during your pregnancy. Getting that blood flowing can help you manage your weight and therefore your lower back pain. Because obesity is a big sciatica trigger, getting in shape will relieve some stress on your spine, reducing your chances of experiencing sciatica when your pregnancy pounds further burden those spinal discs of yours (boy is that spine overworked!). The takeaway here? Cardiovascular exercise can help you control your sciatica and weight–two very important, interrelated things to get a handle on when you are pregnant.
What is the main cause of sciatica? Many would venture to say pressure on the sciatic nerve. But wrap your head around this: although pressure is often thought to be the main catalyst of sciatic nerve pain (especially during pregnancy), sciatica may begin way before any kind of pressure is applied to your sciatic nerve. Does that fly in the face of most everything you’ve head? Mind. Blown.
Keeping your joints moving–and moving easily–is important during a sciatica-pregnancy, so you want to make sure you have enough water in your body. Here a few tips to help you drink that recommended 10 cups of liquid.
The average woman should be drinking enough water to fill a standard 50 gallon bathtub approximately four times every year, which averages out to 2.2 liters of liquid daily. Used to lubricate your nose and mouth as well as wash toxins out of your body, H2O is in high demand in the body. Sticking to this 9 cup standard will keep you healthy, your systems running smoothly and effectively. With water accounting for around 60% of your body mass, making it a main chemical component in your body, a lack of water in your system can impair how your body functions and contribute to, instead of ease pain–especially during a sciatica pregnancy. Drink water for sciatica pain relief during pregnancy!
Sciatica keeping you up at night? Tossing and turning to find a comfortable sleeping position can take all night when you are experiencing sciatic nerve pain, and you know how precious that shut eye is when you are pregnant, especially because you won’t be getting much once the baby comes! You can try to find the perfect angle and method of sleeping for you, but it’s important to remedy the situation and remedy it fast! That’s where buying a body pillow comes in. Here me out: although this sleep aid may not entirely vanquish your sciatic nerve pain, it is a quick, efficient solution that should help you keep your eyes closed for the night. Why not try it? Admit it, you’ve always wanted a reason to buy a body pillow anyway. Here’s your chance (don’t worry, I’ll keep your secret)!
Step away from the cookie. Don’t ask your husband to go to the supermarket and pick up those pickles. Say no to the greasy hamburger at 2am. Have pregnancy cravings hit you yet? Whether or not odd food cravings during pregnancy are a myth, keep in mind that having another person growing inside you is not a free pass to eat whatever you want. When faced with a buffet of food, don’t go pulling out the pregnancy card! Although it is normal to throw on some weight during your pregnancy (you do have another mouth to feed, for goodness sake!), you should be being more careful about what you put in your mouth (and how much of it) when you are pregnant–for a couple of different reasons. First off, all the food you eat is also the baby’s food, so you want it to be healthy and nutritious (not doughnut after doughnut). Weight gain beyond that which is healthy during pregnancy can also add stress to your already exhausted back (your spine is in charge of supporting your increasingly round tummy!), increasing your odds of sciatic nerve irritation. Since you do not want your pregnancy pounds to be the weight that broke the camel’s back, think about if inhaling that ice cream every night is really worth the risk of sciatica pain. Trust me on this one: put down the cookie, and don’t find out.
We have all been scolded with some variation of “Sit up straighter!” when we were younger. Although your mother’s quips about your poor posture may have been a nuisance then, listening to them would have paid off. With a long list of health benefits–defending against depression and lowering your risk for a whole host of medical conditions, including migraines, heartburn, anxiety, respiratory conditions, weight gain and even sciatica pain during pregnancy–establishing a good posture at an early age would have done a lot of good. But the majority of people struggle to pay attention to their posture, walking around with slouched shoulders and sitting with their backs arched–until they begin to notice the lower back aches, that is.
Hello down there! Your feet may feel far away from the sciatic nerve, the source of your lower back, rear, and leg pain, but any stress or pressure your shoes put on them can affect the upper half of your body. Pick your shoes wisely then, expectant mothers. High heels can contribute to your sciatica symptoms, as the unnatural arch they create in the foot can cost you something very valuable: your musculoskeletal health. Being kind to your feet during you pregnancy months is therefore important. While giving up your heels for 9 months may feel like a wardrobe loss, you should also consider the health gain: relief from sciatica. Sciatica and high heels just don’t mix!
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.
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.