I consider myself a fit, active person, so when I suddenly became sidelined by pregnancy sciatica, I was at a loss.
It hurt to walk. It hurt to run. It hurt to sit. It hurt to lay down at night.
The first time I had sciatica during pregnancy was with my second child. I visited an osteopath at my OB/GYN office several times. He attempted to help me through osteopathic manipulation. I didn’t see much relief, plus I had to be flat on my back for the treatment.
If you recall, you’re not supposed to be flat on your back during later stages of pregnancy. It caused me to faint twice while having the treatment done. No thanks!
This time around (pregnant with my third child), my sciatica feels more painful at an even earlier date. I still have 15 weeks to go. I would really love to find a treatment for sciatica in pregnancy that actually works.
Here are some of the suggestions I have found to relieve the pain in buttocks from pregnancy sciatica.
Relief for Sciatica in Pregnancy
- Sleep on the side of your body that is not experiencing the pain. My sciatica is way worse on my left side, so I have been trying to sleep on my right side each night…aided by the support of my maternity pillow.
- Swimming. Well, it’s the end of October and I don’t belong to a gym, so this one is out for me. But maybe it will be an option for someone else!
- Shiatsu massage. This was recommended to me by my friend Karla and I am currently scheduling an appointment to get it!
- Acupuncture. My midwife told me about this treatment option and she swore that you can’t even feel the tiny needles. Not sure I’m brave enough for this, but we’ll see how desperate I get.
- Tylenol (acetaminophen). Obviously, check with your doctor before taking any medication while pregnant, but I have been given the okay to take Tylenol when I have a bad headache or when my sciatica gets really bad (usually at night).
- Heating pad on the affected side. Sitting on a heating pad or laying with my one hip and thigh on it has definitely helped me out numerous times.
- Ice the affected area. I’m always cold, so I would opt to skip this one.
- Do stretches designed to take pressure off the sciatic nerve. This Babble article lists several.
- Soap under the sheets. This is an old wives’ tale that one of my Facebook followers suggested– put a bar of soap under the sheet directly under your area of discomfort. Some nights I swear that it works for pregnancy sciatica. Why? No clue. Try it!
- Roll your butt/side on a lacrosse or tennis ball. This was a tip from my friend Robin. I don’t have either of those balls, but I should probably get one.
- Foam rolling. This is the foam roller I have and I LOVE IT. Here’s a great post about how to avoid some common foam rolling mistakes.
- Chiropractor. People either love chiropractors or hate them, but I have heard that many sciatica sufferers have benefited from a trip to this kind of practitioner.
- Yoga. My yoga instructor friend Trish swears this will help. She also swears she will show me the exact poses to do but hasn’t done that yet either. Paging Trish!
- Rocking back and forth on all fours. The thought behind this is that it will shift the baby’s position and ease the pressure on the nerve…another tip from a Facebook follower.
I’ve pinned any viable treatment options that I found for sciatica in pregnancy to this board, so be sure to check it out.
I’d love to hear from you…what did you do to help ease your sciatica pain?
Read about the #1 Tip to Avoid Sleeping on Your Back When Pregnant.