Sciatica can be a pain in the butt — literally. Sciatica, a tingling and/or shooting pain and numbness in your butt and thigh, is a common pregnancy side-effect, especially during the third trimester when your growing baby and uterus put pressure on your sciatic nerve. And since you may not be able to take pain medications like ibuprofen or naproxen when you're pregnant, it's natural to wonder how to safely treat sciatica during pregnancy.
As OB-GYN Rebecca Starck, MD tells Cleveland Clinic, sciatica occurs when your growing belly and baby shifts your center of gravity, the hormone relaxen causes your joints to relax, and your sciatic nerve ends up compressed. Fortunately, there are a few ways to treat sciatica at home, according to the Mayo Clinic, including applying ice or heat or gentle stretching. According to Karen Nordahl, MD a Family Physician and author of Fit to Deliver, the best way to treat sciatica during pregnancy might actually be to move your body as much as you can. While it may seem counter-intuitive to exercise when you are in pain, strengthening your core and pelvic floor can actually help relieve sciatica pain during pregnancy. According to the Cleveland Clinic two great (and safe!) exercises to try to relieve sciatica pain are yoga and swimming, which can take the pressure off your nerve and help you relax.
For more about these and other ways to treat your pregnancy sciatica, according to experts, read on: