How to Relieve Sciatica Pain When You're Nine Months Pregnant

Posted on: 25 April 2017

Getting through the aches and pains of late pregnancy is tough enough without sciatica pain. Many times sciatica is mild, but as baby pushes toward the pelvic floor, there can be more pressure—and therefore more intense pain. The more common pelvic girdle pain shares many symptoms of sciatica. Your obstetrician (OB) should determine which condition is causing your pain. Once you know for sure, your OB can treat what ails you.

It's Definitely Sciatica

So your OB has determined that it's indeed your sciatic nerve that is causing your misery. The sciatic nerve runs from the lumber region of your back—that's the lowest part of your spine—down your buttocks, into the outer thigh to the bottom of your knees. The pain affects usually one side of your body, but can affect both sides.

Finding relief for the incessant sharp, burning pain, tingling, and numbness isn't easy when you're on baby watch. It's hard to bend, hard to sit, hard to lie down, harder to breathe. And, if you have a herniated disk, it's likely that both the disc and your baby are compressing the nerve causing your pain. In addition, many women retain excess water and gain too much weight during the last month of pregnancy which can also compress the sciatic nerve.

How Do You Relieve Sciatica Pain When You're About To Have A Baby?

You can't just pop over-the-counter pain medications for pain relief when you are pregnant. Unless the pain is severe, your OB will likely suggest holistic approaches to alleviate pain and inflammation as a part of herniated disc treatment. 

Heat therapy: warm compresses may help dilate blood vessels to increase blood flow to the area. However, your OB will likely advise not to use a heating pad directly on the region as it can raise your body temperature. Only use specific heat products in conjunction with your OB's recommendations.

Cold therapy: reduces pain and inflammation to the painful area. Your OB may ask you to alternate between hot and cold packs.

Chiropractic care can help alleviate pain: There's no known negative side effects from chiropractic manipulation during pregnancy. In fact, many chiropractors have extra certification in prenatal and postnatal care, specifically in infertility and pregnancy wellness. Chiropractic techniques and special chiropractic tables, designed for pregnancy, help avoid the extra abdominal pressure that a woman who is nine months pregnant doesn't need. After your adjustment, your chiropractor will also give you stretching exercises to help keep your sciatic pain at bay. You can also ask your OB before using any herbal remedies.

Swimming is a great way to relieve sciatica: The water's buoyancy and warmth will also help you relax. Just stay away from hot tubs. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends avoiding hot tubs during pregnancy as they can become too hot; and, may harm your developing baby,

Keep to your normal routine: Do not go on self-imposed bed rest to eliminate pain. Bed rest should only be prescribed by your OB for issues other than sciatica. Moving around may be difficult, but will help more efficiently in the long run.