Sciatica occurs when your sciatic nerve, the main nerve running from your spine to your leg, gets pinched, constricted, or irritated. When this happens, you may feel shooting pain in your leg, hip, buttocks, and lower back. This condition is especially common in pregnancy because your changing center of gravity and looser joints affect your posture. If you're experiencing sciatica or want to prevent it, try these chiropractor-recommended stretches designed to loosen up the hip area where your sciatic nerve is located.
Sciatica Tips From a Chiropractor During Pregnancy
1. Table Stretch
This pose stretches out the lower back and hamstrings, relieving pressure on those muscles to prevent them from irritating the sciatic nerve. To do this, stand a little more than arm's length away from a table or the back of a chair, with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Bend at the waist and set your hands on the table, keeping your back and arms straight. Lean your hips back, then slowly move them from side to side.
2. Seated Piriformis Stretch
One common cause of sciatic nerve irritation is the piriformis, a specific muscle inside your buttocks on each side. When it's tense, it rubs against the nerve. To relax this muscle, sit on a chair with your back straight. Pick up your left foot if your left side is hurting you, or your right foot if it's the right side, and cross your ankle over the opposite knee. Keep your back straight and lean forward until you can feel your piriformis stretch.
3. Kneeling Lunges
One of the muscle groups that most affects the position of your pelvis is your hip flexors at the front of your hips. To stretch them out, get on your hands and knees, then bring one foot forward. Your hip and knee should both be at 90-degree angles. Straighten your back, then shift your weight forward until you can feel the stretch in your other hip. Repeat on both sides.
If you need a chiropractic adjustment for sciatica or back pain during pregnancy, visit Pure Balance in New York City. For almost 20 years, ICPA certified chiropractor Dr. Michael Magwood and his team have offered care for children and adults, with a special focus on prenatal chiropractic care. To schedule, call (212)661-5656 for their Murray Hill location in Midtown Manhattan or (973)773-8244 for Clifton, New Jersey. Learn more about their wide range of physical and mental health support services online.