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Stretches for the Sciatic Nerve in Pregnancy

by
author image Peter Mitchell
Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.
Stretches for the Sciatic Nerve in Pregnancy
Sitting cross-legged several times a day can relieve sciatica. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The sciatic nerves stretch from your lower back to your feet. During pregnancy, the extra weight can cause stress and strain on the sciatic nerve. This can trigger pain known as sciatica. It's nothing unusual, as 50 to 70 percent of pregnant women experience back pain, according to information from the Stanford Prevention Research Center. However, several exercises help lessen your pain and stretch the sciatic nerve in pregnancy.

Torso Twist

The torso twist helps stretch your sciatic nerves without putting too much pressure on your body. The twist can also be performed sitting down, so you're not at risk of falling and damaging your unborn baby. Sit straight in a chair with the chair back at your right side. Breath steadily and hold the chair back edges. Gently push on the chair back to twist your torso to the right. Hold the position for 30 seconds, according to Women Fitness. Repeat the movement on your left side.

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Tailor Sitting

Tailor sitting is an exercise recommended by Pregancy Weekly. It helps to stretch muscles in the lower back and thighs, as well as stretch the sciatic nerve. Sit on the floor and cross your legs in a comfortable position. Breath steadily and straighten your back. Sit this way three times a day for 10 minutes each time to get the most benefit.

Pelvic Tilt

The pelvic tilt is a gentle stretching exercise that helps align the body and lower back, according to the Netwellness website. Lie back on the floor and raise your knees until your feet are flat. Carefully tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back toward the floor. Hold for a few seconds then relax. Try this twice a day with at least five movements in each session. Always breathe steadily and don't push yourself too hard.

Camel Backing

Camel backing, or the "dromedary droop," helps take pressure off the spine while pregnant. However, it may not be suitable if you're very heavily pregnant. You need to be able to comfortably position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees. Gently arch your back upwards, as though mimicking a camel's hump. Don't put too much strain on your back. Tighten you buttocks and abdomen and hold the position for a few seconds.

Knee Pulls

A simple exercise to stretch the sciatic nerve while pregnant is a variation of the knee exercise from the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Lie on a floor mat facing the ceiling. Lift your knee toward your stomach. Put your hands behind your knee and gently pull the leg as far as you can without pressuring your abdomen too much. Try the same movement with both legs at the same time with one hand on each leg.

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