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Sciatica and Pregnancy: Massage to Manage Leg Pain

Updated on July 29, 2014

Sciatica during Pregnancy

Sciatica during pregnancy is known to occur fairly frequently. The primary reason for the development of sciatica during pregnancy is the pressure on the spine caused due to the growing size of the uterus.

An impingement of the sciatic nerve causes sciatica, and this is seen as pain in the leg. Leg pain during pregnancy must not be neglected; prompt treatment is crucial in order to prevent severe aggravations.

Sciatica Pain during Pregnancy: Sciatica Symptoms

Characteristically, there is pain in the lower back and the tailbone, the buttocks, the back of the thigh, back of the knee and the calves. The pain may go as far as the toes sometimes. Intermittently, the pain may be mild; however, it can get excruciating and agonizing.

The pain may be associated with tingling numbness and occassionally associated with burning sensation along the leg as well.

Lifting heavy weight, exertion, stress, and sitting for long periods of time trigger and worsen the condition.

Treatment for Sciatica during Pregnancy: Managing Leg Pain

Here are some simple treatment solutions for the management of sciatica during pregnancy:

  • By and large, sciatica during pregnancy tends to get resolved by itself. Nonetheless, the pain is very distressing; hence, following certain self care measures will help allay the pain considerably.
  • Alternate hot and cold therapy is recommended. Place a hot water bag for 10 minutes, and then replace with an ice bag for 10 minutes. Do this 3 times daily; it will ease the discomfort appreciably
  • Visit a physiotherapist. Specific exercises or yoga poses will reduce pain and discomfort and prevent aggravations.
  • Speak to your gynecologist, she may prescribe analgesics. Pain killers help decrease the pain. Anti inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants may also be taken. In severe cases, you may require corticosteroid injections to manage the pain and swelling.
  • Vitamin B complex supplements are a must. Vitamin B12 nourishes the nerve and reduces inflammations significantly. A supplement twice everyday is recommended.

How to Relieve Pregnancy Sciatica? Massage for Sciatica

Aromatherapy massages are decidedly beneficial for sciatica; what’s more they are every safe and effective. However, make sure that you get a licensed masseur and aroma therapist for the treatment. Also, use only those essential oils that are permitted during pregnancy. Do consult and discuss with your gynecologist, before resorting to the therapy.

Clove essential oil, ginger essential oil and nutmeg essential oil are advocated to ease sciatica pain. Blend 5 drops of one of these essential oils in 10 ml of a carrier oil, such as, sesame seed oil or olive oil.

It is vital to dilute the essential oil by mixing the it with base or carrier oil before using it for massage on the skin. This is important since the aroma can cause nausea and result in other complications. It is recommended to use essential oils after the first trimester of pregnancy, specifically after the symptoms of nausea and vomitting subside.

Massage gently, using mild strokes in to the spine and back of the leg. Aromatherapy will provide significant amelioration of the distressing pain.


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    • restrelax profile image

      restrelax 5 years ago from Los angeles CA

      Nice information is given on this hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • drshwetaushah profile image

      drshwetaushah 5 years ago from India

      Ginger oil is relatively safe for use during pregnancy. In fact, it is the only essential oil that helps combat a host of pregnancy-related problems, right from morning sickness to back pains. However, don't use the oil neat, use it diluted with a base oil, such as sesame seed oil or olive oil.

    • Bea Wiser profile image

      Bea Wiser 5 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Good suggestions. Don' t take NSAIDs like Motrin (ibuprofen) when pregnant. Stick to Tylenol (acetaminophen). NSAiDs and aspirin can cause bleeding problems during pregnancy.

    • jhunpaler profile image

      jhunpaler 5 years ago from Philippines

      Back pains are usually common among pregnant patients due to the heavy load they have in their bellys. Thanks for the non-pharmacologic treatment methods you mentioned :)

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      While clove, ginger and nutmeg are great for sciatica, they are contraindicated for pregnant women.

      Ginger is an herbal emmenagogue, which can cause a sudden miscarriage. Clove and nutmeg are skin sensitizers which can be a problem during pregnancy. There are very little herbs, or essential oils that can be used safely during pregnancy.