When they say every pregnancy is different, they sure are right. I didn’t experience any sciatica pain during my pregnancy with Logan. It has been different this time around. When the pain first started, I didn’t realize what it was. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body running from your lower back to the back of your legs and feet. It can send a deep, dull or shooting pain down the glutes and back of the leg. Initially, I thought I had just pulled a glute muscle working out. When it didn’t go away a few days later, I realized it was sciatica pain. There are different treatments methods you can take to deal with your pain. I made the decision to try regular focused stretching. I also focused on strengthening my hips, pelvic floor and back through exercises in Pilates and barre.
Here are some of the stretches I have been using to cope with my pain. My biggest bit of advice for these stretches is to make sure you hold them for a full 30 seconds. I always find a good time to complete stretches is at night when you are watching TV. Stretching before bed always seems to make me sleep better.
- BUTTERFLY STRETCH:
Butterfly Stretch: This stretch targets the hip adductors, a muscle group in your inner thighs, and also helps align the pelvis. Sit on mat with your legs pulled inward and feet together. Extend your spine and relax your shoulders. To get deeper into stretch, bend forward slightly forward keeping a straight spine. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.
2. SEATED PIRIFORMIS STRETCH:
Seated piriformis stretch: This is a muscle deep in the butt and this stretch helps to relieve some of the tightness. Sit on a chair with feet flat on floor. If your left side is more affected, pull your left ankle onto your right knee. Keeping a straight back, lean forward until you can feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat multiple times throughout day.
3. PIGEON POSE:
Pigeon Pose: Come down to all fours on the mat. Extend your right legs behind you as much as you can. Bring the right foot forward, folding at the knee. Keep the shin in a horizontal line in from on your body with your foot flexed. Lean forward towards the front leg. Hold position for 3o seconds and repeat 3-5 times throughout the day. This stretch helps stretch the hip rotator and hip flexors.
4. FOAM ROLLING GLUTES & HAMSTRINGS:
Foam Rolling Glutes & Hamstrings: Foam rolling helps relax and release the tight muscles. Sit on foam roller with your hands behind you. Bend on knee in to help support and balance, sitting on your glute. Move back and forth over foam roller. Once you feel a tender area, continue movement on this area for 30 seconds. Roll down and repeat on the upper leg making sure to roll area for at least 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.
4. FLAT BACK FOLDOVER:
Flat Back Foldover: Stand facing a chair or table with your feet slightly wider than hip distance. Lean forward and place hands on chair or table keeping arms straight and back flat. Pull hips away from table until you can feel the stretch in the back of your legs and lower back. Hold position for at least 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times. This is my favorite stretch during this pregnancy and you can find me in the position multiple times a time.
Thanks to Molly for snapping these photos after our fun lunch at Vivo53 in Bellevue. After those milkshakes, I might have a food belly and a baby bump combined. Now, let’s talk about the outfit. I live in my activewear even when I’m not working out. Brooks Running has some great additions to their spring line this year. Here are some of the highlights of the pieces I am wearing below:
Ghost Crop: I am obsessed with this print! This ankle-length pant features a ultra-light fabric. It will be perfect for hot weather workouts or lounging around and looking cute.
Pick-Up Tank: This tank has been my favorite one to wear through pregnancy and will be an athleisure wardrobe piece post baby too. It’s a super soft, four-way stretch fabric with a fitted silhouette.
Dash Hoodie: A new favorite layering piece that will be perfect for the cool Seattle spring and summer nights. This hoodie has a cozy feel, flattering fit, reliable moisture management, and feminine details. The bump is still fitting nicely under it.
Hot Shot Sports Bra: A new favorite sports bra that looks great under tops or can be worn solo. It’s modern and minimal racerback effortlessly molds to the body for everyday comfort.
PureCadence 6: I have always been a huge fan of the Pure line. The PureCadence 6 is the only shoe that supports whole body alignment in a lightweight and flexible design. The breakthrough Guide Rail system with an external heel clip eases the body into its preferred motion pattern, and works seamlessly with the updated 3D Fit Print upper to feel like a natural extension of the foot. A perfect workout shoe and one to wear around town.
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