Sleeping with sciatica can feel next to impossible. While there are few perfect solutions, there are steps you can take to reduce discomfort during sleep and reduce the severity of the condition over time. So let’s look at how to sleep with sciatica and other info.
What Is Sciatica?
Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back where it branches off the spinal cord into two parallel nerve systems. On both sides, the sciatic nerve reaches from your lower back, through your hips, into the buttocks, and down the back of both legs.
Sciatica is a medical term that describes the pain caused when the sciatic nerve is compressed. Causes of this compression vary widely, but may include a herniated disc, a bone spur, nerve damage, and pregnancy. If you are ever dealing with sciatica for more than a week, you should contact your spine surgeon in Beverly Hills.
How to Sleep with Sciatica?
Unfortunately, the pain associated with sciatica is rarely dull or easily ignored. More often than not the pain is quite sharp, and it can make it virtually impossible to sleep soundly. If you’re experiencing a shooting pain through your posterior into your leg as a result of sciatica, these are some things you can try.
Addressing Your Sleeping Position
The easiest way to address sciatica pain during sleep is to change up your position and provide adequate support. The best position for sciatica pain is on your side with the painful buttock, leg, and hip on top.
Making this position ideal may require as many as four pillows.
- Pillow 1: Placed under your head. The edge of the pillow should fit into the crook of your neck.
- Pillow 2: Placed between your knees to keep your hips aligned. You can move your legs and curve your back into the fetal position if it provides more relief.
- Pillow 3 (Small and Optional): Placed beneath your waist to provide extra support if your mattress is more firm.
- Pillow 4 (Small and Optional): Wedged underneath the backside of your bottom hip to prevent you from tilting farther back on the hip and pulling your hips out of alignment.
In most cases, the first two pillows are all that is necessary, but you may experiment with increased support if you’re still struggling with finding a comfortable sleeping position.
Experimenting with Evening Yoga
Yoga and general stretching can help to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve by reducing pressure in your lower back. If you have been struggling to sleep as a result of sciatic pain, then you experiment with a little stretching in the evening.
Yoga basics like child’s pose, downward-facing dog, and reclined pigeon’s pose can all help to stretch out your lower back and provide you with some much-needed relief immediately before bed.
Taking a Warm Shower
Once you’ve finished your yoga stretches, you can promote further relaxation by taking a warm shower. It’s alright if it starts off cool due to a hot day, but you will want to make sure your back has at least a few minutes of warmer water to help loosen tension in the region.
Seeking Professional Treatment for Sciatica
Sciatica is fairly common, but it can also be excruciatingly painful. If you have tried everything and are not seeing any results after a few days, you should make an appointment with your spine surgeon.
During your appointment, your doctor can begin the process of forming a specific diagnosis. Assuming the underlying cause is related to compression of the sciatic nerve, your doctor will discuss sciatica treatment in Los Angeles.