Arguably one of the most thorny conditions to live with, Sciatica does not take time off to accommodate and adjust to your sleeping schedule. More often than not, the burning, throbbing sensation all through your back or feet will jolt you awake at odd hours of the night. But that’s if you are lucky enough to fall asleep in the first place.
To help each and every person suffering through long, painful and sleepless nights, we have identified some of the best sleeping positions for sciatica relief as well as tips that will help ease the pain. But first, what is Sciatica and how does it come about?
What is Sciatica?
It all starts at the sciatic nerve; the longest nerve in the body that runs all the way from the lower back and down each leg, ending at the feet. If any part of the nerve undergoes inflammation or compression, spinal disc herniation or a myriad of other issues, it causes a pain in the lower back, legs, and buttocks.
This pain that goes all through the legs and sometimes back is what is referred to as Sciatica. Additionally, some people will also experience weakness or numbness in various parts of the body.
Best sleeping positions for Sciatica relief
While there are many treatments for sciatica, the main one involves taking pain medications. With time, 90 percent of the affected people usually see the problem going away in less than six weeks. Unfortunately, poor sleeping habits see the problem recur very often.
Other treatments include acupuncture, steroids, surgery and spinal manipulation; but they all have one thing in common. Whether you have Sciatica or not, your sleeping positions will contribute significantly to accelerating or remedying the condition.
This is why doctors recommend investing in adjustable beds that will serve you for years to come in the battle against Sciatica. The following sleeping positions for Sciatica relief work best with an adjustable bed.
If you suffer from any lower back pain or severe Sciatica, then this is definitely the best sleeping position you could use. It takes away all the pressure off your spine and allows you to maintain the foetal position which is all kinds of healthy. However, the ideal position will involve more than just hopping in bed and facing left or right.
Typically, side sleepers tend to roll one leg forward so that it can also rest on the mattress. This is a grave mistake if you’re looking to get any relief for Sciatica. Rolling your leg over tends to create a twisting pressure on the lower back that will further irritate the sciatic nerve.
To get the best sleeping positions for sciatic relief, place a couple of pillows beneath the top leg. Not only will this ease the twisting pressure, but it also provides welcome support to keep your leg and spine neutral.
Depending on how you do it, sleeping on your back can either be the best or the worst sleeping position for sciatic relief. This is why adjustable beds are highly recommended because they offer the best positions and anatomically correct surfaces for people.
If you sleep on your back without any support, then you are just encouraging your spine into a flexed position. This will irritate your Sciatic nerve and multiply the pain and discomfort severely.
However, adjustable beds allow you to maintain a natural, supine position that maintains the natural curve of your spine. This is the easiest way to get all night relief from back and leg pain.
However, if you do not have an adjustable bed nearby, you could also improvise with pillows and towels. Try placing some pillows under your knees to elevate them and a small rolled towel under the small of your back. While this won’t be anatomically accurate, it’s better than nothing and will offer significant relief.
If you want any sort of relief from back and leg pain caused by Sciatica, then the worst thing you could possibly do is sleep on your belly. There is literally nothing positive about sleeping on your stomach; it causes your spine to arch in the most unnatural ways and contribute to any ongoing pain and injury.
Stick to side sleeping and very careful back sleeping positions to get relief from the pain. If you are prone to Sciatica and recurrent pain issues, getting an adjustable bed is a long term solution that will help you prevent further damage to the Sciatic nerve and get a well-deserved rest every night.