Trying to Get a Good Night’s Sleep with Sciatica? Try These Strategies.

Trying to Get a Good Night’s Sleep with Sciatica? Try These Strategies.

Are you having trouble sleeping because of sciatica? You aren’t the only one. About 40% of people in the US deal with sciatica at some point in their lives. Sciatica is one of the most common causes of back pain. It doesn’t just affect your back, though, as you probably know quite well. It can even feel like your hips and thighs are on fire.

The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back through your buttocks and hips, even affecting your legs. Most often, it only affects one side of your body. The providers at Beeson Regenerative Health offer these helpful tips for getting a good night’s sleep when you have sciatica.

What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the longest one in your body, running the length from your lower back down through your buttocks, hips, and legs. Sometimes, it can get inflamed, from having a herniated or slipped disc, a bone spur on your spine, or having the nerve compressed by a narrowing of the spine (called spinal stenosis.)

This inflammation can feel worse if you spend a lot of time either sitting or standing in one position. You can also feel more pain if you stand up or twist your upper body. Even coughing or sneezing can trigger a sciatica attack.

The symptoms of sciatica

You can feel pretty sure that you have sciatica if you experience any of the following symptoms:

If you have symptoms of sciatica, it’s always a good idea to call us for an appointment so that we can help you.

How to sleep better with sciatica

Though many cases of sciatica go away on their own over time, you still need to sleep comfortably in the meantime. Here are a few tips that can make that easier for you.

Lie on your side

Lie in bed on your side, with the injured side facing upward. If there’s a gap between your waist and the mattress, try putting a small pillow underneath you to reduce the amount of side bending your body must do.

Try sleeping in the fetal position

Lying in the fetal position opens up the space between your vertebrae, which may relieve pressure on your spine, especially if you have a herniated disc. However, for some people, this position makes your pain worse, in which case you should try the following alternate suggestion.

Make a “C” shape out of your back

Lie on your side, and pull your knees up to your chest, so that your body makes a shape like a letter C. You can also put a pillow under your waist or between your knees.

Lie on your back with a pillow under your knees

Lie down on your back with a pillow under your head like normal. Then, place an additional pillow under your knees. This will let your hip flexors stretch, relieving the sciatica pain. 

Lie with a pillow or towel under your back

You may also find relief from your sciatica by lying down with a thin pillow or towel underneath your back. This keeps your pelvis in a neutral position, which can take pressure off the sciatic nerve.

Sleep on the floor

Sleeping on the floor isn’t just for teenage sleepovers anymore. Sometimes, our beds are too well-cushioned, which can actually work against proper alignment. Sleeping on a hard surface may provide the relief you’re seeking.

If you’re suffering from sciatica, you should schedule a consultation with us. Contact the providers at Beeson Regenerative Health today, or request an appointment online.

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