Sciatica refers to nerve pain of the sciatic nerve, which stretches from the lower back, through the hip and buttocks, and down each leg. When a patient suffers from sciatica, they experience leg pain, numbness or tingling triggered by pressure on their sciatic nerve. These symptoms hinder productivity, especially if sciatica pain keeps you up at night. If your sciatica makes it difficult to sleep, follow these tips to get a full, comfortable night’s sleep again.
1. Use a Pillow Between Your Legs
Some research suggests that sleeping on your side can help relieve spinal pressure, preventing back and nerve pain. Side sleepers can further benefit by placing a pillow between their legs to keep your spine, hips and pelvis aligned. Simply insert a body pillow or regular pillow between your legs with your knees slightly bent.
2. Keep Your Knees Elevated
If you’re not a side sleeper, there are ways you can sleep on your back without increasing the risk of experiencing lower back pain or sciatica. Sleeping with your knees elevated is a great way to eliminate pressure on the spine and the spinal nerves. For this technique, lie flat on your back and bend your knees, sliding a pillow beneath your legs. Keep adding pillows until you find a comfortable position for your knees and lower back.
3. Invest in a Good Mattress
According to research, sleeping on a medium-firm mattress can help reduce the incidence of lower back pain and sciatica. A good mattress will keep your spine well-aligned throughout the night, while plush mattresses can lose their shape quickly, failing to support the spine long-term.
4. Get Treatment
If these conservative, self-care therapies don’t help to alleviate your sciatica while you sleep, it may be time to seek treatment from the Center for Interventional Pain & Spine. Our multidisciplinary team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that targets the root cause of your sciatica so that you can feel in control of your health again. Learn more and schedule your appointment today.