The Sciatic nerve is the longest in the body that branches from the lumbar region of the back down to the hips, buttocks, and each leg. Inflammation in this part of the body is called Sciatica. This condition is not just painful but very uncomfortable for people who have it. One of the most common questions people ask is: how to sleep with Sciatica?
Many people with Sciatica find it difficult to do even the simplest activity like sitting, walking, and standing. Sleeping with Sciatica is also a struggle to some and can even lead to irritability and anxiety.
Common Cause of Sciatica
Sciatica almost always feels like there is shooting pain from the lower back, radiating to the thigh, leg, or feet. Sometimes, the condition is often accompanied by numbness in the region of the legs.
Some people think that the pain they’re feeling is caused by fatigue, stress, or strenuous physical activities until it is diagnosed as Sciatica. But it is good to note that Sciatica is not caused by a particular event, action, or injury. The illness tends to develop over time due to a lot of reasons.
Sciatica affects about 10 to 40% of the population around 40 years of age, but the younger ones can also suffer from it. People whose work involved strenuous physical activities are prone to having this condition.
You may experience Sciatica because of the following:
- Lack of exercise
- Hernial lumbar disc diseases
- Poor posture
- Muscle spasm
Simple tips on how to sleep with Sciatica
Specific exercises and treatments can help relieve the pain of Sciatica. Lying in the correct position when can help alleviate the pain.
If you are having troubles sleeping with Sciatica, here are some useful tips to help you deal with this painful condition.
Take a quick bath before going to bed.
A warm bath can help relax your body before going to sleep. Studies show that taking a relaxing bath can cause your body muscles around the Sciatic nerve to ease up. Make sure to double-check the temperature of the water as it should not be too hot.
Invest in a good mattress.
You will spend a lot of time on your bed when you want to relax, and by doing so, you want to ease any discomfort as much as possible. If you are suffering from Sciatica, a firm mattress is your best option. You may also consider investing in an orthopedic bed if you have enough money to spare. Investing in a good bed or mattress is worth it, especially if you are dealing with long term Sciatica.
Hug a pillow.
Who doesn’t want to hug a pillow when they are in bed? Pillows are very comfortable and will help you a lot when sleeping on your side, recommended when suffering from Sciatica. When lying on your side, bring both of your knees up toward your head to relieve back tension. Place the pillow in between your legs to help keep your pelvis, spine, and hips aligned.
Do some simple stretches before bed.
Doing a few exercises before bed may help ease up and relax your muscle a bit before sleeping. This will aid the pain you are feeling when lying down. Simple stretches can be done comfortably right in your bed. You can do a pelvic tilt or knees to chest stretch. Whatever works for you. This can help align your spine and reduce back pain.
Take the doctor’s prescribed medicines.
Not everyone has prescribed medicines for Sciatica, but if you have one, make sure to take it before going to sleep.
These pain medications should be taken before bed because Sciatica affects sleep that much and can cause so much discomfort. You may also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication occasionally if you don’t want to take any prescribed medications.
Do not sleep on your stomach; instead, sleep on your back.
Sleeping on your stomach can cause you more discomfort if you suffer from Sciatica. This position can cause the spine’s natural curvature to flatten, and it can irritate or strain the neck. Sleeping on your back is the best option you have since it provides comfort on the spine, pelvis, and hips. If this position is not working for you, you can sleep on your side.
Invest in good pillows.
If you can invest in a good mattress, you should try to check and invest in good pillows too. There are many high-quality, medical-grade pillows available in the market today, and they sure do work. These pillows help keep the spine aligned and are proven to reduce pain from Sciatica. Firm cushions also have more support in the neck.
Create a nighttime routine.
Before going to bed, you must have a routine to help you feel relaxed and ready for bed. Self-care is important; that is why your before-bed routine is a must. Maybe it is taking a bath, doing your skincare, then taking your medications. Having this kind of routine will help you feel comfortable and can reduce the pain you are feeling.
Consult with a professional.
While many people who suffer from Sciatica generally get better within 1 to 2 months, it would be worth consulting with a professional, especially if you can no longer manage the pain. This way, they can assess if there is another condition that is triggering the Sciatica. A chiropractor or a physical therapist may help set your body and gives you medication if needed for the pain.
Sleeping with Sciatica is difficult and can be unbearable to some. Knowing that you can do something about it with proper sleeping techniques and position can help you a lot in recovery. Remember that your body needs to rest and recharge to heal. Do not pressure your body or try to do heavy works in the morning so you can rest thoroughly at night.
Sciatica will eventually go away. If, however, it becomes chronic or severe, seeking the help of a professional is a must.