While getting enough rest is essential for treating any condition, it can be hard for sciatica patients to find a comfortable position to fall asleep in. The pain that radiates from the lower back down to the legs can make certain positions tricky to sleep in, as they put extra pressure on the affected areas. This guide will share some helpful tips for sleeping with sciatica, whether you are a side or back sleeper.
Sleeping on Your Back with Sciatica
Back sleepers may find that their usual sleeping position puts too much pressure on the small joints on their lower bac at the bottom of the spine. If that is the case, try sleeping with your knees elevated to rebalance the pressure placed on different parts of your body. Using a pillow (bed pillow or body pillow), lie down and bend your knees towards the ceiling while keeping your buttocks and heels on the bed. Gently slide the pillow under your knees, and adjust until you feel comfortable.
Sleeping on Your Side with Sciatica
Side sleepers may fare slightly better than back sleepers with sciatica, as their position puts less pressure on the spine. For side sleepers who still experience sciatica pain, one suggestion is to place a pillow between their knees while they sleep. This is because the side they sleep on naturally absorbs the bulk of pressure. Having nothing to support the higher side can change posture over time and put undue pressure on certain body parts. Sleeping with knees slightly bent and with a pillow in between them can make a real difference for a more comfortable sleep. Another option is to consider sleeping with a body pillow, as it provides support for the upper body as well as the lower body.
Choose a Mattress with the Right Firmness
Most people have an individual preference when it comes to mattress firmness, but research that a mattress of medium firmness may be best for people who suffer from back pain. Mattresses that are too firm can lead to poor alignment and more pain because the pelvis sags lower than the spine. Mattresses that are too soft, on the other hand, may prevent shoulders from adequately sinking to the right degree. Consider purchasing either a medium-firm mattress or a self-adjustable mattress that allows the user to adjust the firmness based on their back pain and firmness preference.
Seeking Treatment for Sciatica
Finding the perfect sleeping posture and mattress for sciatica can take some time and effort, but it is worth it to alleviate symptoms. The most important thing to do if you have sciatica is to monitor your pain and be honest about when it is time to seek medical attention. Pain can have a major impact on one’s daily life, their ability to work, and even their personal relationships. If sciatica lingers even after trying at-home remedies, it may be time to seek professional medical help to get to the root of the problem. Reach out to RejuvenX to learn more about pain management therapies and treatment.