Sciatica refers to throbbing pain that radiates from the lower back through the legs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take some time off to accommodate your sleep schedule – you’ll be lucky to fall asleep. If you suffer from this discomfort you’re probably asking, how can I sleep with sciatica and back pain? Here are some helpful tips.
10 Tips on How To Sleep With Sciatica
Invest in the best mattress for sciatica back and leg pain
While there are many ways of getting rid of sciatica, the first thing you should do is to invest in a good mattress. It should offer perfect comfort and support. Because the pain is caused by compression of the nerves, being able to sleep well will lessen the pain. A bad mattress will prevent you from recovering quickly which may exacerbate your pain.
It’s crucial that you get a mattress that allows you to sleep in all positions- side sleeping, back sleeping and stomach sleeping. If you’re a side sleeper choose a soft mattress that supports the shoulders and hips. On the other hand, back sleepers should get a medium mattress that supports the whole body. And if you’re a stomach sleeper, make sure you buy a mattress that aligns to the whole body.
With time, you’ll find that sleeping on a firm mattress alleviates your sciatic pain. Of course, this does not mean that you sleep on the floor. For more information about mattress visit here.
Enjoy a warm bath before bed
A bath will work wonders in alleviating sciatic pain and general pain. According to modern science, warm water stimulates the release of endorphins and promotes the relaxation of muscles. If you don’t have the energy to take a warm bath, apply a warm bag can help reduce any type of swelling and numbness you have. But be careful, this should only be done when the pain you feel is very intense. Ideally, the heat will increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients that reach the affected area. Most people fall asleep immediately after a bath as it works on the root cause of the problem. For best results, you may want to follow the same schedule.
You can buy a thermal water bag at the pharmacy or make one at home. Just heat the bag in the microwave for about 2 minutes and then place on the problem area for 15 to 20 minutes. Placing a bottle of warm water on the problem area will also do the magic. Note – the temperature should be warm, not hot. If you use hot water, it will be quite difficult to fall asleep.
Do some stretching before bed
A compressed nerve can be extremely painful making it hard to get a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, there are some exercises that you can do to make it easier to fall and stay asleep if you have a compressed nerve. The pain worsens when you stay a long time in the same position. With this in mind, mild exercises are welcome. You can do some stretches while lying on your back. Another exercise is to pressure up. Just lie down with your elbows resting on the bed directly below your shoulders. Next, lift the chest and extend the back from the corner to the neck. Hold the posture for 30 seconds to complete a rep.
Alternatively, place your knees to the chest as if you’re hugging them with your arms. Hold this position for 30-45 minutes until you get some relief. Finally, you can do lumbar arch exercise. Lay on a flat surface facing upwards with knees bent and feet resting on the floor. Press the pelvic area against the bed and hold for 5-10 seconds before returning to the initial position. Only do some mild exercises to avoid raising your body temperature and heart rate.
The golden rule of thumb is to avoid sitting for many hours without moving. Activities such as watching television or working at a desk can make things worse and increase the pain. You should alternate between sitting and taking short walks. If your career demands that you sit for long hours use the best sitting position for sciatica. When you take a few steps a day, you’ll increase the blood flow to the nerve and reduce the inflammation.
Invest in a good pillow
According to research, we spend 33 percent of our lives sleeping- a good reason to invest in a good pillow. Just like a mattress, a good pillow is the first guarantee of good night sleep. If you wake up with neck or shoulder pain, maybe it’s time to change that pillow. Get best pillows here.
Turning your head to one side creates a lot of stress on your neck and shoulders. To avoid this, you need a thin pillow that allows your head to rest on the mattress. But how do you know the right size? First, the height and thickness will vary according to the position of the sleeper. Secondly, the width should not exceed your shoulders. Stomach sleepers should invest in a 10-inch pillow while side sleepers should invest in a 15-inch pillow. It’s important that you take care of it to lengthen its life. Turn it over often and wash 2-3 times a year.
Sometimes, sleeping on the side exacerbates the pain. A pillow will keep you rolling into your side. If you’re a side sleeper, you should place a contoured pillow between your knees.
Try sciatic massages before you go to sleep
The sciatic nerve is located under a muscle located under the buttocks. When the muscle narrows it pinches the sciatic nerve causing tingling and numbness in the leg. Therefore, a massage that puts pressure on the irritated and inflamed areas can relieve pain. Visit this helpful article on benefit of massage therapy.
This is one of the best techniques that can bring instant relief from sciatic pain. For example, you can try palm sciatica massage by placing your hands on the lower back. Rub towards the spine and then head towards the buttock area. You can also put your hands in your waist and around your sides.
Knuckle sciatic massage
It involves bending your feet and knees on the floor. Put the fists on the lower side of your back and keep this position for 1-2 minutes.
Find the best position to sleep
Now that you’ve prepared your sleeping surface, it’s time you find out where you can sleep best. It all depends on how the sciatic nerve is punctured. Your sciatic nerve extends from the lower back to your hips and buttocks. When this nerve is compressed, it can cause pain and numbness in these areas. First, try sleeping on your back. Use the pillow to help you find the position you feel comfortable in. The knee should point at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees. By assuming this position, you can easily align your spine.
Again, depending on the position of the pinched nerve you can try sleeping on your stomach. Some people may find relief by sleeping face down. Similarly, you can lift the head on the bed. Use this method if you feel more comfortable than lying on your back. It’s always better to raise the whole head on your bed instead of relying on pillows. But if you cannot raise your head, use several pillows to elevate the upper part of your body. If you keep shifting your sleeping positions, you’ll feel some discomfort which may worsen your sciatica. Don’t despair if you don’t get some relief within a few days because there is no sleeping position that works for everyone.
Keep a sleep routine
An adult should have more than 8 hours of restful sleep. It’s important that you maintain some sleeping guidelines. To put it succinctly, you should set the hour to go to bed. Apart from that, avoid using screens (mobile phones, computer, and television). Even if you’re not feeling asleep, try to read a magazine or a book. Another factor that may interfere with your sleep routine is taking too much caffeine. If you have to make coffee, do so 3-4 hours before bed. The best way to improve your emotional state is exercising at least 6 hours before bed. To check whether you’ve developed good sleeping habits, you should sleep and wake up the same time every day.
Ice sore areas before going to bed
Placing an ice pack on the hip reduces inflammation of the joints. You should hold this bag over the affected area for 15 minutes several times a day. If the ice pack seems too cold to bother you, wrap it in a towel and then place it in the sore area. Now you know how to prevent sciatica pain while sleeping.
Take pain medications
Medications for pain in the sciatic nerve are prescribed by the doctor. They include analgesics, anti-convulsant medications, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, and anti-inflammations. Some can be purchased at the pharmacy, even without a prescription. But when the condition is very severe and you don’t even get to stand, sit or walk, the doctor can recommend some injections for one week. Usually, these symptoms occur on one side of the body.
Use a recliner chair to get rid of sciatica pain
Posture plays a key role in the prevention of sciatica. When you sit, you put a lot of pressure on the lower back. Therefore, the poor sitting position can cause compression of nerves around your spine. If you want to keep sciatica pain at bay, you should buy a good recliner chair. A recliner provides better support of your spine and the lower back than a regular chair. You may also use high quality comfort Catnapper recliner for few time rest
You’re probably asking yourself; how can I sleep with sciatica and back pain? The best method that gives lasting results is using a recliner chair. It’s ergonomically designed to offer optimal support on your spine. When you combine with the above tips, you’ll definitely find a restful and restorative night’s sleep. If the pain doesn’t go away in 6-12 weeks, you may want to seek some professional help.