Sciatica is a spinal-induced throbbing pain that radiates from the lower back into the legs. It’s characterized by symptoms such as numbness in the lower limbs and muscular spasms. When you have sciatica, sleeping can be a nightmare. And if you don’t address the root cause of the problem, this can be an ongoing battle. Instead of relying on over-the-counter medications, you can make a few lifestyle changes to combat the problem. Here are some helpful tips on how to sleep with sciatica.
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Best Sleeping Position For Sciatica Pain
Patients suffering from sciatica will toss in bed trying to pick a comfortable position. When you learn the best sleeping position, you’ll eliminate the pain and inflammation associated with sciatica. It’s important that you give yourself several nights to know what works for you.
Sleep on your back and elevate your knees
Lying on your back is the best position for patients with sciatica pain. It minimizes pain on the pressure points and distributes weight throughout the body. In addition to that, this position ensures there is a good alignment of the neck and spine. When you add a pillow under the knees, your body maintains the natural curve of the spine. If you’re not comfortable with this position, try to roll a small towel and place at the back. Avoid using additional pillows as they may put you at a greater risk of pain.
Sleeping with a pillow under the stomach
While this is believed to be the worst sleeping position, it can be used by patients with sciatic pain who struggle with other positions. Once you place a small pillow under the stomach, you improve the spinal alignment. Without a pillow, you’ll wake up feeling more pain in the morning.
Sleeping on the side with a pillow between the knees
If you’re experiencing sciatic pain, you can sleep on the side and place the pillow between the knees. This restores the natural alignment of pelvis and spine.
Best Way To Sit At The Desk With Sciatica
Although sitting for a prolonged period is not good for people with sciatica, you can readjust your sitting posture to ease the pain. If you have an ergonomic office chair or recliner chair in your office, you should ensure both feet are on the floor. Secondly, maintain a 90-degree angle by placing a rolled towel on your back. The perfect position is all about finding what works for you. Alternatively, place a stool under the box to ensure your legs maintain a right angle. Thirdly, adjust the chair to make sure the monitor is at eye level. This will avoid slouching at your workstation. Because sitting for a long period is not healthy for your spine, you should take frequent breaks. And if your chair pivots, use it to move your body as a whole unit. Whether it’s re-positioning your computer monitor or adding a sit-stand desk to your office, you can create a better work environment to relieve sciatica.
How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain And Sciatica
Let’s be honest: it’s the sleeping posture that introduces back pain and not the sleeping position. The secret to relieving sciatica pain is to keep your spine relaxed. Regardless of the sleeping position you choose, you should ensure the spine is aligned to the hips. This maintains the natural curve of the spine. It’s all about the geometry in our body.
One way to sleep with sciatica pain is to lie on your side in the fetal position. Simply tuck your knees close to the chest and curl your torso. Make sure you switch sides to prevent imbalance. Another way is to sleep on your back in a reclined position. In most cases, back sleepers are unable to maintain the natural curve of the spine. To keep your back straight, you should use proper support pillows. When you recline your back, an angle is created between your thighs and the trunk to reduce pressure on the spine. If you’re a stomach sleeper you should place a small pillow below your belly to relieve pressure on the lower back. That way, your spine will maintain the natural curve which is beneficial to patients with back pain.
To ensure you maintain the correct sciatica sleeping position you should invest in a good mattress. Side sleepers should buy a soft mattress that supports the back and the hips. If you’re a stomach sleeper, buy a firm mattress that keeps you afloat. Lastly, back sleepers should invest in a medium-firm mattress to support the full body. Depending on where the sciatic pain is located, you should be careful when choosing your bedside. It’s completely normal to shift from one side to another to find the most comfortable position.
How To Sleep On The Floor With Sciatica
One of the reasons why we experience sciatica pain is sleeping in an unnatural position. But, did you know sleeping on the floor is good for your back? If you ditch your mattress and transition sleeping on the floor, the sciatica pain will reduce. Once you rest on a hard surface, your back will straighten. It works on misaligned discs to eliminate sciatic pain. Furthermore, this position improves blood circulation and frees the arteries from unnecessary pressure. Avoid sleeping on a hard floor for a long period as it may aggravate the situation.
Sitting Positions For Sciatica
If you’re struggling to find a sitting position with sciatica pain, do not fret. The trick is to find an ergonomic seat. Ideally, you should ensure the base of your spine attains the “C” shape to protect your back. It’s important that you buy lumbar support pillows for this purpose. If that position hurts, you can allow yourself to slough a bit. But, if slouching is aggravating the problem, try to sit more upright. While seated, make sure you stretch your legs to improve mobility of sciatic nerve. Don’t forget to take frequent breaks. If your chair does not support good posture, use a recliner seat.
If your chair lacks wide spongy seat it can lead to sciatica pain. So, which is the best chair for sciatic pain? The best chair should be supportive and adjustable. A seat height that ranges between 16-20 inches off the floor can fit people of different heights. You can position the legs to ensure they are on the floor. In terms of width, the seat should be 17-20 inches. Apart from that, it should leave 2-4 inches between the back and the knees. The more adjustable the chair is, the more the benefits.
Another important factor to consider is the backrest. It should be 12-18 inches wide and adjustable in height and angle. And once you’ve determined the appropriate angle, you should use the locking mechanism to hold it in place. That’s not all – you should pay close attention to the lumbar support. A seat with lumbar adjustment will ensure you sit for a long period without slouching. Lastly, the cushioning is very important. Too little cushioning can trigger sciatic pain while too much cushioning can put too much pressure on the hamstrings. Of course, breathable material will keep your back cool.
Massage chair for sciatica
It’s estimated 30 million people with sciatica pain seek alternative treatments like a massage to relieve back pain. This astounding figure has led to the introduction of massage chairs. They have built-in robotics that provides deep tissue massage. A massage chair is designed to give a smooth relaxation by performing vigorous massage techniques. Other than that, it stimulates blood flow to the problem area and revitalizes the massage area. But the most beneficial aspect of a massage chair is to increase the endorphin levels. These are the “good feel” hormones that reduce anxiety and increase pain.
There are two questions you should ask yourself when choosing a massage chair for sciatica: why do I want one? How much do I want to spend? Obviously, you should buy a chair that allows you to customize your massage. No matter the kind of chair you’re looking for, be sure to compare the top-rated products. Try it out and evaluate whether it will meet and exceed your expectations.
A lot of people suffer from sciatic pain – it can be a dull ache or a chronic pain. In most cases, the pain goes away within 6-10 weeks. While this may sound like a short period, it can take a toll of your health. If you can’t find relief through the above self-care practices, consult your physician to determine the best approaches to take.