Are you looking to sleep better and fight sciatica? Learn the best and most effective sleeping positions here.
Back pain can be debilitating and will often lead to sleepless nights. Some of the backache pain cases are caused by sciatica.
Sciatica is an excruciatingly painful condition that arises when the sciatic nerve is triggered. According to the study, lower back pains conditions, such as sciatica, contribute the largest to disability cases.
People suffering from sciatica face numerous challenges every day. One of these challenges, perhaps, is the lack of quality sleep. If you are suffering from sciatica or have chronic lower back pain, here are a few sleeping positions to improve your sleeping schedule's quality and duration.
Additionally, let's also look at some of the effective ways to manage the condition and lead a quality life.
What Causes Sciatica?
As mentioned above, sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve gets agitated. This agitation usually leads to pain in the lower back region, so it is often confused with strained muscles and various other injuries.
According to research from the NIH, Sciatica's leading causes are irritation to the sciatic nerve, lumbar stenosis, herniated discs, or tumors. Unfortunately, it may take some time before you can be properly diagnosed, as you'll likely get misdiagnosed in the first few instances.
What Are the Best Sleeping Positions for Sciatica Patients?
Have you been diagnosed with sciatica? Or perhaps you've been diagnosed with another lower back condition, but you suspect sciatica? Here are a few of the best sleeping positions for sciatica patients.
Sleep on the Side With a Pillow Between the Knees
In most cases, if you're suffering from sciatica, lying on your back often feels uncomfortable. If this happens to you, you should try shifting to your side.
For this sleeping position, you'll need to ensure your either one of your shoulders is touching the mattress. This posture should flow right along the body, with the whole body resting on one side.
Then, place a small or medium-sized pillow between your knees. If your waist is slightly elevated or not in touch with the mattress, you can place another small pillow on your waist for added support.
You should always shift the side you sleep on to avoid other conditions, such as scoliosis or muscle imbalance.
Placing the pillow between your knees works great as it aligns your spine, pelvis, and hips.
Sleep on the Side Using the Fetal Position
If you are suffering from a herniated disc, sleeping on your side while curled, such as a fetal position, can be immensely beneficial.
To execute the sleeping technique, lie on your back, and gently roll to the side. Bring your knees closer to your chest, tucking them as you curl the torso towards the knee's direction.
Similarly, to the pillow between your feet sleeping position, remember to switch the side you're sleeping on frequently.
This sleeping position is especially effective if you are suffering from a herniated disc. Herniation occurs when the usually cushioned discs in your spine slip out. This can often lead to weakness and recurrent pain symptoms.
Sleep on Your Belly With a Pillow Placed Under the Abdomen
For a long time, this has been a controversial position. This is because the position of sleeping on your stomach is said to be bad for you. However, if this is your favored sleeping position, there's what you can do to get the benefits of a long and quality night's rest.
Put a pillow right under the lower abdomen and pelvic area. This will help relieve any pressure from your back. You may further adjust the sleeping position by putting another pillow under your head, but this is purely optional.
Sleeping on your stomach helps relieve stress and pain in the discs. Consequently, if you're suffering from degenerative disc disease, this is a beneficial sleeping style.
Sleep on Your Back with a Pillow Under the Knees
The simple majority of people enjoy sleeping on their backs. If you are one of these, you can enjoy sleeping on your back and experience little to no pain.
For this sleeping technique, lie on your back, flat on the mattress. Put a pillow right under your knees, maintaining the spine's natural position. You can also curve the lower back for the best results.
Sleeping on your back distributes the weight evenly across your body. Consequently, this reduces the stress and lessens the strain on pressure points. This sleeping position is also known for along the spine with internal organs.
Related, How to Train Yourself to Sleep on Your Back: Just Need 4 Steps
Sleep on Your Back Using the Reclined Position
If you happen to be diagnosed with isthmic spondylolisthesis, you may be asked to sleep on a chair or in the recliner position. Specialists will also advise you to invest in an adjustable bed, your best bet on quality sleep.
This sleeping technique will help you relieve the pressure on your spine. That said, you should consult a medical professional before you start lying in this position.
Additional Tips on Best Sleeping Positions for Sciatica Patients
This information aims to help you get quality sleep, even if you're diagnosed with sciatica. The sleeping positions mentioned above will help you sleep better. Herein are a few additional tips to improve the quality of your rest.
Invest in a Quality Mattress
Usually, the best bed is medium-firm and supports all the body's pressure points while you sleep. These are the knees, shoulders, neck, hips, and the back.
Check here to know more about the mattress.
Sleeping on the Floor May Help
Some anecdotal evidence claims sleeping on the floor using a towel or yoga may help reduce sciatica pain. However, while you can try this easy method at home, there's little scientific backing on the claim. Perhaps try and see if there's a chance.
Read more, The Research of Sleeping On The Floor
Exercise Before Sleeping
If you want to sleep faster with little to no back pain, cultivate the practice of exercising in the evening, just before you go to bed. Simple exercises that utilize the knees, hips and back will go a long way in helping you sleep.
A Warm Bath Helps
Another anecdotal remedy known to reduce sciatica pain is bathing in the evening. The bath stimulates the production of endorphins while simultaneously relaxing your leg and back muscles.
Sciatica is a terrible condition that can lead you to years of suffering. While more research is needed in the area, these sleeping positions and tips will help you sleep better and manage sciatica.