Are you having trouble finding a sleep position when experiencing a bout of sciatica? Our physicians and physical therapists at Spine & Orthopedic Center are sciatica pain specialists. Our highly trained and certified physical therapists specialists have put together an article on the best pillows and sleeping positions for someone living with sciatica.
Sciatica can be extremely uncomfortable, especially with the stabbing and burning pain it comes with. When someone experiences this type of pain, it can lower the quality of your night’s sleep and even affect productivity at work. However, there is a certain type of pillow or arrangement of pillows that can help you sleep better.
How to sleep well with sciatica:
Find a Firm Sleeping Surface
Before you buy a new pillow, first check your sleeping surface. When sleeping with sciatica, you should lie on a firm surface every night (even if it’s not your personal preference.) This is important because your spinal alignment benefits from the support given by this type of surface.
Create a Reclining Position for Maximum Support
Add a two-piece wedged cushion to give you a reclining position. This props up the back while elevating your legs and relieves pressure on the lumbar spine’s nerve roots. By doing this, it can help you fall asleep peacefully and sleep throughout the night.
Use Plump Pillows
Unfortunately, the two-piece wedge cushion mentioned previous can be a bit costly. However, if you are looking for something on the lower budget side consider using two plump pillows and two flats ones. Place the plump pillows behind your shoulders and one or both of the flat pillows under your knees. By doing so will raise your legs and give you sciatica relief.
Pillows on the Side
It is common for sciatica to cause excruciating pain when sleeping on your side. To avoid this, put pillows around you and this will ensure you lie on the back throughout the night. The pillows will prevent any accidental turning while sleeping.
Contoured Pillow between the Knees at Night
Another option for you if you are a side sleeper is to use a nicely contoured pillow between the knees. This pillow offers reduced pressure on your lumbar spine by keeping the body aligned.
Large, Customizable Pillow
Not everyone can have the luxury of this next one but if you are considering this as an option, it is a great one. This large pillow can be placed under your head and against the chest to keep you comfortable as you sleep. A customizable pillow is the best as it allows you to change the density and height until you feel comfortable.
A Pillow below the Hips
If you are a stomach sleeper, it is advised to attempt to sleep in a different position. However, if you always end up on your stomach or if you find that you can’t fall asleep in this position, use a flat, firm pillow under the hips to help align the spine. For the head avoid using any pillow at all or if necessary a flat one to prevent straining the neck.
Sciatica Pain is Manageable
Sciatica pain is manageable and taking care of how you sleep can help relieve discomfort. Using the right pillows and positions can help you get a better night’s rest. Hopefully, the above article helped you decide on the right pillow and sleeping position for your pain level.
It’s important to note that most people think sciatica is a condition, however, this is not correct. Sciatica actually is a cause from an underlying condition, such as a herniated disc. If the pain worsens or does not subside within a few weeks, it’s advised that you contact a specialist, such as an orthopedic to find the condition causing your sciatic nerve pain.
If back pain still persists after lifestyle changes have been made, contact Spine & Orthopedic Center for more information on orthopedic and physical therapy options, at 888-409-8006.