Sciatica Keeping You Up at Night? Here's How to Relieve the Pain
Sciatica pain can make it difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep. This condition can cause throbbing sensations or sharp pain that runs from your lower back to your leg on one side of your body. Your body needs rest in order to heal, so it’s important to find more comfortable ways of sleeping with sciatica. The following tips can help you out.
Find a Comfortable Sleeping Position
Sciatica pain can become worse when you put pressure on your lower back while lying in bed. Doing so compresses your sciatic nerve, leading to increased discomfort. Avoid positions that cause pain to flare up. Instead, try lying on your side and bending your knees up toward your chest. Place a pillow under your knees to elevate them, which can help ease pressure on your lower back. If you’re unable to get comfortable on either side, try lying on your back with a pillow under your knees. You can place a second pillow under your knees to increase comfort if you need to. If you’re used to sleeping on your stomach, you can try this position, but place one pillow under your stomach and another one under your ankles.
Sleep on a Firm Surface
Sleeping on a soft mattress doesn’t give your back much support. This can lead to more pressure on the lumbar discs in your lower back and more compression of your sciatic nerve. If your mattress is too soft, consider getting a new one that is firm enough to support your lower back. You can also try sleeping on the floor of your room on a towel, blanket or mat if you can’t get a new mattress. Sleeping on a firm surface gives your lower back the support it needs, which can reduce sciatica pain and help you get a good night’s rest.
Apply Heat or Ice Before Bedtime
Soaking in a tub filled with warm water can help the muscles in your lower back feel more relaxed. This can help ease pressure on your sciatic nerve and reduce pain and inflammation, increasing your chance of sleeping better. Other ways to apply heat to the affected area include wearing a heat pack, using a heating pad or lying down with a hot water bottle under your lower back. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep while using any of these, or you could end up with too much heat on your back. You can try applying an ice pack to your back before bedtime if heat doesn’t provide you with relief. Use an ice pack for about 20 minutes before you go to bed.
If you’re having trouble finding relief from sciatica, please contact Capital City Neurosurgery for an appointment with our neurosurgeon. We offer minimally invasive spinal surgery to correct underlying spine conditions that can cause sciatica, so you can sleep better and do your usual activities.