An integral component of a successful treatment plan for sciatica is to get a decent amount of restful, restorative sleep. If your pain is serious, then, finding a comfortable place and falling asleep and/or staying asleep through the night can be a challenge.
There is an abundance of available literature suggesting different positions or items for sleep, but much of this is anecdotal. Here are useful suggestions to help you find relaxation and regain control of your sleep routine, backed up by medical evidence.
Restricted evidence indicates that it could be beneficial against spinal pain to sleep on your side. If you are a side sleeper, it can help to relieve pressure on the spine by putting a pillow between your thighs or legs.
Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent to adopt this procedure, and position between your thighs/knees a normal bed pillow, a body pillow, or a wedge pillow.
Sleep location is a vital consideration for both body alignment and comfort in selecting the right pillow. Fortunately for customers, for particular sleep positions, several pillows are numbered.
A pillow should support the natural curvature, or lordosis, of the cervical spine while lying on its back, with sufficient support under the head, neck, and shoulders. The height of the pillow should be smaller than for side sleepers.
It further alleviates any back strain by adding another pillow or two under the knees. The pillows help to flatten the lumbar curve and, in the back of the spinal column, relieve the pressure on the facet joints.
This position is the best overall to comfortably help the back relax, and many people feel this is the only way they can sleep after a prolonged bout of back pain or after spine surgery recovery.
A pillow should support the head and neck while lying on one side so that the spine retains a horizontal line that is straight and normal. Sleeping on one side requires a thicker pillow than sleeping on the back.
It holds the spine in a neutral position by bending the knees and putting another pillow between the knees. The upper leg rotates downwards, dragging the pelvis and distorting the normal line of the spine when there is no support between the legs. This downward rotation is typically best avoided by a firm pillow between the knees than a softer pillow.
The most painful position for the back and neck is lying on the stomach. Patients may be recommended to avoid sleeping on their stomachs by their physicians if they have some problems in their spine or after spine surgery.
The pillow should be reasonably flat if sleeping or lying on the stomach is preferred, or the head should rest directly on the mattress, so the head and neck are not strained. In this location, to help the lower back maintain its natural balance, it is always best to put another relatively flat pillow under the abdomen or pelvis.
Sleeping on your back or stomach may increase the risk of lower back pain, likely because the amount of pressure on the small joints in the back of the spine is increased by such positions. Try sleeping with your knees slightly bent if you’re a frequent back sleeper.
Lie flat on your back and stay in touch with the bed with your buttocks and feet.
Bend your knees towards the ceiling slightly.
Behind your feet, slip a cushion. Add additional pillows slowly until a comfortable knee and lower back position is reached.
To raise your knees, pillows of various sizes, densities, and contours can be used. Standard bed pillows, cylindrical pillows, or wedge pillows are a few examples. Depending on the amount of firmness chosen, you can select between memory foam and down pillows.
Research indicates that using a medium-firm mattress will help alleviate discomfort in the lower back. During the night, a mattress can keep the spine well-aligned. A mattress that is too hard for side sleepers does not allow the shoulders to fall enough, and a mattress that is too soft allows the heavier pelvis to sag excessively, all of which contribute to a badly balanced spine and probably more discomfort and stiffness.
To give it a test drive, consider checking out a new mattress that comes with an extended money-back guarantee.
Adjustable beds have moved beyond health care environments and are widely used at home. Prices have decreased, there is more flexibility, a range of features have been introduced, and fresh designs have been introduced so that they do not look like hospital beds.
Adjustable bed designs differ, but usually, the upper body and legs can be raised or lowered by the person. By moving most of the weight off the back, this placement can be effective in minimizing back pain.
Usually, the foundation for an adjustable bed is sold separately, although some firms offer a combined unit. The base usually suits a large range of mattresses. They do not need box springs.
Adjustments may be achieved by remote control to lift or lower portions of the bed. The number of adaptations varies. The more choices, in general, the higher the cost (and the more items that can fail or break).On some versions, features available include:
There is evidence that beds that allow you to monitor firmness actively (custom inflatable / self-adjustable) can enhance spinal alignment, quality of sleep, and back pain, so you don’t have to make a final firmness decision, and you can even adjust the mattress depending on your current sleep position. Some flexible mattresses have several zones that provide even more control for customers.
It is a method of trial and error to find the correct sleep position; no single sleep position works for everybody. Keep experimenting and you could find that your sciatic pain is minimized by a new position and helps you to sleep through the night.