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Choosing the Best Sleep Positions When Dealing with Sciatic Pain?

Sleep is essential to your ongoing health. Experts recommend you get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This is when your body recovers, repairs itself, and processes the actions of the day. Failing to get enough sleep will reduce the power of your body to heal and it is likely to make you irritable as well as less likely to remain focused on any task.

However, when you are in pain, you may find it hard to get comfortable and sleep properly. There are two solutions:

  1. Take a painkiller just before bed
  2. Find the right sleep position for your pain, in this case, sciatica

It is important to note that everyone is different, you’ll need to try several sleep positions to find the one that best suits you.

Understanding Sciatica Pain

The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back to your knee before it splits into smaller nerves. It is the largest one in the body. Most people that suffer from sciatic pain have an issue with their lower back. This places pressure on the nerve and causes pain to shoot up and down your leg. The smaller sections of the nerve actually end in your foot although the pain is generally felt in your lower back, hips, and thighs.

Sciatica is usually a result of a herniated disc, the narrowing of the spinal canal, or instability in your vertebra. It can also be a result of inflammation, commonly a reaction between fluid leaking from your herniated discs and the surrounding tissue. To avoid complications it is best to see a neurosurgeon when you’re suffering from sciatica.

Sleeping On Your Side

For most people, the best approach to get sleep is to sleep on your side, specifically the side that isn’t experiencing sciatic pain. This alleviates pressure on the leg, back, and nerve, reducing or even eliminating the pain while you sleep. It can help to surround yourself with pillows or cushions to help you maintain the position overnight. You may also find having a cushion between your legs helps to hold the upper leg in position, reducing the pain still further.

Curling Up

This is usually a good position if you are experiencing a narrowing of the spinal canal. In this instance, the pressure and pain are a result of the nerve being compressed by the canal. By curling into a ball, you’ll shorten the canal and allow your nerve to relax. It will alleviate the pain and can even reduce inflammation as your sciatic nerve isn’t under tension.

On Your Stomach

This position doesn’t work for most people as it means you have to turn your head and this can cause neck pain. However, if this isn’t an issue you’ll find that sleeping on your front causes your back to arch and this can relieve the sciatic pain. Remember, everyone is different, try all the positions and use the one that suits you best. If you’re wondering whether to change your mattress then you probably don’t need to, this is another personal decision as different sufferers prefer different hardness of mattresses.

Alice Jacqueline is a creative writer. Alice is the best article author, social media, and content marketing expert. Alice is a writer by day and ready by night. Find her on Twitter and on Facebook!

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