You may have wondered, what is sciatic nerve pain? Sciatica is a pain that radiates down a nerve called the sciatic nerve. It can so be agonizing to deal with that sleeping becomes an arduous affair. Sciatica has a number of causes, many of which have easy remedies, but these things take time to heal. Luckily, there are some things you can do when dealing with sciatica that can help you get your sleep back on a comfortable track.
1. Change Your Mattress
Your mattress probably isn’t causing your sciatic nerve problem, but it might be aggravating it. Although your incredible memory foam mattress may be comfortable, it’s not really supporting you.
Instead, you need something suited to your sleeping position that aligns your body. Consider an orthopaedic mattress, which will be far more equipped to deal with your problem.
Here are the types of mattresses various types of sleepers need:
- For stomach sleepers: A firm mattress for bodily alignment;
- For people who sleep on their side: A softer mattress is best, but it needs to support your shoulders and hips;
- For back sleepers: A medium-firm supportive mattress is best. You need the support from head to toe.
2. Invest in a Body Pillow
If you sleep with a body pillow between your knees, it will line up your spine up in the right way or your body, as well as your hips and pelvis.If you don’t want to invest in a body pillowright now, try using a regular pillow, or a thickly bunched portion of your blanket. Anything that’s comfortable and keeps your parts aligned should help with pain.
3. Raise Your Knees
Sometimes using a pillow for alignment just doesn’t work. Instead, you’ll have to get creative with your positioning.
Start on your back with a pillow under your bent knees. Add more and more pillows until you can relax comfortably with as little pain as possible. It may take some getting used to this new sleeping position, but it’s worth it if it eases your pain.
Wrapping yourself in warmth and relaxation can release endorphins which fight pain, as well as relax muscles. There are muscles around the rootof the sciatic nerve that could do with some relaxing.
A warm, pleasant bath before bed can do wonders for your sleep later that night. Pair the bath with a hot water bottle on your lower back before bed, and you should really be relaxed and relieved. The hot water bottle can work on its own, too.
Just be mindful of the temperature of the water bottle. Always strive for warm, never hot.
5. Wear a Patch
A pain-relieving patch can alsoprovide you with substantial relief from your troubles. There are patches that last for up to eight hours that you can apply to your back and leg right before bed.There are also creams that work in similar ways, containing menthol or capsaicin.
Do you ever stretch and feel some pain, but when you stretch through it the pain lessens? A handful of slow, easy stretches can get you a small amount of pain relief right from your bed.
Here are the stretches you should consider:
- Bringing your knees to your chest;
- Lifting and tilting your pelvis;
- Lifting your knees to your opposite shoulder;
- Stretching in a figure 4 shape.
7. Use Ice
Instead of heat, try icing your painful spots before you go to bed. This works well when you are particularly sore. Don’t do it for more than 20 minutes at a time though.
8. Get a Massage
An at-home sciatica massage can relieve tension in your muscles, therefore reducing the amount of pain you feel. You can invest in a partner’s help for this, or you can go solo and use a tennis ball for your relief.
9. Pick a Side
Do you move around a lot in your sleep? This may be causing even more pain. When it comes time to go to bed, find your best side and stick to it. The side position that brings you the least pain will bring you the best sleep. And better sleep leads to less pain later. It’s a cycle.
10. Use a Neck Pillow
A firm neck pillow can provide support that may help relieve your pain.Firm pillows can help keep your spine straight and keep pressure off of your lower back, which can do wonders for your sciatica.