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How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain And Sciatica

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt In Bed

Tips on How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain and Sciatica.

Your lower back hurts in bed because your spine is not in the neutral spine position.

A mattress that is too soft or saggy can cause your back to round and induce a spinal disc to push against your sciatic nerve.

You might be sleeping in a position which twists or contorts your spine, which can also cause a disc to push out.

The mattress might be too firm and push against your pressure points, getting your spine out of neutral alignment.

Or tight hip flexors could be causing your low back to arch too much.

What Type Of Mattress Is Best For Sciatica

Most mattresses available today fall into one of the five categories listed below. Mattresses of a given category will share some common qualities thanks to their similar construction.

Of course, there is plenty of variation within each mattress type depending on design, materials, and other special features. Nevertheless, understanding the basic differences between mattress types can be a useful way of narrowing down which mattress is right for you.

Risk Factors For Sciatica

Certain individual and lifestyle factors can increase a persons risk for sciatica and exacerbate the resulting pain or discomfort. Increased age is a primary risk factor. Being overweight or obese can be another factor. The extra weight adds stress to the spine, which can trigger sciatica. Having diabetes may also be a factor as that condition can generally cause nerve damage.

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Certain occupations may also lead to increased risk for sciatica. Jobs that require heavy lifting and unusual movements may cause damage that results in sciatica nerve pain. Prolonged sitting such as at an office job or while driving a motor vehicle for extended periods of time, can also increase the risk of developing sciatica.

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The Best Sleeping Positions For Sciatica And The Worst One

There are no doubts about it sciatica is painful and can cause a lot of discomforts, mostly because of the sciatic nerve issues. The affection is more and more common these days, mostly because of unhealthy lifestyles that target the back plus, injuries and accidents may also cause the problematic medical condition.

There are lots of difficulties patients must deal with, from leg pain and lower back discomfort to sensations that will affect the quality of life. The affection can be healed naturally, while most severe cases may require surgery. One of the common issues with sciatica relates to the sleeping position. Some positions can reduce the pain, while others aggravate it. Now, what are the best sleeping positions for sciatica?

Finding the perfect position can be a bit tricky. You try everything and no matter how you sleep, there will always be some issues. You try to sleep on a side, but you experience pain. You go on your back, but your neck feels uncomfortable because of the pillow. There are all kinds of adjustments you need to make plus, you have to consider pressure on other parts of the body too.

Sleeping With A Pillow Between The Knees

The Best Sleep Positions to Fix Your Lower Back Pain

Putting a pillow between the knees can improve a person’s spinal alignment by promoting a neutral sleeping posture. It also prevents the legs from rolling around afterward.

People who wish to try this setup should put their heads and shoulders to the mattress and settle their bodies against it.

Then, bend the knees slightly and place a pillow in-between. Finally, people can put a pillow under the hips, just like in the fetal position, if there’s a suitable gap.

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Best Sleeping Positions For Back Pain And Sciatica

It is very hard to sleep with lower back pain, but you need to find the best solution.

The simplest position you can sleep on when experiencing lower back pain or sciatica is sleeping flat on your back.

You can also elevate your knees and prop them up on pillows for more support.

Sleeping with the aid of neck and body pillows is also a good option.

There is no problem with sleeping on your side other than that of tossing and turning in your bed.

What Causes Sciatica Pain

Sciatic pain is often caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis , or osteophytes . Compression in the lower back nerves causes inflammation and pinching. Injury to the sciatic nerve creates pain in the lower back and down the back of the legs. This can occur suddenly from an abrupt injury or slowly over time from an illness such as arthritis in the spine.

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Avoid These Sciatica Pain Sleeping Positions

Its generally recommended that you avoid sleeping on your stomach if youre dealing with sciatica or other forms of lower back pain.

When you sleep on your stomach, your spine tends to curve toward the mattress. This curvature can put stress on your muscles or joints, especially if you sleep on a soft mattress.

No matter what position you sleep in, its a good idea to avoid twisting your spine or hips since this may put pressure on your sciatic nerve.

Why Does Sciatic Pain Worsen When Lying Down

How to Sleep PAIN-FREE With Back Pain & Sciatica

Sciatic pain may worsen when lying down for numerous reasons.

For example, there might be extra pressure on the lower back because the lower back tends to curve inwards more than it usually does.

Furthermore, lying down can cause pinching to the sciatic nerve, which helps the pain spread from the lower back to the thighs.

The body gets used to certain lower back positions during the day, so when you go to bed and lie down the pain becomes accentuated.

That is why it is essential to use pillows as additional support for your lower back, as well as for the knees and legs.

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Should I Sleep On Floor With Lower Back Pain Does Sleeping On The Floor Help Sciatica

Sleeping on the floor could help with your lower back pain but it might not.

Figuring out how to sleep with low back pain and sciatica is going to vary from one person to the next because everyones body is different. And I dont say that as a cop out. The famous Youtube physical therapists Bob and Brad say so, as well. And youll see varying answers on Reddit.

Fortunately, if the floor is not comfortable, you have a few other ways to make your mattress more firm.

Sleep On Your Back Elevate Your Knees

According toSpine-health, sciatica symptoms flare up when any of the five sciatic nerve roots in your lower back becomes compressed or irritated. Sleeping on your back, especially with your knees propped up on a pillow, minimizes pressure on the lumbar spinal discs and provides relief for many sciatica patients.

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How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain And Sciatica

Written byKirill SajaevinSleep Health

Waking up with a low-back pain is a tough way to start the morning. Back pain is the single most cause for disability worldwide. It may be that your sleeping position or perhaps your mattress is no longer giving your body the support it needs. It can also be that you have an undiagnosed medical condition which can disrupt a restorative nights sleep.So, how do you to sleep with lower back pain and sciatica? It depends on the source of the pain. If you suffer persistent back pain or pain that radiates to other body parts, its time for a visit to your doctor. Your health care provider will ask specific questions regarding the type of pain , location , and when it occurs. All of this information helps pinpoint the cause and subsequent treatment. Lets take a closer look at lower back pain and sciatica.

The One Sleep Position Everyone Should Avoid

6 Best Sleeping Position to Reduce Back Pain

Regardless of the type of pain you have, whether its low back, neck, joint, or related to pregnancy, sleeping on your stomach is not a good idea. This position puts the most pressure on your spines muscles and because it flattens the natural curve of your spine. Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to turn your neck, which can cause neck and upper back pain.

While stomach sleeping is best avoided, getting the sleep you need is even more important. If stomach sleeping is the only way you can snooze soundly, you can ease some stress off your back by putting a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen, and another pillow under your head. If the pillow under your head causes pain, remove that pillow.

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Do Morning Stretches In Bed

Simple stretching exercises can relieve back pain, and there are stretches you can do before you get out of bed.

For example, you can lie on your back and do a full-body stretch when you first wake up. For this exercise, stretch your arms and hands above your head as far as you can, with your legs and feet stretching in the opposite direction. Hold for a few seconds before releasing.

It may also help to stretch out your lower back. To do this, you can bring your knees into your chest and hold, wrapping your arms around them. Then gently rock from side to side.

How To Sleep With Sciatica Pain

Your sciatic nerve starts in your spinal cord and is the largest nerve in your body. It travels through the hips, glutes, and down the back of both legs. Sciatica pain is the result of a herniated disc in the lower back. Spinal stenosis can lead to sciatica and back pain, the narrowing of space between the spine puts pressure on spinal cord nerves causing painful compression pain. Sciatica pain can make it difficult to get comfortable and fall asleep but relief is available through medications, surgery, holistic, and alternative remedies.

Sciatic pain is often caused by a herniated disc

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Sleep In A Fetal Position

This is another helpful on how to relieve lower back pain while sleeping. You just lie gently on your side and tuck your knees slightly toward your chest and curl in a fetal position. It is important that you switch sides once in a while to prevent possible stiffness and imbalances. This position is highly recommended for those with lower back because of a herniated disk. A herniated disk pushes off the natural cushion out of its normal space, hence, the pain and weakness. When you curl into a position, then you open and relax the space between your vertebrae, providing relief in the process.

Is It Necessary To Get A New Mattress Or Pillow For Sciatica

How To Sleep With Low Back Pain and Sciatica – WORKS FAST!

There isn’t a mattress that works equally for everyone. Some find relief in a firm mattress, while others might feel better sleeping on the floor or with an extra cushy pillow and mattress.

People don’t need to get a new mattress immediately if they suffer sciatica pain. Instead, it would be best to try and find the best sleeping position with their current one.

They can use pillows or a topper to find the best sleep positions that mitigate their sciatica symptoms. However, should they find nothing that relieves their sciatic pain, it might be good to consider either a new soft or firm mattress.

A memory foam mattress doesn’t work because they lose their shape too quickly. Side sleepers usually benefit from a soft one. Back sleepers might find a medium-firm one preferable. Lastly, people who sleep on their stomach may prefer a firm mattress to keep their spine aligned.

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How Are Sleep And Lower Back Pain Related

Researchers have long seen an association between lower back pain and sleeping problems, and growing evidence points a two-way relationship in which they can be mutually reinforcing.

Discomfort from pain can be a major barrier to sleep. Lower back pain makes it hard to get comfortable enough to fall asleep or may provoke nighttime awakenings when pain surges.

At the same time, people with sleep problems are more likely to start having pain or to have pain get worse. Experts arent certain why this happens, but there are several potential explanations. Sleep deprivation may impair healing, affect mood in a way that heightens pain sensitivity, or disrupt chemicals in the brain that are involved in how we experience pain.

How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain And Sciatica 10 Simple Tips

Sciatica is a type of pain in the lower back, and it affects a hefty portion of the worlds population, and there is no absolute way to prevent it. It is almost impossible to sleep with lower back pain of this kind unless it is very moderate. Since a large number of people around the world suffer from this condition, it is sensible to know about it beforehand so you can recognize the symptoms if you ever come across them.

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Remember: Alignment Is Key

No matter what position you choose, keeping proper alignment of your spine is the most important part of the equation. Focus specifically on aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips.

You may notice gaps between your body and the bed that strain your muscles and spine. You can reduce this stress by using pillows to fill the gaps.

Be careful while turning in bed. You can get out of alignment during twisting and turning motions as well. Always move your entire body together, keeping your core tight and pulled in. You may even find it helpful to bring your knees toward your chest as you roll over.

Take It Slow When Getting Up

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Taking it slow when you get out of bed can be beneficial. You may want to use your arms to sit up slowly before moving your legs off the side of the bed. Once you plant your feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart, you can stand up slowly, using your leg strength instead of your back to help you up.

After carefully standing, you can further relieve tension by reaching your arms up above your head and stretching slowly from side to side.

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Stop Yourself From Lying On Your Painful Side

So, one side is more painful than the other, but youre prone to rolling around a lot in your sleep. What do you do?

An ingenious commenter on a sciatica forum suggests:

After nights of waking myself in pain, I started wearing workout shorts with pockets to bed and I put a tennis ball in the right one. Now I dont turn on that side anymore!

This simple solution stopped them from rolling over in the middle of the night, and could help you!

Worst Sleeping Position For Sciatic Nerve Pain

There is one sleeping position we havent discussed yet, and thats because it should be avoided at all times: stomach sleeping. Not only is stomach sleeping the worst sleeping position for sciatica, but its also the worst sleeping position for the spine in general. There is essentially no way to sleep on your stomach without putting some part of your spine into an unhealthy position.

So if you have sciatica and youre a stomach sleeper, youll want to avoid sleeping on your stomach at least until sciatica heals. If possible, train yourself to sleep on your side or your back from now on.

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Do Some Stretches Before Bed

Exercising before bed is not recommended as you can quickly find yourself wide awake from the adrenaline rush. However, simple stretches before bed can reduce sleeping with sciatica pain. Many of these stretches can be done on your bed, so you dont even need to wake up for them. These are the best stretches for sciatica:

  • Knees to chest
  • Figure 4 stretch

Train Yourself To Have A Healthy Posture During The Day

Sleep Without Back Pain or Sciatica, Most Important Position to Know!

Think about your daily activities. Which activities contribute to the development of your lower back pains or sciatica? What causes your sciatica to flare up? Does sitting too long or standing for extended periods make your symptoms worse? Do you have a tendency to slouch?

Poor posture and several factors can trigger back pain and sciatica symptoms. Improper body alignment, such as slouching adds extra pressure and stress to sciatic nerves and back muscles. When these muscles and nerves get irritated, signs, and symptoms of back pain and sleeplessness can become more apparent.

If you tend to lean forward or slouch or sit too long, you can benefit from posture correctors or back braces. These kinds of back supports remind the body of the correct way of sitting and aligns the bones and back muscles in the right position.

If your body gets used to the proper body alignment and natural curvature of the spine, there will be less strain on your back, especially when you lay down in bed at night. So, if you have lousy sitting habits or poor posture, consider using back braces and supports.

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Change Your Neck Pillow

Many people sleep on fluffy pillows that provide very little support. Keeping your cervical spine aligned is highly effective at reducing lower back pain later in the evening. Investing in a supportive, high-quality neck pillow can help you avoid suffering from neck pain, as well as lower back pain, and eventually find a more comfortable position at night.


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