Waking up in pain
Sciatica is caused by compression of the largest nerve in the body. Many people find that this type of pain is at its most severe in the morning time and there is one quite clear explanation for this: as sciatica is caused by nerve compression, any activity that causes such compression is bound to cause you more pain. It is very likely that if your sciatic nerve pain is at its most severe in the morning, you may need to address the way you sleep. When choosing to account for your sciatica with conservative treatment methods like chiropractic, there are three main avenues available to you:
- Address misalignment that is causing the compression in the first place
- Stretch and condition the muscles that could be impinging on the nerve
- Avoid the degree to which the nerve is compressed
The latter is where your sleeping style comes into question. Read on to find out how you can sleep comfortably while accounting for your sciatic nerve pain.
Sleeping with sciatica
If your sciatica is worse upon waking, it could be that the position you sleep in is increasing the amount of compression to the nerve. To account for this, you could try changing your sleep style for a few nights, incorporating the following elements:
- Elevate your knees: when laying with your knees slightly raised, you will minimize the pressure in your lower back, which can alleviate some of the impingement to the sciatic nerve. You can maintain this position without effort by employing a pillow that will remain under your knees the whole night. If this position gives you relief, it is a good starting point for changing your sleep behavior to account for your sciatica.
- Perform easy stretches before sleep and upon waking up: this is the single most important thing you can do to control for sciatica.
- Avoid sleeping on your painful side.
- Choose to be proactive about your pain: ask for a massage from a loved one; apply ice when the pain is at its most severe and heat in times when it is less pronounced.
Most importantly of all, reach out to a doctor!
Don’t suffer alone. At Hayes Family Chiropractic, we are equipped to help you address the real causes of your sciatica and help you make the changes you need to overcome it. From restoring spinal alignment to alleviating tension with massage to demonstrating easy pre and post-sleep stretches, we are Dunedin’s sciatica resource. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.