Many people worldwide complain of lower back and leg pain due to sciatica. This condition is a spinal-induced nerve pain that radiates from the lower back to the buttocks, legs, feet, and toes. It may occur with lower back pain, but it may also affect only the lower extremities.
Many patients seek sciatica chiropractic treatment near Alberta, and each patient reports varying symptoms of sciatica. In general, the pain originates from the location of the pinched or irritated nerve. One key feature of a sciatica diagnosis is having the problem arise from the spine, usually near the lumbar or sacral spinal regions.
People who suffer from sciatica experience the following symptoms:
- Pain caused by a particular position or may happen without cause
- Muscular spasms
- Acute and debilitating or dull pain
- Dull, chronic pain that does not get better
- Symptoms that may be predictable or may move around often
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the lower limbs
- Pain in the groin, knees, calves, thighs, ankles, feet, and backs of the legs
What Causes Sciatica?
There are many reasons for sciatica to develop. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Physical injury
- Herniated disc
- Spinal curvature
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet joint syndrome
- Piriformis syndrome
Sleep Struggles: How to Sleep with Sciatica
Like in any condition that involves pain, one of the most challenging things to do when suffering from sciatica is finding a comfortable sleeping position. Nearly all people have gone through back pain at some point in life, but some suffer from it so often that finding relief is like a never-ending battle for them.
Many people don’t realize, however, that their sleeping position is a substantial contributing factor to whether or not they will experience some intensity of pain during sleep. Below are some suggestions to help you achieve a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
Before implementing this, it is important to take note that habits are hard to change, especially those that have been implemented for years already, so this method may take patience and perseverance. Other health conditions you have are also worth noting as these can also affect the pain you experience.
For Those Who Sleep on their Sides
If you are a side-sleeper and are looking to ease the symptoms of sciatica, then you might have to make a bit of an adjustment with your sleeping position. Sleeping on your side almost automatically makes your top leg rest on the mattress or the lower leg. This causes a twisting pressure on your lower back, which irritates the sciatic nerve.
A proper adjustment would be to use one or two pillows between your knees when sleeping. This reduces the twisting of the body and adds support, keeping the spine and leg in a neutral position. Additionally, sleeping on your left side helps alleviate heartburn.
For Those Who Sleep on Their Back
Sleeping on your back may be quite tricky, since it may be a good or bad choice depending on how it is done. Sleeping in a supine position by placing a pillow beneath your knees is good for your back and sciatica. This helps maintain the natural curve of the spine and does not put pressure on the lower back.
However, sleeping on your back with no pillows and support puts you at risk for great pain. Without support pillows, the spine is set in a flexed position overnight, which may aggravate sciatica in some people. However, it is essential to note that placing a support pillow under the knees is not a good choice if you snore or suffer from sleep apnea.
For Those Who Sleep on Their Stomach
Stomach sleeping is something that can lead to pain. Not only does it cause your back to arch in an unnatural position, but it also causes your neck to strain when you move it on the side to breathe. It also works against gravity. However, there are some people who find sleeping on their stomach the most comfortable. If you absolutely cannot avoid this, then make a slight adjustment by putting a pillow under your belly or under the pelvis to assist the back in maintaining a slightly more natural position.
Natural Relief for Sciatica
To maintain the best possible shape of your spine, you may visit us here at Align Health and Wellness in Calgary, Canada. Surprisingly, doctors have found a connection between sciatica and misalignments in the bones of the upper neck. When misalignments on this part occur, the spine twists in an unnatural position to keep the head at eye level. This causes several issues on the spinal column, including the irritation of the sciatic nerve which leads to sciatica. We treat this misalignment using a gentle and natural method that does not involve cracking or popping the spine, and this continues to bring positive results to many of our patients.