Sciatica Support Group

Sciatica is a term meaning pain that originates from compression of the sciatic nerve, the longest and largest nerve in the body. If the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed (perhaps by a bulging disc in the low back) a patient may experience leg pain--the classic symptom of sciatica.

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How do I sleep with SCIATICA!

My pain is on the right side all the way down to my heal. THis all started about 2 months ago and this attack is my worse one yet. This is my 3rd attack in 15 years. The first attack was on my left side and it lasted 3 years. Last year I had a few months affecting my right side. My biggest problem is sleeping because I can't turn myself over. The pain shoots all over and I can't use my right leg to change positions. I'm a side sleeper so I have been only sleeping on my left side but after a few hours I have to shift. When I try to lay on my back my leg throbs under my knee and in the calf and I can't get to a comfortable position without pain. I do use a pillow between my legs but it doesn't help. This is making me crazy. Then trying to get out of bed is just about impossible and very frightening because it takes so long and don't know what I would do in an emergency. I have to get up 3 hours before heading out the door so I can walk sort of normal. Anyone with similar problems or any suggestions?



Hi ~ I've had severe sciatica for 21 years (straight) so I know what you're going thru. Sleep comes at a premium.

For me, sleeping on my side is quite difficult because it causes 'stress' on the sciatic nerve. Mine is on the right side, so I'd like to sleep on the left ~ but it causes "pulling" on the nerve, so I end up sleeping on my back.

When you sleep on your back, you MUST have pillows under your knees ~ as many as you can get. I've got one of those foam wedges that are built just for this purpose, and it helps immensely. It takes the pressure off your back, and also the legs.

You're right, when sleeping on the side you must have pillows between your knees. I use a body pillow as it's more comfortable. I can't stay in this position very long tho.

When getting out of bed, ROLL your body in ONE UNIT to the side. Then when you're on your side, with the top arm, push yourself up to a sitting position. Once you're half-way up, the other arm can help too. When you're sitting, stay there for a minute or two so you can get your bearings. Then go ahead and stand up. If you use a cane, make sure you keep it by your bedside at night so you can grab it in the morning.

This is the only way I can get out of bed ~ by rolling as a unit and then pushing up. When I go for tests at the hospital, they always grab my hand and try to pull me up ~ ummmm, I tell them STOP IT!! You'll kill me! Leave me the #$%$% alone.

Best of luck. I hope you can get some decent sleep one of these nights. If it gets TOO bad, ask your doc for an OCCASIONAL sleep aid. It's horrible to be up constantly. God bless. Hugs, Lee

Hi there... my sciatica also causes the same problems when sleeping. I wasn't smart enough last year to actively treat it. That's mostly because I'm retired and didn't mind losing sleep, working wasn't there anymore and not a worry about functioning at the job.

But 2 months ago, the sciatica started day and night, and it was excruciating. And then started the journey to find help, which wasn't easy because there are so many treatments, doctors, ideas on how to get rid of sciatica. I still don't know if it ever goes away.

But after chiropractic, pt, and finally pain killers and anti-inflammatories, I can write this saying that I'm 90% better. Thank God! I'd been against taking meds all along, but finally the pain had me crying when I got up, crying all day, and that isn't life. The meds did work and only stayed on them long enough to get relief. Right after that I started on Celebrex and the inflammation that caused the sciatica from my lower back down the leg has all but disappeared. It seems to have gone as mysteriously as it came.

I guess what I'd say to you is to really look for help, don't wait, and if one doesn't work, one doctor doesn't give it the attention it deserves, move on. Shop around, just like you would for a new car or furniture... except health is much more important and needs the best.

Please let us know how you're doing with treatment.

I agree with the other posters completely! They gave some great advice. The only thing I can offer is I take Zanaflex instead of a sleep aid. It is a muscle relaxer that knocks me out most nights. It helps to not feel so foggy in the morning as well as it helps spasms. I hope the great advice given in the precious 2 posts helps and that you find relief soon. Have you had an MRI? Good luck and keep us posted!!!

Much love and understanding,

*** previous not precious although you both are quite precious to me!!!

hi !
I sleep with a pillow between the legs and that helps me out alot while i sleep.
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