Back and leg pain are not uncommon in today’s world, and the types of pain afflicting individuals can vary wildly. But one cause of pain, rooted in sedentary lifestyles and disc degeneration, is extremely common and can make it difficult to get through your day.

Sciatica afflicts a great number of people. The condition can be chronic, coming and going in varied intensity. However, one common complaint we hear at Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV is that our patients’ pain is much worse in the morning.

While you’d think that pain would be reduced in the morning after a full night’s rest and being off your feet, sciatica can be worsened by certain things in your sleep. If you suffer from morning sciatic nerve pain, here’s how you can fix it.

Sleep can worsen sciatica

Sciatica is generally described as sharp, shooting nerve pain down the back, buttocks, and thighs. It may cause tingling and numbness as well as pain, which can make it hard for you to walk or perform normal daily functions.

The condition is caused by the inflammation or pinching of the sciatic nerve root in the lumbar (lower) spine. This can stem from numerous spinal issues, including herniated discs, bone spurs and injuries. Unfortunately, many things can aggravate an already pinched or inflamed nerve, including improper sleep position.

Sciatica is often worse for people in the morning because of the way they sleep. Lying down in an incorrect position can further irritate nerve roots.

This is because of the way the spine rests when you are lying on your back. In this position, the exit spaces in the spinal column, called the foramina, become more compressed. This limits the space nerve roots have to travel through and can worsen the underlying cause of the sciatic pain.

Alleviating morning sciatica

If you’re experiencing sciatic nerve pain in the morning, there are a few things you can do while you sleep and as you start your day to help.

  • Fix your posture: Try to elevate your legs while lying down. This position helps alleviate the pressure of your spine’s natural curve, which may be able to reduce your pain. Place a pillow beneath your knees, or between the knees if you’re sleeping on your side. Additionally, if you sleep on your side, avoid laying on the side affected by sciatica.
  • Stretch: When you wake up, incorporate some simple stretches to your morning routine. Yoga poses like child’s pose, as well as soft stretches of the lower back like pulling one knee to your chest while laying on your back, may help elongate the spine and alleviate some pressure placed on the sciatic nerve overnight.

If altering your posture and stretching don’t seem to work, or you’re tired of managing sciatica throughout the day, visit Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV. Our team of expert chiropractors use Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) techniques for a holistic approach to treating sciatica, lumbar spine pain and much more. Contact us to see how we may be able to help alleviate your pain.

Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.