Sciatica, Back Pain and Sleep: How to get relief from back pain and sciatica so you can sleep

by coachz on March 9, 2009

Back Pain and Sciatica: Three things to do to lessen the impact of back pain and sciatica when trying to sleep.

As noted previously, I’ve had 14 major back surgeries in my life. I can tell you this, until I learned a combination of of three things I am about to share with you, and used them nightly, and religiously, I still had back pain and sciatica throughout the night., every night. In fact, the pain was so bad at times, there were nights I couldn’t sleep at all. No matter what what I tried, no matter what position I was in, there were times when nothing helped to alleviate the back and sciatic nerve pain. Nothing helped until I combined the following three techniques, anyway. The three strategies are ice, exercise, and position. If you apply these three strategies, together, each and every night and not leaving anything out, even for an evening, you will begin to experience peaceful sleep as never before! The fact is, you don’t have to do a lot of any one of these three but you do have to so the proper amount of all three…all the time.

The first strategy is to ice the area affected by back pain, and the source of the sciatica (L3-5), with an ice compression brace. The brace is easy to secure and the resulting back pain and sciatica relief is almost immediate, usually within 15 minutes to a half an hour…tops! The nice thing about these back braces is that you can wear it around the house or even to bed with little or no discomfort at all. The ice compression brace keeps constant pressure on the affected area and the continuous cold helps to reduce inflammation, usually a source of back pain and sciatica. Ice compression braces range in price from $39.95 up to about $200.00. You do not need one that costs $200.00. In fact, the most expensive one I’ve seen, one just under $200.00, is big, bulky, and not the sort of thing you’d want to put on before bedtime. Stick with the cheaper ones, they work just as fast for relief of back pain and sciatica and are usually more compact, making it easier to wear to bed, if you want to do so.

The second strategy mentioned above is exercise. I am not talking about weightlifting here, I am talking about a tailor-made program of exercises and stretches, designed specifically for back pain and sciatica sufferers. The exercises, as noted previously (see other articles and posts in the series), are not the ones they hand you as they push you out the door after back surgery, they are designed and individualized specifically for you and your needs. There are several practitioners dealing in this sort of specialized, back pain and sciatica relief program. The cost for this sort of thing is reasonable, usually much less than the cost of time away from work or for cost of medication for pain. If done properly, and without the other two strategies, pain relief can be anywhere from a few days to a couple of hours. If exercise is done in concert with ice and positioning, relief may be instantaneous.

Third, and probably the most effective in the short-term, is positioning. The best way to position yourself, the only way to relax at all when the back pain is really bad, is on your side. Now, not just on your side but on your side with a pillow (a decent one not a flat thing) between your knees. Then, put one or two under your head, so the head and neck are in line with the rest of your spine, and then a pillow in front of your belly. The one in front of the stomach is to keep you from rolling over on your stomach, and also, it allows you to roll forward just enough to take the pressure off the hips from time to time. That’s either 3, 4 or 5 pillows, depending on the thickness and how much pain your in. The pillows can be simple, everyday pillows you have at home. You do not have to go out and buy pillows specially made for back pain and sciatica sufferers. The relief from this technique is immediate…try it!

The three techniques mentioned above: ice, exercise, and positioning, when used together can be a powerful combination for fighting, and beating, back pain and sciatica. The fact is, any one of these methods will give you some relief, some immediate and some down the road. The combination of factors, however, yields results that will be immediate and long lasting…no more back pain and sciatica.

Good luck!

For Great Ice Compression Braces!

Good exercise programs for sciatica and back pain:

John Zajaros, “The Bad Back Guy”
Skype: johnzajaros1

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