What to Look for in a Pillow if You Have Sciatica


woman sleeping peacefully

Sciatica is a painful fact of life for many people.  For some, it’s temporary.  Others suffer with it needlessly, when they could find relief in the bedroom in the form of a pillow.

If sciatica is robbing you of a good night’s sleep, it’s time to give some thought to the pillow you’re using.  This blog is about what to look for in a pillow if you have sciatica.  These tips can support you getting a better sleep and when you sleep well, life tends to go much more smoothly – even with sciatic pain.

A good foundation

Before we dive into sciatica-friendly pillows, let’s look at the surface you’re sleeping on.  Your bed should be firm and supportive.   Too soft and your spine isn’t getting the support it needs and that can mean pain that won’t allow you to sleep.

Give serious thought to the quality of your mattress and whether it’s making your sciatica more painful than it needs to be.

Wedge pillows

Wedge pillows mimic the form of a reclining chair.  Place one at the head of the mattress and one just in front of where your backside goes, to elevate the legs.  This positioning removes pressure on the spine and the sciatic nerve.

Made from high density foam, these can be placed directly on the bed and stored during the day.

Pillow configuration

Two substantial pillows may be placed under your head, with two flatter pillows under your knees.  This has a similar effect to the wedge solution outlined above.

Again, the position relieves the pressure which is causing you pain.

Contoured pillow

If you feel most comfortable sleeping on your side, a good solution is a contoured pillow designed to fit between your knees to keep them apart.

This strategy helps to keep your spine in alignment, reducing pressure.

Similarly, a very large pillow works for side sleepers.  You can manipulate the right pillow to be simultaneously under your head and across your chest, keeping you in position.  You may even want to use both the contoured pillow and the large pillow for maximum sleep comfort.

Preventative placement

If you’re waking yourself up because of rolling on your side in your sleep, preventative pillow placement may be the answer for you.

Position a pillow on each side of you.  They’ll help prevent you from rolling over in the night, keeping you on your back.  Used in conjunction with pillows under the knees and an extra pillow under your head, this is a solution that works for a lot of sciatica sufferers.

Back & Body Medical

Our clinic in Manhattan is centrally located for your convenience.  Our multi-disciplinarian model, implicating chiropractic, sports medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture has won awards because it works.

We treat all kinds of musculoskeletal pain here, including the nerve pain associated with sciatica.  We know that every patient is different, so we create personalized programs of care to bring relief in a patient-centered environment.

Are you losing sleep due to sciatic pain?  Contact us.








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