Why Is Sciatica Worse At Night?

Why Is Sciatica Worse At Night?

This Blog Covers:

  • Sciatica, or lumbar radiculopathy, is a condition that causes sharp, shooting pain in one or both sides of the buttocks and legs.
  • This condition develops when the sciatic nerve is compressed from surrounding muscles, like the piriformis muscle.
  • The pain management specialists at American Spine explain why sciatic pain may be worse at night for some patients over others.

Symptoms of sciatica generally include pain that radiates down the spine toward the buttocks and legs, weakness, numbness, pain that worsens from prolonged sitting, and pain that worsens at night. Many patients with sciatica experience increased pain in the legs and back just before bed. This may lead to insomnia, restlessness, and other symptoms associated with sleep deprivation.

Although frustrating, there are ways patients can mitigate the effects of nighttime sciatica. Before getting into how patients can manage their sciatic pain at night, the team at American Spine is here to explain why sciatica may be worse right before hittin’ the hay. First, patients should consider their daily routine. After a long day of frequent activity and stress, it is possible for patients to experience increased pain right before it’s time to wind down and relax.

Think about it, there are many physical, emotional, and environmental stressors people encounter throughout their day. Moreover, certain occupations may cause more pressure and compression of the sciatic nerve than others, like sitting at a desk all day or lifting heavy objects.

This additional pressure can cause the affected nerves to become more symptomatic at night when it’s time to rest and go to sleep. Or, there could be issues with the mattress or pillow. Various studies have found mattresses should be replaced every 8 years and pillows should be replaced every 6 months or more. With that, it is possible the mechanism for sleeping is to be blamed for exacerbated sciatica symptoms.

Regardless, there are a few ways patients can find relief from their nighttime sciatic pain. Considering implementing the following nighttime routine for lasting relief:

  • Stretch thoroughly before getting into bed.
  • Consider purchasing a mattress topper (or new mattress) if yours is particularly bothersome.
  • Drink chamomile tea to help the body relax.
  • Take a warm bath before bed to loosen tight muscles causing pain.

For sustained sciatic pain relief, call American Spine today! The physicians may recommend one or more of the following treatment options for longer lasting relief:

  • Medication management
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Minimally invasive surgery to alleviate pressure

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.