A good sleep is a basic requirement when it comes to mental health as well as physical health. However, some serious conditions can affect the quality of sleep. These conditions deprive us the ability to feel well rested keeping you awake all night long. One such condition is Piriformis Syndrome. Persons who have been diagnosed with the condition, report difficulties falling asleep. Therefore, what exactly is Piriformis syndrome and how does it affect the quality of sleep?
This article features the best ways to sleep with Piriformis syndrome. If this condition has been causing you sleepless nights, check out this Sciatica Sleeping Guide designed to help you sleep well. Before we see the best sleeping positions for persons with the condition, first, let us cover what Piriformis is.
What is Piriformis Syndrome?
According to DR Rob of Harvard University, Piriformis syndrome is a painful condition that is caused by an irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve near the Piriformis muscle. The Piriformis muscle is the flat band-like muscle that connects the lowermost vertebrae to the upper part of the leg. It is located around the buttocks area next to the hip joint. This muscle is an important part of the body helping in the movement and stabilizes the hip joint lifting and rotating the thigh away from the body.
What are the Causes of Causes of Piriformis Syndrome?
This pain is commonly caused by compression of the Piriformis muscle while sitting on a car seat or while running. The pain might be caused while climbing the stairs or applying pressure on the Piriformis muscle itself. Here is a summary of some of the recognized causes of this condition.
- An injury
- Abnormal development of the Piriformis muscle
- Abnormal spine alignment
- Leg-length discrepancy
- Sitting for a longer period
- Hip surgery
- Involvement in unusual vigorous exercises
- Foot problems
Symptoms of Piriformis Syndrome
Piriformis syndrome usually begins with a sharp sensation or numbness around the buttocks. The pain gets severe extending to the lower length of the sciatic nerve. The patients will start complaining of sciatica. Some of the symptoms that the patient shows include a sharp, severe, and radiating pain from the lower back or around the buttocks down the back of the leg. These symptoms might appear to be caused by hip bursitis or the disc herniation. However, it is necessary that the doctor examine to ascertain the underlying issue.
Some common symptoms in persons suffering from Piriformis syndrome include:
- Difficulty sitting or pain when weight is put on one side of the buttocks
- Muscle spasm of the Piriformis muscle
- Pain around the Piriformis muscle and during the rectal examination
- The pain of sciatica especially when the hip is moved and rotated outwards against the resistance
Why is Sciatica Worse in the Morning?
Sciatica pain is usually worse in the morning. This is because of the sleeping position causing the nerve to become more painful compared to when you are standing. Being in one position all night long compresses the nerve around the hip area. The condition is likely to improve after you get up and move around for a while. Research has shown that injury vectors for the lumbar disc are combined compression and the flexion that happens when a person hinges in the lower back while lifting or sitting.
In the morning, the pain gets worse making it almost impossible to leave the bedroom. When you sit for breakfast, it is likely to worsen. It gets so painful limiting your ability to proceed with the daily activities. In other words, it is a life-limiting condition
What Stretches are Helpful before Sleeping?
Research has shown that some stretches before you lie on your foam mattress will help patients with Piriformis syndrome. Patients can also seek chiropractic adjustments that help in treating sciatica pain. This is through identifying and correcting the subluxations along the spine area. In addition, the following stretches will help you.
- The Press Ups
- The knees to chest movement
- Posterior pelvic tilt
- Knees to the opposite shoulder
- Figure 4 stretch
These five stretches have been found to be most effective in helping to alleviate the sciatica pain. However, it is important that a doctor treat the underlying cause. Therefore, book an appointment with the doctor so that the cause of these problems will be treated.
The Best Sleeping Positions You Can Try
The sleeping position is also vital in alleviating the effects of Piriformis syndrome. Here are some of the sleep positions that you can try.
Elevating Your Knees
Sciatica is worse when the nerve roots around the sciatic area are compressed or irritated. When you sleep with the knees elevated, you can fight the condition. This helps in minimizing the pressure around the lumbar disc.
Side sleeping on hybrid mattress is a great choice for the people with lower back pain. However, it is necessary that you make some adjustments. Avoid top leg rolling forward to the rest of the mattress as it creates the twisting pressure on the lower back irritating the sciatic nerve. Use one or two pillows between the legs to keep the body from twisting and to support the body.
Sleeping on your Back
Depending on how you do this, it can be a good or a bad choice. Placing the pillow beneath the knees is a very good approach. It is referred to as the supine position helping the patient to maintain natural curvature on the spine. It is much more comfortable placing a rolled towel under your back.
This is the worst sleeping position as it causes the back to arch in unnatural position. It is also a major contributor to back pain. This is because it causes a stretched back while it works against gravity.
Does Alternating Positions Help With the Symptoms?
Alternating the sleep positions will not help with the symptoms of piriformis syndrome. this is because at one point, the pressure will be on the point that is hurting. therefore, it just a temporal for dealing with the issue but it will not help the back pain problem.
The best approach for treating sciatica pain is seeking the attention of the doctor. This helps to treat the underlying cause rather than deal with the symptoms. Contact sciatica pain doctor today.