Are you wondering what mattress is best for sciatica? Sometimes it can be hard to understand which product you should buy; after all there’s lots of different specifications and details… which can often confuse even the best of us!
Generally speaking every body has different needs and requirements when they buy a new bed, as we all come in various shapes and sizes, what mattress may be good for one person, might not be for another. It’s always recommended to get professional advice from your Doctor if you think you may have sciatica, please keep in mind that this article is a ‘general guide only’ and does not replace professional medical advice from a GP/specialist.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a general term which is used to describe ‘radiating pain’ that travels along the path of the sciatic nerve. This pain generally runs from your lower spine through your buttocks and down the back of the leg. It’s also not uncommon for you to feel numbness, tingling, or burning along the nerve. In some cases people have described the nerve pain as electric-like.
Did you know? Five nerve roots from your lower back join together to form the large sciatic nerve; symptoms are usually dictated by which of these five nerve roots is pinched or irritated at any one time.
Of course with any time of medical condition it’s always best to seek professional advice from your doctor. If you have sciatica your GP may suggest exercises and stretches, they could prescribe painkillers that help with nerve pain or they may even refer you for physiotherapy. Please keep in mind though, that physiotherapy from the National Health Service may not be available throughout the country and waiting times can be long.
Best Mattress for Sciatica Study
According to Harvard University : “in the past, doctors often recommended very firm mattresses. But one survey of 268 people with low back pain found that those who slept on very hard mattresses had the poorest sleep quality. There was no difference in sleep quality between those who used medium-firm and firm mattresses.”
This theory seems to be correct, as the US National Institutes of Health ran a study which the outcome stated: “at 90 days, patients with medium-firm mattresses had better outcomes for pain in bed, pain on rising, and disability than did patients with firm mattresses. Throughout the study period, patients with medium-firm mattresses also had less daytime low-back pain, pain while lying in bed, and pain on rising than did patients with firm mattresses.”
So as you can see, firm or very firm mattresses don’t seem to be a good choice for people who experience lower back pain on a regular basis. The US study highlighted that a medium-firm mattress actually had a better outcome.
What type of Mattress for Sciatica do you need?
Please keep in mind, the following items are not ‘recommended’ by us; you should do your own research as to whether they will be applicable for your personal needs and requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions about SciaticaAre you wanting to find out further information regarding Sciatica and how it can affect your ‘everyday’ life – here’s some frequently asked questions and answers to help you along the way. Please keep in mind this page does not replace professional medical advice from a qualified Doctor – it’s a ‘general guide only’.
- How long does it take for sciatica to go away?
This can vary from person to person; generally speaking it can ‘go away’ on its own in a lot of cases. This means surgery won’t be needed for the majority of cases. It’s estimated approximately half of all sciatica suffers see a decrease in their symptoms in around 6 to 8 weeks after they first begin.
- How do you relieve sciatic nerve pain?
If you can’t get medical assistance from your Doctor or its a long wait till the appointment time, then you can do some exercises to help with your symptoms. This can include common yoga positions such as the sitting pigeon pose, reclining pigeon pose, forward pigeon pose, sitting spinal stretch, knee to opposite shoulder and standing hamstring stretch. For more information please visit Healthline.com
- What is the best treatment for sciatica?
Typically your GP/Doctor will be the best person to recommend a good treatment plan for your own requirements. Generally speaking you can use medication such as over-the-counter relievers like ibuprofen, paracetamol and so on. Prescription muscle relaxants to ease muscle spasms which will be prescribed by your GP, antidepressants for lower back pain again prescribed by your GP. Rememeber under UK law, only “appropriate practitioners” can prescribe medicine in the United Kingdom. A prescriber is a healthcare professional who can write a prescription. This applies to both NHS prescriptions and private prescriptions. (Source – NHS )
- What triggers sciatica?
In most cases, it’s caused by something pressing or rubbing on the sciatic nerve in your back. This can include a general back injury, a slipped disc, spinal stenosis (which is a narrowing of the part of your spine where nerves pass through) or spondylolisthesis which is when one of the bones in your spine slips out of position. Of course it’s hard for you to be diagnosed on the internet alone, this is why it’s always recommended to seek professional advice from your doctor.
- What happens if sciatica is left untreated?
If you think you have sciatica you need to visit your doctor, if it’s left untreated it could cause long-term nerve damage that results in chronic tingling, numbness and weakness, loss of sensation, or pain in the affected leg. Over time sciatica pain can often grow, making it more challenging to treat the longer you’ve had it. Equally in some cases, it can compromise the health of your spine, which is directly linked to your bladder and bowel control. When this occurs you may develop incontinence.
- Does a massage help sciatica?
‘Generally speaking’ yes a massage can help to reduce pain/symptoms for a lot of people. Massages are an effective method to relieve pain, this is re-enforced thanks to a 2014 study which found that a ‘deep tissue massage’ may be as effective as no-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs for relieving low back pain.
- Can emotional stress cause sciatica?
There’s no definitive proof that emotional stress can cause sciatica; however some researchers do believe it could be a possibility. After all, anxiety in the stomach/bowels can be affected by our thoughts in our brain, thus some researchers think that the brain deprives the nerves in the lower back of oxygen, resulting in sciatica-like symptoms such as leg pain, weakness and so on.
- Why is sciatica worse lying down?It will certainly feel worse for most people if they tend to lie on their backs, after all they will be pressing the nerves near the lumber, spine and buttocks; this is obviously caused by their entire body weight. Equally sleeping for a prolonged period during the night can greatly increase the chance of pinched nerves; resulting in people being more susceptible to sciatica-like sensations/symptoms.
- How to stop sciatica coming back?
According to the NHS you should stay active which means take regular exercise, you should also use a safe technique when lifting heavy objects and make sure you have a good posture when sitting and standing. Equally it’s also important o sit correctly when using a computer and lose weight if you’re overweight.