Sciatica at night -sleeping position and other tips needed

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My sciatica was triggered two weeks ago by my putting on my socks while I was sitting on a step. Since then, I have been on an assortment of pills, but I am trying to get those down to just ibuprofen. I have a hip support on during the day which helps me walk, but the pain is excruciating at night when I try to sleep. The pain is mostly n my right leg, groin, and hip. I was wondering if anyone who is reading this could recommend a sleep position or whether to use pillows or a heating pad or ice,  or any tips to get through the night.  It seems like all I do is thrash around at night, or get up and walk around just to relieve the pain.

        I am in my early sixties, and I never thought I would have this much pain in my life. It is worse than labor pains because it goes on and on, for me, weeks now. The odd thing is that the doctors have only examined me during the day when the pains are milder. They can't see the agony I go through at night. I have been reading the posts on patient.info about sciatica, and I noticed that others have the same problem. It's like other people think we are blowing this out of proportion.

The only good thing that is coming out of this experience is that  the bad feelings, jealousy, and resentment, I've had for other people have gone. I used to get upset more about petty things. They don't mean anything anymore. 

 

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Regina,

    I had hip revision which i got sciatic nerve damage from that surgery. Ever since i have been in horrible pain. Like you muy pain is worse at night , so what i do is sleep on my side with pillow between my legs and i use heating pad.

    I started taking new medication at night called gabapentin does help so i can sleep. I also take norco and anti-depressant . hope this helps I feel your pain take care let me know how your doing

    God bless

    Jackie

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    • Posted

      Please check for interactions with all those meds.  Your anti-depressant may be very dangerous with certain ones like Cymbalta.  My wife got Serotonin Poisoning from that combo...really bad.  Also, gabapentin puts on weight like crazy.  There are alternatives.  Ask your doc...

      And see a chiropractor for your sciatica!!!!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Chico Marx,

      I have sciatic nerve damage from hip surgery revision that i had 4 yrs ago. I lost my job and have been on disability ever since. I have been through months physical therpy chiropractor and acupuncture. Nothing helps depression was getting real bad i take prozac low dose gabapentin 100mg in which I refused to take for 2 yrs . but pain getting worse my doctor said to try 100mg at night and i do sleep better. Im all for alternative approach but did nothing for me. Everybody different and there differently are side effects but i need to sleep

      Jackie

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    • Posted

      OMG...your problem is from surgical damage.  Can anything be done to repair that?  Have you seen a good, REALLY good, neurosurgeon? 
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    • Posted

      Hello chico marx,

      Im in California nobody seems to want to clean up somebody's else's mess. Been to one neurosurgeon not so good. I know definitely have nerve pain but I'm also walking with cane . going to neurologist in couple weeks for emg test . lots of things going on Just do disappointed you know.

      Jackie

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    • Posted

      Do the research...find a great one.  I was fortunate in that my step-daughter is one of the top trauma nurses in Fort Worth and knows who all the best doctors are.  My guy has done one laminectomy at L4/L5, one TLIF fusion at L3 through S1 plus one LLIF fusion for stenosis at L2/L3.  That last one was amazing!.  He went in from the side (lateral), 90-minute op, immediate relief when I woke up, one night in the hospital, no brace, no rehab.  Incredible technology.

      You have to find the best guy in your area.  Only a neurosurgeon can address the problem...if there is a fix.  I pray there is...

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    • Posted

      Dear Jackie, 

       Thank you for your kind words. My typing is not so good this morning because I had bad stabbing groin pain in my lower right abdomen last night. I tried to sleep on the good side with a pillow between my legs, but after staying in that position for a few hours, my left side of my jaw hurt. Do you stay in the same position all night?  Also, do you use a big pillow or a thin pillow?  Is it to line up the leg with the spine?

      I had been worried about a week ago that the groin pain might have been from my appendix, so I had gone to the emergency room. They did  a CAT scan and said the appendix was OK. The groin pain seems to subside if I get up and walk around or sit at the computer. That's why I am writing to you now. 

      The doctor I saw a few days ago, who reviewed my MRI, is a neurosurgeon. He said I should get better in 4 weeks and is recommending physical therapy.. In the meantime, II sufferr, I guess.

       

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    • Posted

      Hello Regina,

      I sleep with thin pillow to fluffy uncomfortable. I do toss and turn still the gabapentin 100mg. I started taking does help with nerve pain. Walking does help me to i need cane because my left hip is so weak. I would get copy of your mri and seek second opinion physical therapy might help if you haven't tried yet. What medication are you taking for pain?

      God bless let us know how your doing

      Jackie

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  • Posted

    Go to a chiropractor.  Period.  Stop the drugs.  I've had sciatica more times than I can count.  The only time the chiro couldn't fix me was when I had a bone spur "crushing" (doc's word) my sciatic nerve root at L4.  Took a laminectomy by a neurosurgeon to fix that one.  Else, all chiro.

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    • Posted

      My x-ray showed a bone spur, too, but the doctor (a neurosurgeon) did not seem to be worried about it. i've been decreasing my ibuprofen each day - it does not seem to be working anyway.

      I am in my sixties now. although I grew up with the mindset that chiropractors are the last resort, I see that some of my friends are going to chiropractors. But I am still not sure what they do. How do they manipulate the spine? Can they hurt the spine? Why don't the insurance companies cover them?  Are the chiropractors more effective once the initial pain is over, or should you go to them right away? How often do you need to see a chiropractor? The rest of your life.?

      So many questions. The doctor at the emergency room told me just to stay mobile. But without a restful sleep, it's tough. .Do you have a preferred sleeping position?

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    • Posted

      Chiros are a great, non-invasive way to address problems caused by misalignment of your pelvis, hips, spine, etc.  Example: Carry a fully loaded backpack over one shoulder for a week.  Result: neck and back pain.  The uneven weight distribution threw out the alignment of your spine and neck.  In the case of many people with knee and hip replacements, we change our "gait" to compensate for the joint pain.  This will throw out hips, pelvis, lower spine and/or SI joints potentially pinching the sciatic nerve,  All of these issues can be fixed by a chiropractor...sometimes immediately, sometimes over the course of a few weeks.

      I played hockey for 45 years and some falls while practice skating with rollerbladed on cement led to "trauma" resulting in severe sciatic pain.  Chiros have this "pretzel twist" maneuver that fixes this problem in 10 seconds.  Then again, sciatica from locked SI joints after my TKR took a month to fix.

      The only time a chiropractor can't help you (neither can all the crappy drugs the docs throw at you or visits to a pain doc) is a physical bone spur in your spine pinching the sciatic nerve root.  This has to be fixed by surgery...period.  Mine happened at L4/L5; only a neurosurgeon can go in there, perform a laminectomy and provide permanent relief.  Same day surgery, immediate major relief, inflamed nerve subsided over the next week, no rehab.  Easy peasy.

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  • Posted

    I have tried sleeping on the floor to sleep on a harder surface and I want to get a firmer mattress as I have read that will help. I also take Gabapentin for the last 3 months and haven't experienced any weight gain. Everyone is different with meds and try what works. I hope you can get a good sleep soon. 

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    • Posted

      Don't get a firmer mattress...think about a sleeep #.  Hard, soft, anything in between.  Set it to 100% and then soften it when you need to later.  Mine is great...

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    • Posted

      I try to sleep on my back but I also roll to my right side and put pressure on my right leg which is where I have pain. I put a pillow between my legs when I sleep. I have a friend that uses a mattress topper and that has helped.

      I would be cautious to a chiro doesn't necessarily help everyone. It did not help me and when I went for IMS with another chiro, he told me he would not treat me that way as if would make me worse.

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