What is a leg wedge pillow for sciatica? A leg wedge for sciatica is a pillow that will help you sleep comfortably when your sciatic nerve is inflamed.
A leg wedge pillow for sciatica should have three main characteristics:
- It should keep your knees slightly bent
- It should keep your back in a neutral position
- It should be firm enough to support your lower body, but soft enough to not put additional pressure on your already irritated sciatic nerve
There are two leg wedges that will accomplish these goals. You pick which one is right for you depending on your preferred sleep position.
For back sleepers: a leg wedge for sciatica
For those who like to sleep on their back, a knee wedge pillow is the best wedge pillow for sciatica. A knee wedge pillow keeps your knees slightly bent. This takes tension off your sciatic nerve, allowing it to rest overnight.
A knee wedge pillow also keeps your back and hips in a neutral position. The problem with lying flat is, lying flat causes your lower back to arch. This puts tension on your back, hips, and in turn, sciatic nerve. Sleeping flat will aggravate sciatic nerve pain.
A leg wedge pillow for sciatica solves these problems. First, it takes the arch out of your low back which relaxes your back and hips. Second, by keeping your knees bent, it keeps your nerve from being over-stretched during the night. This simple positional change reduces tension on your sciatic nerve and reduces your level of pain.
For side sleepers: a leg wedge for sciatica
Side sleepers with sciatica need a between the knees wedge pillow. For best results, a between the knees wedge pillow should have some key characteristics. It should be able to hold your top leg (leg most affected by sciatica) as close to parallel to the bed as possible.
This position keeps your lower back and hips aligned. Maintaining this alignment ensures that there will not be added tension on your sciatic nerve while you sleep. While your nerve is resting, you are resting, and your body can heal.
Another component of sleeping with sciatica is a side sleeper wedge. This small wedge fits in the curve of your waist while you side sleep, maintaining the alignment of your lower spine. Use it in combination with a between the knees wedge pillow for best results with sleeping with sciatica.
A leg wedge pillow for sciatica is an important component of healing from a sciatic nerve injury. It not only helps you sleep, but it helps your nerves rejuvenate so you get better faster.
-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy