Sleeping Positions for Sciatic Pain

Updated March 23, 2017

Irritation of the sciatic nerve causes pain in the lower back, which can radiate down the back and thigh and even past the knee area. Irritation of the nerve can be from an adjacent bone hitting the nerve, a tumour, muscle inflammation, internal bleeding, an infection or an injury.This type of pain can make it increasingly uncomfortable to sleep, but there are several options you can try in order to get some much needed rest.

First lie on your side, whichever one is more comfortable for you, on a flat and firm mattress.

Place your head on one or two pillows so that your head is even with your spine. You want to keep your back and neck in as straight a line as possible.

Next, bend your knee that is furthest from the mattress upwards toward your hips.

Place two or three pillows undern your knee so that your leg is supported.

Try and sleep in this position for as long as you can. It will help alleviate the pressure on your lower back and hips, and also reduce any swelling on the nerves in your lower back.


If you are not able to lie on one particular side, you can also try sleeping flat your back with pillows underneath both knees and your legs elevated. This position will work similarly by keeping your back flat and putting less pressure on the lower part of your back.


If the pain continues, or you are unable to walk or move, you will need to see a health care professional to have your back evaluated.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-5 pillows
  • flat, firm mattress
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Lauren Farrelly has been writing and producing for television since 2003. She has experience covering sports, business news and general news events for CNBC, ESPN and Bleacher Report. Farrelly has a BA in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University.