Sciatica pain is occurs due to the compression of the sciatica nerve. As the longest nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve runs from the lower back all the way down the leg. This is why sciatica pain is so pervasive, and why it can affect mobility when performing daily activities such as walking or twisting or bending. There are many different ailments that can cause sciatica, which is why it is essential to treat sciatica and the symptoms.
Sciatica symptoms can range from a mild dull ache to an intense and radiating pain beginning in the lower back and often going down just one leg. Some patients often experience a tingling sensation and a limited range of motion in the midsection. It can often affect the gait and ability to walk if the pain becomes too severe.
Causes For Sciatica
If you suffer from sciatica chances are good that you not only have an underlying back problem, but also that you participate in daily activities that exacerbate sciatic pain. The average working person spends too much time sitting down, either working at a desk, hunched over a computer or tablet and sitting behind the wheel of the car. This kind of everyday activity leads to poor posture, which not only places pressure on the sciatic nerve but it causes an abnormal curve of the spine which leads to lower back pain.
Finding A Sciatica Pillow For Relief
If you sit at a desk or behind a steering wheel for many hours each day, you need to maintain what is called a ‘neutral posture’ for the back. This posture puts the least amount of stress on the back, which reduces the pain, risk of injury and can prevent back pain.
One way to grow accustomed to this posture is by making use of a lumbar support cushion. These therapeutic pillows work in both sitting and lying position, helping alleviate back pain. These lumbar pillows come in a variety of sizes, usually wedge-shaped, in order to accommodate many different body types to provide lower back support.
In fact pillows are very therapeutic for back pain relief for a variety of reasons. A support pillow for sciatica can be placed in many different positions, particularly during sleep to relieve pain. Of course a traditional bed pillow can be used temporarily but for the best results a therapeutic pillow is the most effective. Whether you lie on your back, side or stomach at night, a therapeutic pillow for sciatica can be effective.
The key to finding a therapeutic pillow to treat sciatica is placement. For example if you sleep on your left or right side, the pillow should be placed between the knees for appropriate spinal support. The spine should be in the ‘S’ curve that follows the natural curve of the spine wherever the pillow is placed.
What To Look For
There are several important factors one should consider when looking for the right support pillow for sciatica. The first factor is the material the fabric is made of, as this can affect the body temperature and cause skin irritation. You can find therapeutic pillows in memory foam, hemp, cotton and wool. Some places even provide all-natural materials that are hypo-allergenic.
The shape of the therapeutic pillow is another factor to consider. For lumbar support the wedge shape is ideal because it follows the shape of the lower back to relieve pain and re-align the spine. But there are many other shapes for lumbar support such as the cylindrical roll, but they only work for certain types of back lumbar pain.
Do your homework and consult a physical therapist or spine expert before purchasing a therapeutic pillow to make sure you find what works best. There are travel size support pillows, inflatable pillows and posture pillows that keep the spine from misalignment.
In the meantime, a rolled up pillow, towel or blanket can provide similar support. Keep in mind though that a solid pillow is most effective because it doesn’t flatten or distorts under hours of pressure. Therapeutic pillows for sciatica are just one tool for pain relief and should never be a substitute for a full pain therapy plan.
Written By: Updated: July 12,2011