Getting out of bed with Sciatica

Getting out of bed with Sciatica

Hopefully after my last blog you have been sleeping better so, as promised, here are my tips on getting up in the morning.

Making that effort to get out of bed in a morning can be difficult at the best of times, but doubly so when you are suffering with sciatic pain.

When I suffered my acute attack of sciatica I always started with some gentle exercises of my ankles and lower legs while lying in bed, as getting the joints lubricated with synovial fluid before putting weight on them reduces the pain of stiff joints when getting up.

Stage 1

  • Lying flat on my back with a pillow under my knees to reduce the pull on the sciatic nerve, I would start by just gently pointing my toes away from me and then pulling them back towards me repeatedly for at least ten repetitions.
  • This was then followed by rotating my ankle joints clockwise for ten reps and then anti-clockwise again for ten reps.
  • Next, keeping my feet and knees together, and keeping my heels on the bed, I would bring my feet back towards my backside for as far as I could without causing pain (forget the ‘no pain no gain’ mantra – you don’t want to aggravate the nerve)
  • Next I slowly and gently would sway my knees from side to side, letting them go as far as they could before I started to feel the twinges of sciatic pain.
  • I also found, whilst doing these exercises, that by keeping my head flat on the bed this helped to keep the pain at bay. If you tilt your head forwards this pulls on the sciatic nerve and causes pain.
  • Next I would bring the knee on my good side (left, in my case) up as high as I could towards my chest, and then repeat on my painful side (if possible, before I felt the first twinge of sciatic pain; remember that pain is bad!!).

So now I would have loosened my lower back on to stage 2

Stage 2

  • I would ball my fist and place it under the buttock of my painful side and let it press in to the piriformis muscle, which runs across the middle of the buttock. This helps to relax the muscle, which can be the culprit in causing sciatic pain, because when it is in contraction it presses on the nerve as it passes through the buttock. If this increased the pain then I would stop!
  • Usually by now I was feeling ready to get out of bed, and to do this I would roll onto my side with my arm and hand under my thigh, so that as I swung my legs off the bed I would press my thigh against my hand, and my arm into the bed which would act as a lever and assist me in sitting up on the edge of the bed.

Again, I hope this proves helpful to you, and in my next blog I will give tips on getting dressed, which can be extremely difficult if you have no one to help you put your socks on!

Regards for now,


June 25, 2017 Sciatica, Self help
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