BPS #052 Why Does Sciatica Get Worse At Night

Today, we’re going to talk about why does sciatica pain get worse at night? But before that, I want to take some time and just talk about date night, okay? Just bear with me guys. I’m going to stick to the topic, but this is important.

Like I told you guys, I’ve been married for 15 years. We’ve been together for 20. We have two beautiful kids, and we love our kids you know, but sometimes as a parent, the parents need to be alone. For the first few years, until they were like eight, nine, ten, we didn’t really do that, me and my wife. The kids were more or less always with us, but now when they’re older, we can actually have time for this date night.

So it doesn’t need to be fancy or anything, but take some time. If you’ve been in any relationship, especially if you’ve been in a long relationship, go out with your partner and do some stuff where there’s just the two of you, that you need to spend time.

It’s easy between work and kids and relatives and friends and all of that, that that gets lost in the mixture. So this has made a big, big — it’s a big thing in our lives and it’s date night. I just recommend it. So go out and date whoever you’re with, and do it special, like once a week or every second week, but just do it.

Okay, guys. Back to the topic. Why does sciatica get worse at night? First off, we’re going to give you a bit of a backstory here. I’m going to talk about Carol and Carol is 32 years old. She has two kids, four and six. She has a work in an office. She’s married and for the last past two years, she had sciatica pain, bad sciatica pain.

After her second kid, she had an MRI and it showed that she had a herniated disc, two herniated discs on level L4-L5, L5-S1. This has just been horrible for her. The pain she had, she’s describing as throbbing pain in her left leg, a burning sensation, and she’s telling me that it’s like lava is running through her veins, like lava you know. It’s just crazy.

You can see it. She’s tied to take in Voltaren. She’s taken all kinds of different pills, trying to reduce this pain, but it’s really, really making her sad, depressed, she’s stressed, and she doesn’t really know what to do.

So she’s sleeping, right now, that’s her biggest problem. She’s sleeping like maybe three or four hours a night, and this is making her really cranky. Her eyes are all puffy. She has these brown rings around her eyes. Her skin is bad and she’s doing all these kinds of things but the thing that really messes her up is she’s taking these pills.

And now like for the past six months, she’s taking this Oxycodone. That’s really some strong stuff. This is also making her even more moody, and she doesn’t really recognize her own personality anymore. So she’s struggling, and she’s really hit a wall. She’s visited a chiropractor. She’s been to the physiotherapist. She’s been to the osteopath, personal trainer, orthopedic surgeon. She’s been around. She’s tried yoga. She’s tried pilates. She’s done all this stuff and a lot of times when she visits these people and do these exercises, she’d get more pain.

So she’s very confused and angry around this. So she came to me to my office and we had a chat about it. First off, I told her, Hey, Carol. I don’t have magic hands. I can’t like reduce all your pain like this. So let’s just try to tackle the most important thing first.

Okay, what’s your biggest problem in your life right now? She said it’s the sleep. I think if I’m able to sleep more, my mood is going to improve and I’m going to feel stronger, all put together. So we’ll say let’s focus on the sleep.

The first question she had, I mean, why does my sciatica increase so much while I’m trying to sleep and go to bed? So I explained this to her and it’s very easy really. The pain increases, when you have sciatica most times anyway, because when you’re lying down, you can have an extra pressure on the nerve roots between like one and there’s one to five nerve roots in the lower back.

Depending on how you lie or depending on what kind of bed you have, you can have more pressure on maybe one or two, maybe three of them, depending. So first off, we needed to sort that out. So I gave her a few links where she’d go out on eBay and get these orthopedic cushions. One cushion is a big, big cushion that it’s almost like a partner that you have next to you so you can lie on your side and you can put your leg up and you can put your arm up so your spine is more straight.

Also there are smaller cushions where you can put just between your legs, and that puts less stress on the lower back and the nerve roots. Then I also told her you know, just save some money. Just go and get like five or eight cushions randomly from your house. You can just put them in your bed so you can mix it around a bit when you’re going to go to sleep.

I also recommended her to get a TENS machine. A TENS machine is a little electronic machine that you can put on your back with pads and that more or less like takes away a bit of the pain, for a short period of time, but it’s good. So she’s using that before, when she’s in bed and she’s going to bed, she’s reading something. I also told her to read something that’s not work-related like some fiction or something to let her brain just disappear out and think about other stuff.

So she’s reading for 20 minutes, and she’s also using the TENS machine and she has these cushions in her bed. So just doing you know, after like three or four weeks, she got back to me and she told me I’m sleeping better now, Robin. I’m sleeping at least like five, six hours a night and that’s like after each other. I’m not waking up all the time and it’s making a big change in my life. I’m not as moody anymore. I’m more happy. I’m more joyful. And that’s made a big, big shift for her.

So will Carol’s pain go away altogether? I don’t know guys. It’s just moving in the right direction. This is something that you, if you are suffering from sciatica and other back pain, you need to think about. You can visit a lot of different professions and everyone’s going to give you input, but you need also to take charge over your own back pain. You need to think about it and try stuff out and if things like are causing your more pain, you need to do less of that and more of the other stuff.

For Carol, we tried first off, to walk you know. She should walk in the morning for 40 minutes. That was too much so we decreased that to 20 minutes. So she’s walking 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening, and she’s using these cushions in bed, and using the TENS machine.

That’s like the stuff that’s helping her right now. So guys, think about that. Take charge of your back pain. Try out stuff that’s working. Do more of that and do less of the stuff that’s not working.

I love you guys. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Robin BackPainExpert

Physiotherapists & Back Pain Expert

Twenty years ago I was lucky to survive a serious hockey injury. In a sport where big men zoomaround on hard ice and solid wood sticks are slung furiously, a difficult back injury is what every player fears.
It took a long time for me to climb back to a normal life. But when I did, I was determined to spend the rest of his life helping back pain victims everywhere.
As a physiotherapist and back pain expert I have treated thousands of patients over 20 years, built a respected back pain clinic, created the site BackPainSecrets.Com and authored the book “Back Pain Secrets.”
Learn more about me here.