How to sleep more comfortably with piriformis syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is an irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve caused by the piriformis muscle. This condition can cause mild to severe back pain, tingling, and numbness in the buttocks and along the length of the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down each leg to your feet.

The condition may also be associated with lower back pain since misalignment of the sacroiliac joint often causes it, either due to an injury or repetitive stress such as walking with bad posture.


How to sleep with piriformis syndrome

If you have piriformis syndrome, you may have trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position. The problem can be due to several reasons, including how pain is affecting your sleep, sleeping in the wrong position, or other lifestyle factors affecting your sleep quality.

Here are four tips to help you get a better night’s sleep with piriformis syndrome:

  1. Sleep with a pillow between your knees — This supports your hips and keeps your piriformis muscle from being overworked.
  2. Get a firm mattress — Choose a mattress firm enough to support you but not so hard that it hurts your hips when you lie on your side.
  3. Lie on your back or side — It’s not advisable to sleep on your stomach because this can strain the piriformis muscle and cause pain.
  4. Get a special pillow — Consider using a body pillow or a pillow around your waist to provide additional support for the hips and lower back while sleeping.


3 physical therapy techniques to help you sleep better with piriformis

Learning how to sleep with piriformis syndrome may not have been a successful venture for you thus far. Consulting with a physical therapist is your next best move. Here are three techniques they may use to help reduce your pain:

  1. Spinal manipulation — This method increases flexibility in your lumbar spine by gently moving vertebrae into proper alignment. Improved flexibility can reduce pain and improve your posture.
  2. Soft tissue mobilization — This method can help break up scar tissue and improve blood flow to the affected area, allowing the muscles to relax and contract. Improving blood flow can also reduce muscle soreness and inflammation around the piriformis muscle, helping relieve pain.
  3. Dry needling — This is an effective treatment for piriformis syndrome. Dry needling involves inserting tiny, sterile needles into trigger points on the body to help with muscle relaxation, pain relief and decreasing other symptoms of piriformis syndrome. Dry needling can also improve mobility and reduce inflammation in patients with this condition.


Back in Motion Physical Therapy offers treatment for piriformis syndrome

Are you tired of figuring out how to sleep with piriformis syndrome? Our Back in Motion PT team offers therapeutic care that can help address your pain from this condition. We’ll start by doing a free screening on you to determine the cause of your piriformis pain. Next, our physical therapists will construct a customized therapy program for you that’s designed to reduce your pain and increase your mobility.

Don’t want to leave your home right now? You don’t have to! Our physical therapists can work with you in your own home via an at-home care or virtual therapy session.


Contact us today for more information about the pain-reducing services we offer or to schedule your initial appointment.

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