Is Sleeping in a Recliner Good for Sciatica?

Ever wondered why sometimes even when taking a quick nap or simply unwinding on your sofa after going through a tediously long day you still feel discomfort around the buttocks region?

Well, chances are you are suffering from a pinched sciatic nerve which implies no amount of restful slumber could rectify your problem unless and until you use an appropriately sized recliner.

However, being regularly asked by my colleagues and friends, is even a good idea? Or is it just a marketing ruse to hype up the sales of these “so-called glorified sofas”?

Well, the answer to your query is pretty much a mixed bag and is nowhere near a one-liner, implying in order to shed some light I need to explain it in detail down below but first let’s understand what exactly sciatica is.

Understanding Sciatica & Its Root Cause

As Anticlimactic as it might sound, Sciatica itself is not a disease but more of a symptom, in fact, it relates to a specialized nerve that runs across from our buttocks regions down to our lower torso i.e. legs.

It’s by far one of the biggest nerves wrapped around our spinal cord, so once it’s pinched or compressed for a variety of reasons, it could possibly wrought upon a whole host of issues and discomfort.

These issues range from basically a handful of reasons which are listed below.

1. Pregnancy

You read that right, pregnancy being the top culprit behind a pinched sciatic nerve is certainly giving every other “mom-to-be” a run for their money, fortunately enough it’s only temporary in most cases as the effects of pregnancy usually last around 9 months or so.

For obvious reasons, the sciatic nerve is pinched due to hormonal interference and physical changes which causes the anatomy, especially around the hip to swell abnormally which eventually causes compression around the spinal region.

2. Spondylolisthesis

Besides pregnancy, Spondylolisthesis is the second biggest culprit in which the vertebrae slip inwards causing the nerve to become compressed or even pinched in some scenarios.

The reason behind Spondylolisthesis ranges from injuries, birth defects, or sports-based wear and tear and might require surgeries to rectify the issue.

3. Degenerative Disc Disease

DDD is also a spinal abnormality that happens due to aging as the shock compensation system of the spinal cord especially around the hip or pelvic region corrodes due to wear and tear or micro-injury.

As the name suggests, it’s the degeneration of the disc which might happen due to genetic disorders or even pulling heavy objects which directly impacts the sciatic nerve operations causing tingling and numbness around the legs.

Is Sleeping in a Recliner Good for Sciatica?

Whether your pinched sciatic nerve is due to genetic disorders like degenerative disc disease or due to disc herniation because of a sports injury, sleeping in a recliner is by far one of the best substitutes to rectify your problem related to the sciatic nerve.

However, here are some workarounds you need to perform first,

1. Look For Proper Lumbar Support

It goes without saying that a recliner without a lumbar support is pretty much useless because not only does it assist your spine but it will also alleviate pressure on your buttocks, nullifying the effects of pinched nerves.

So make sure you invest in an appropriately sized recliner that contours your spine regardless of the orientation you are sitting on.

2. Use A Foot Stool

To further alleviate pressure, especially across your pelvic region, make sure you use an ottoman especially if you are planning to sit on it for a longer duration of time.

This will not only prevent nerve compression but Will help you regulate blood from your upper to lower torso with minimal obstruction.

3. Use A Back Massager

Massager modules are an absolute Godsend since they will reduce stiffness as well as decompress the pressure on your spinal region in a natural manner.

If you aren’t tight on a budget, sleeping in a recliner is by far one the best approach to ease the pain and discomfort caused by sciatica, given that it has a built-in massager.

Make sure you adjust the sensitivity to suit your needs because you don’t want to cause more harm than good especially if your nerve is pinched due to a sports injury.

4. Pillow Support

This might seem rather trivial considering the fact that even mid-tier recliners now offer a decent amount of upholstery or padding, if by any chance you do feel discomfort make sure you use small pillows or cushions to provide support, especially across your buttocks region.

Make sure whenever you are taking a nap your buttocks and thighs are flexed upwards with a tad bit of elevation to promote healthy blood flow.

Bottom Line

Sciatica is a condition that affects everyone differently considering the fact that it could arise due to a whole host of reasons which include but aren’t limited to weight gain due to pregnancy, disc herniation due to injury or genetic disorder, Spondylolisthesis or Spinal stenosis.

Regardless of the reason, whenever I am asked Is sleeping in a recliner is good for sciatica, I always answer in an affirmative manner because recliner has been proven fruitful results in rectifying this issue, just make sure you only adjust the backrest and the seat appropriate that is suitable for your needs.