Legs Hurt More While Lying Down? Here’s Why

East Cobb Physical Therapy, GAWhen you have had a difficult and long day, you look forward to a good night’s rest. When you have lower back pain, you may find that lying down may not provide all the relief for which you were hoping. If you experience leg pain when you lie down, there could be a few different things happening.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Pain felt in the calf muscles, buttocks or thigh could be a sign of peripheral artery disease, or PAD. Although the pain can occur throughout your leg, these are the most common areas. PAD can impede your ability to walk and the pain can range from mild to severe.

The symptoms of this progressive disease can also occur during the day; however, some may only experience them during the night when they are resting. This is considered a cardiovascular condition and requires a doctor’s attention.


Another condition that can cause leg pain when you lie down is Sciatica. Pain radiates from the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body, traveling from your lower back all the way down to your feet. Pain from irritation of the nerve can be limited to the buttock or travel the extent of the nerve. This pain is usually sharp.

When the sciatic nerve is pinched, becomes irritated or inflamed, it causes pain. It can be pinched from compression caused by a herniated disc. Bone spurs can lead to sciatic pain. Discomfort can also be caused by tightening of the piriformis muscles.

When you lie on your back, the opening where the nerve root comes out of the spinal column is decreased. If a bone spur or herniated disc is causing the problem, this position exacerbates the pain if it pinches the nerve root.

Elevating your legs slightly can reduce the pain. This position takes the pressure off the lower spine and opens the passageway, allowing the nerve to exit without impingement.

Lying on your side can cause pain when the position puts direct pressure on the side of the lower back with sciatica. If you are a side sleeper with sciatic pain, turning over to the other side should help relieve your discomfort. Keep your spine in alignment and sleep with a pillow between your legs. Curving the spine to the side can cause more pain.

If you are experiencing sciatic pain and would like help with pain relief, make an appointment with Sovereign Rehab. Our professionals provide caring, gentle care. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you manage your pain.

Posted on behalf of Sovereign Rehabilitation

Sovereign Rehabilitation – Atlanta Physical Therapist
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Suite 225
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 835-3340
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