Are Leg wedge pillows good for sleeping?Those who persevere say yes![2022 Newest]


When it comes to low back pain, the first thing that many people think of is whether it is a herniated lumbar disc.

Because of changes in lifestyle, such as sitting at a desk for a long time, obesity, inappropriate exercise or trauma, etc., the number of patients with lumbar disc herniation is increasing, and they are getting younger and younger. Many people will choose a leg elevation pillow to improve their leg comfort.

According to statistics, about 1/3 of asymptomatic adults have varying degrees of lumbar disc herniation.

When many patients with back pain come to the outpatient clinic, the orthopedic doctor often makes the patient lie flat on the bed, and then straightens the patient's leg and slowly lifts it up. Some patients scream in pain as if they were electrocuted. "Happily" smiled: "It is very likely that the lumbar disc herniated!" Is it so amazing?!

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Origin of straight leg raise

Regarding straight leg raises, we have to start with sciatica. In life, I often hear people say that they suffer from "sciatica", which is manifested as radiating pain from the buttocks along the posterior outer side of the thigh to the outer side of the calf and ankle joint, which can be induced and aggravated by bending over, lifting heavy objects, coughing and other actions.

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, who is regarded as the "father of medicine" in the West, coined the term "sciatica" (sciatica) and attributed sciatica to hip disease;

In 1864, French doctor Lasegue proposed the phenomenon of low back pain caused by straight leg raising in his article "Observations of Sciatica";

In 1881, Lasegue's student Forst detailed the diagnostic value of straight leg raising for sciatica, and named the straight leg raising test "Lasegue sign" in honor of his teacher.


How to check straight leg raise

  1. Put the patient in a supine position, with both lower limbs naturally relaxed and straight.
  1. The examiner first supports the heel of the affected side with one hand, and presses the other hand in front of the knee on the same side to keep the knee straight, and then slowly lifts the lower limb. When the hip joint is flexed to 30-70° (normally up to 80°), if there is pa ain in the lower back or buttocks on the affected side and radiates distally along the pathway of the sciatic nerve, the first step of the straight leg raising test is determined to be positive.
  2. After the pain occurs in straight leg raising, the angle of flexion of the hip remains unchanged, and then the knee joint is slightly flexed to relax the sciatic nerve. If the pain disappears immediately, the second step of the straight leg raising test is judged to be positive.
  1. When the first two steps of straight leg raising are positive, lower the affected limb slightly to relieve or disappear the pain, and then forcefully dorsiflex the foot. If the pain increases again, it is called the straight leg raising test.



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Principles of straight leg raise

Under normal circumstances, after straight leg raising, the nerve root has a certain space for up and down movement inside and outside the spinal canal, which can be attached to the front wall of the spinal canal and can be pulled up and down for 2-4mm.

When the straight leg is raised less than 30°, the nerve root in the intervertebral foramen is in a static state. At 30-70°, the sciatic nerve is stretched, and the nerve root moves in the intervertebral foramen, and the movement stops after 70°.

Due to the different positions of different nerve roots exiting the intervertebral foramen, different nerve roots have different movement ranges. Among them, the S1 nerve root has the largest movement of 4mm, followed by the L5 nerve root of 3mm, and the L4 nerve root has a small movement. , moved only 1.5mm, and the L2 and L3 nerve roots did not move substantially.

When the lumbar intervertebral disc ruptures, the nucleus pulposus tissue is extruded and protrudes into the spinal canal, compressing the nerve root, making the nerve root in a fixed or semi-fixed state, and at this time the nerve root is in a high sensitivity state under the stimulation of inflammatory factors.

Therefore, when doing a straight leg raise of 30-70°, the inflammatory nerve root is pulled, making it difficult to move distally, inducing sciatica.

Sleeping with legs in an elevated position is known to have multiple health benefits!

The Significance of Different Angles of Straight Leg Raise

  1. Pain near 30° straight leg elevation: generally not radiating pain, but mostly referred pain on the back of the thigh, which is caused by reflex spasm after hamstring injury.


  1. Pain in straight leg raising at 30-70°: it is mostly manifested as low back pain and radiating pain in the ipsilateral lower extremity, which highly indicates that lumbar disc herniation is in the acute attack stage.


  1. Pain occurs when the straight leg is raised above 70°: it can be judged that the radiating pain does not necessarily originate from the nerve root, but may mostly originate from the buttocks and around the hip joint. It should be highly suspected of piriformis injury or sacroiliac joint disease.
  2. Suffer from back, hip, knee, leg, foot pain, sciatica, varicose veins, leg injury, leg swelling, surgery pain?

Keeping your legs elevated at night can help to take pressure off your lower back, legs, knees, hip pain, as well as post-surgery relief, reduce swelling, improve edema, improve circulation, recover faster from fatigue and ensure you a restful night's sleep! Your Secret Base! Take a nap any time!

Are straight leg raises therapeutic?

Straight leg raising is one of the effective ways to train the thigh muscles, especially the quadriceps.

Some studies have reported that the nerve root is tense when the straight leg is raised at 30-45° in the supine position, and the nerve root is relaxed at 45-90° and can move up and down 0.5-1.0 cm with the movement of the lower limb. High exercise can make the nerve root tense, relax, and move up and down to promote the blood circulation of the nerve root itself, which is conducive to the early subsidence of the inflammatory reaction of the nerve root and avoids local tissue adhesion during the repair process.


In addition to the strength of the front thigh muscles, the rear thigh muscles and buttock muscles also need to be used in straight leg raising training to better stabilize the calf and prevent the rectus femoris and iliopsoas from continuing to overwork the muscles and cause pain and muscle tension.


So, do you still underestimate such a simple straight leg raise, it can not only be used to diagnose diseases, but also can be used for rehabilitation exercises, and many fitness experts use Wedge Pillow for Legs for plastic muscle growth. , can help you achieve leg elevation during rest or sleep, and effectively relieve various discomforts.

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