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Twisting while asleep

MagsMMags Posts: 57
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hey everyone. I've been sleeping on my side since my PLIF 2 weeks ago. Last night I kept waking up in so much pain. When I sleep on my side I usually have my knees bent, but during the night I would wake up with the bottom leg straightened out and the top one bent and pulled up closer to my body. Basically twisting my spine. Does that make sense? I can't sleep with a pillow between my knees b/c that hurts my hips. Please give me suggestions so I don't ruin my fusion. Sleeping on my back is too painful and I don't have a good chair to sleep in either. I haven't really been getting much sleep since it starts to feel really tight and weird when I lay down, but last night I apparently dozed quite a bit until the pain got to be too much. Please let me know if any of you have had this problem before and what you did about it. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.


  • I posted on this a couple of weeks ago -


    We came to the conclusion that your body is going to do what its going to do while sleeping, not to worry about it per se. I did call my doc and they said NO to sleeping in the brace (for me, anyways). I do use a pillow between my knees as I also sleep on my side.

    However, sounds like its causing you pain. Do you take a muscle relaxant before bed? Have you spoken with the nurse practitioner in your surgeon's office?
  • I have not had a fusion and while I don't know the mechanics of it, I do know that when I had my endplate fractures of T3-T5 and wore the Minerva brace a good recliner was a GOD SEND! It would keep me in place all night. Laying on the bed was agony!
    I know you said you did not have one. Maybe a thrift store or Big lots/junk store equivalent? If you get out at all right now and can swing it, maybe test drive one to see if you think it would work for you?
    I know people at work here offered to bring me theirs to use after my accident! So if it would help maybe you can borrow one even?
    Hope you feel better soon!
  • rent a recliner for a while? Seriously, this saved me. The recliner won't allow you to turn or twist. It sure would be worth the temporary investment.

    If that is not an option, is getting one of those really big pillows affordable? I had one that was a Comfort "U" Pillow - 138" in length. When used as a "U", it is 69" in length. If you search that term, you can see the different ways and positions it can be used. I would tuck it all around and I could not roll over, twist, etc. I used it for a very long time, just for comfort.

    But if I were you, I would call tomorrow and see what it might cost to rent a recliner for a month or two.

    Take care,

  • Thank you so much for directing me to your post on this topic. It did help. There were a few responses where the surgeon said the spine was more than stable and I recalled mine telling my husband that in the hospital. I did call anyway just to check and they said that it was fine and not to worry.

    Cheri....I am going to look into renting a chair for a while. I hate that I can't join the family in the living room because everything is so uncomfortable for me. It's either too low or too soft or both. Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks!

  • Do you understand what the point is in having a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side? I'm guessing you are using too thick or large a pillow and it is lifting the level of your hip too high.

    Depending on your size, most people need a small, squishy pillow. The idea is to raise the top leg just enough so that it is in alignment with your hip. If it is even slightly taller, it can cause pain. You can then put pillows behind and in front of you to keep from rolling over. Eventually you'll get used to sleeping in this position, which is the idea position for sleep from here on out!

    Recliners are fine for short periods, but you will not find a professional who knows anything about anatomy and posture that will recommend that you sleep in one. Unless you are incredibly lucky, you will not find one that supports you exactly where you need to be supported. It does not support the spinal cord and sacral area sufficiently, so the soft tissue has to remain tensed up.

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