Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Sleeping Positions

pepper09ppepper09 Posts: 138
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm 24 days post op lumbar fusion 1 level and have slept on my back all 24 nights! I'm scared to sleep on my side or stomach and don't know if sleeping on your side or stomach is a restriction. Anyone know?


  • Pepper,

    Different surgeons seem to use different sets of restrictions for their patients.

    My surgeon told me I could sleep on my back or either side, but to avoid sleeping on my stomach. He said it puts too much pressure on the spine, which could cause problems for the fusion process.

    I slept on my back and right side the first night.
  • I think most everyone will tell you to avoid sleeping on your stomach once you have a lumbar fusion. It puts additional stress on the spine's natural curve, which will result in more stress on the adjoining vertebrae. When sleeping on your back, put a pillow or wedge under your knees. When sleeping on your side, it is best to use a small pillow between your knees so that the top knee is more or less at the same height as your shoulder. This puts your spine in the optimal alignment.

    Sleeping on your spine is supposed to be "best" for your back. Many people use a variety of pillows to keep from rolling over during the night.

    If you must lie on your stomach, put a small flat pillow or rolled up towel under your body at waist level. This will keep the back from going into extension and with maintain the healthy, appropriate curve.

    Good luck with your recovery.
  • Hi,
    I rotate between sides and back all night. I keep a smaller half sized pillow in bed around my legs and straddle when on my side; it is small enough to push out of the way when on my back. Also, in the earlier stages, I keep a pillow down the length of the bed by my spine when on my side. It gives support the keeps you from rolling over to far. (works better if you are sleeping alone!
    I'm almost 4 months post-op L4-5 fushion. Just started PT.
  • As with everything else my doc gave me no restrictions at all (I'm starting to wonder about this guy), but the only way I have been able to sleep is on my sides with a pillow between my knees. It seems that's no help here. Sorry!! I can't lay on my back it causes me way too much pain even tho I'm 3 months or so out. Even on my sides I'm up every 1-3 hours to change sides. Hope your resting well!
  • when I rolled up a towell (or a 13"X13" small pillow) and when I was laying on either side, placing that towell in the nap of my waist? Do you understand? It would keep pressure off of my spine while laying on my side. And yes, definately keep a pillow between your legs.

    I did everything possible to keep my spine as straight as I could, weather on my side or my back. And definately make sure you roll with your legs out of the bed first, then roll your body towards the edge of the bed. DON'T try to SIT up to get out of bed. Roll out of bed with the aide of your right or left arms. I then used a walker to help me up, later graduating to a cane to help. Oh and a "toilet riser" was awesome!!! Don't know what I would have done without it. Same with a "shower seat". Good luck! Oh and it does get better..... patience is a HUGE virture with spine surgeries!!

    And for sure, DO NOT even attempt to lay on your stomach. I'm 1 year post from a 3 level fusion, and I still CANNOT lay on my belly, don't think I ever will.
  • Once I get there and everything "settles" I feel pretty good on either side and was told it was OK. I use a pillow between the legs and one in front of me to "hug". The worst part? Lifting my right leg to get the pillow under it. That hip was the donor site. Ouch.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,836
    I think everyone had their suggestions and all are valid.
    You just need to find the position that will make you the most comfortable and allow you to sleep.
    For some people, its not even a bed, but a recliner or a couch.
    I think any method is good except for sleeping on your stomach. That was mentioned about putting too much stress on your back.
    Even today, 18 years or so since my last lumbar surgery, I can not sleep on my stomach. I cant even lay on my stomach at the beach on a towel.
    Whatever makes you comfortable and doesnt hurt
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • This is just what I do.
    I had surgery in cervical area also not lower back.
    I also did this before surgery,
    remember this is for cervical problems.
    I found most the time when I slept with soft collar on and arm up kinda high(head high and over) my arm would not go numb as often and wake me up. and still after surgery I have to do it. I have many different soft collars and my favorite for bed is the one that is made for child or younger person.
    When in vehicle Doctors order and 2 months after surgery I still have to wear big tall stiff uncomfortable collar..
    Kinda off subject but I thought i would throw it in. Patsy
Sign In or Register to comment.