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morning pain

blazerblazer Posts: 785
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
info please. anyone experience their worst pain in morning.i sleep on my side and put pillow behind me so i dont roll,when i get up can hardly move from back pain and severe hip pain. take pain meds and start moving around and it subsides back to a painful but tolerable level.i am 3 weeks post op from a l4l5/l5s1 fusion. advise will be appreciated.


  • Sorry to hear of your severe pain in the morning.
    My pain seems to be worse at bedtime. I assume because I'm tired.

    Do you sleep on your side all night? I can't stay in the same position for more than about an hour and then I have to change, either onto my back or the other side.
    When on my side, I have a pillow between my knees and when on my back, I have it under my knees.

    Hope someone will be able to offer you some help.

    Keep healing :-)
  • thanks for your reply jellyhall. i need to stay in the same position i always use to sleep in different positions but when i move it hurts to much.at hospital nurse always put pillow behind my back to keep me from rolling so im just trying to do the same thing.im just hoping that its muscle spasms.maybe ill just have to up my dosage on pain meds but i know ill be spending more time asleep then awake if i do that.tjank you again.
  • I tend to be stiff in the morning.
    I didn't have a fusion but am 2 months post op of revision MicroD on the L5S1.

    I find that I dread moving in the morning for fear of pain. But once I get up, and move around, I tend to feel better.

    I know you don't want to move at night but you may want to set the alarm to move 2X at night. Even though it cuts into my good sleep time, I do move probably about every 2-hours b/c I just get uncomfortable on my own (other areas hurt up my back that have historically hurt). I use the night stand to log-roll one way, and my husband's arm(yes, I wake him up) to log-roll the other.

    THe pillows behind your back are great to keep you aligned.

    My only other thought is that when you wake up, your pain meds have probably worn off if you took them before bed. So another option is to purposely wake up to take the meds in the middle of the night so you don't wake up so stiff.

    I hope all else is going well.
  • I'm 9 weeks post fusion w/instrumentation at same level. I am usually stiff whenever I wake up but find that once I get past that painful bit of first moving around, I feel much better. It has gotten better as the weeks have gone by. I'm still having trouble getting comfortable in bed and usually end up back in my recliner after about 3 hours in the bed. But that's gotten better as well.
  • 3 weeks post op from a 2 level fusion is very early in the recovery process, things will get better, little by little. I also sleep on my sides, but I change sides throughout the night as my hips start to ache or my mess of a neck starts to hurt.

    While on your side do you have a nice, thick pillow between your knees? This helps a lot. Over the last year or so I have become a "professional" at changing sides while keeping the pillow still between my knees, I'm sure many others do that too.I am changing sides a lot during the night, maybe that would help you.

    I have L2-S1 fused/fusing with all kinds of hardware and I am very stiff when I wake up, no matter what. I start each day with my heating pad, then start moving and slowly feel better.

    Take care,
  • thanks everyone for your responces. guess ill have my daughter take me to target and get another pillow and give that a try. ive always taken the minimum amout of pills that it prescribes on the bottles, but i quess ill up the dosage to the max amount for a little while and see if that helps also.not a big fan of taking naps during the day but have to accept that fact for a while, on the higher dosage.
  • Hang in there Jim!Do you have a heating pad?I have one on my bed,and one in the recliner.I can't stand ice,so I used them alot.I am 3 months post-op anterior/posterior fusion,and I am very sore.I take 2 7.5 hydro when I get up-the morning is the worst time.As I have said on here,I can't wait for the double Cs to kick in!(coffee and codeine).I just want you to know we are here for you,and keep us posted!Jeannie
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    the morning drug delivery system just ain't quick enough! even with coffee!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Jim,

    No need to up to the max. It's just that it may be worth waking up on purpose in the middle of the night to take another dose so waking isn't so rough. My guess is during the day you may be less stiff b/c even though resting, you are awake and moving a bit.

    I hope the extra pillow helps.
    I put one between my knees on my sides and the under my knees if on my back and it's a huge difference.
  • I found that I couldn't sleep in the same position all night and I also found that the pillow between my knees didn't help. I used the pillow in front of me and hugged it to stop me rolling forward. I would still end up spending most of the night on my back with a pillow under my knees. I still do and I am nearly 6 months out now.
    I was always really sore in the morning. My doc and a physio friend suggest that some of the pain on first moving occurs because I wasn't engaging my core muscles first. If you can, and I know it hurts, see if you can wake them up before you try and move too much. I pretty much couldn't get up out of bed for months without awful pain. Especially on the transfer between on my side and sitting up. And once up I couldn't get back down either!
    Good luck with it all.
  • I wonder if I took the codeine while still in bed,put the coffee pot beside the bed,I could lay there until the codeine and coffee kicked in? Oooh-how about codeine IN coffee?We spineys could sure market good stuff,couldn't we?
  • thanks everyone for your posts. i just keep the walker by the bed need that to stand up and start movig around. coffee and codine is first on my adjenda in morn. coffee with norco and flexeril, and a little bit of time then i can start functioning.quess the body just needs a little more time.seeing the pain doctor tomorrow morn ,will see what he has to say.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I am 9 weeks out from L3-S1 fusion. In the first month every time I slept for an extended period I would wake up stiff. When I found myself able to sleep through much of the night I did take my medications around 4-6 AM so that when I got up I'd be more comfortable. If you feel that your medications are not enough be sure to contact your doctor.

    I am not a back sleeper but I was sleeping on my back much of the time in the first 6 weeks with a pillow under my knees. I would also alternate between sleeping on each side, it was a little hard to sleep on my right side as I had a horizontal incision on that side. Have you tried sleeping on your back? You my have some hip pain because you spend so much time sleeping on that side.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • seen pain doctor this morn and told him about the pain and he gave me a months supply of oxicontin 10mg i was on 20mg after surgery. go see him again in a month. so its oxicotin norco and flexeril took 1 this afternoon and got me a nice 2 hour nap in the recliner. now if the dogs would quit with their barking and waking me up id be content. lol
  • I think I have had some of my worse pains waking up in the morning,just very stiff. Its gotten better.

    Good Luck ;)
  • I'm 5 months post-op and wake up stiff every morning. I almost think it is a reality of back hardware now. I don't expect it to ever truly go away. Get better yes.

    First thing I do in the morning is stretch. If you're fresh out of surgery that is not an option. Once you are allowed too, it becomes part of getting up for me. I spend about 5 minutes stretching. It makes getting ready for work so much better.

  • I used to have to do stretching and limbering up in bed before I could get up before my surgery. It is a bit easier now.
  • Am curious if you slept better and woke up less stiff when you had your nap in your recliner? I have had trouble sleeping in a bed since surgery and find that when I do, I don't sleep well and wake up extremely stiff, no matter what position or how many pillows I try, that's why I usually end up back in my recliner after a few hours in bed.

    I know a lot of doctors don't want their patients sitting or in recliners for any length of time. Am just happy mine didn't have a problem with it. So, I'm always wondering how people manage to get comfortable in bed since I have yet to be able to.

    PS: I found that large marrow bones (empty of the marrow) filled with peanut butter kept my dogs quite happily occupied, and quiet, when I was trying to rest.
  • I agree with the bed problem-I sleep better in my recliner or our couch.If I start tossing and turning,I go ahead and get up and have coffee,if it is around 4:30-5:00.I just got permission on Monday to stretch and exercise more,so I hope that helps,right now I am stll very sore.The heating pad is my best friend,and I turn it on right after the coffee. It will get better,but it does take time!
  • scared to stretch and screw my fusion up. when i sleep in the recliner do not have the pain when i wake up.but its only for a couple hours so that might have something to do with it to.while in recliner i have a pillow behind by back and behind my head that keeps my spine from curving.if i move in bed i can feel my spine moving where had surgery done and very painful, quess thats expected.
  • I actually managed to make it from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. in the bed last night, with an hour break around 1:00 a.m. Was extremely stiff and sore when I woke up both times. I just walked around the yard with the dog a few times and that helped. And of course, some coffee!

    I have been so exhausted from going back to work and last night was the worst exhaustion. I had really just gotten into bed to put my feet up with some ice on my ankles and then next thing I knew it was 1:00 a.m. Maybe that's the secret, exhaustion. I didn't realize going back for 4 hours per day would wipe me out so much. I feel bad for anyone who has to go back immediately to an 8 hour day and don't think I could do it at this point. I'm anxious to get back to normal and that includes sleeping in my regular bed. I've been recovering in the spare bedroom so I wouldn't disturb my husband, who's been working, with my odd hours and walking around.

    Definitely don't stretch until okay'd by surgeon. I still haven't gotten that okay but find myself waking up a lot because I'm trying to do the overhead arm, entire body stretch. My PA toldl me not to do it yet. I must really need to if I'm trying to in my sleep. I think nothing would feel better then to be able to stand and do that overheard arm morning stretch. Cant' wait until I'm okay'd for that.
  • Hey Jim, I think I have to answer for you! Borrow a few dogs for a while! :) I have 2 dogs, we found a little Yorkie that had been wandering on the freeway (as of yet we haven't found the owner) and we are dog sitting for a friend! 4 dogs in one house!

    My hubby is out of town (of course! :)) The dogs all needed to go out last night at different times, the foster dog and neighbors dog got into a dog fight (both Yorkies) on my bed at about 3 am, and my big protective dog barked several times.

    Needless to say, very little sleep occured in my house last night, so this a.m., I am not stiff at all! :0

    Maybe the answer is just take care of a few dogs for a while~definately prevents stiffness! LOL

    Seriously, I hope you feel better soon. Try to be patient, it does get better week by week! Take care xxxxxxx Shari
  • gretchen i know how you feel went for my 1st walk yesterday about 1 mile and boy am i feeling it.got howe took some pills and a nap,still hurting. thanks jayhawk dont need no more dogs my kids each have pomerians and them dogs are yappers. told kids to close my bedroom door before they leave in morn or the gogs will be up there wrestling, and someone is not gonna be a happy camper. lol best to everyone.
  • I can take dogs barking,but I sure am tired of our neighbor coming over,knocking on the door-----"We have 2 more goats",-----one of your goats is limping------I just got back from-----with-----I am going to build a --------,here is a map of that camp I was telling you about-------GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I made signs for all the doors to not knock-----ever----or at least when I am resting.ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
  • Enough to drive you back to work Jeannie!!
  • yep------the high adobe wall I want to build around the property is pretty much out of the question.
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