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Lumbar pain leading to neck pain

CoyoteCCoyote Posts: 120
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Chronic Pain
Well - I hope this is in the right forum category! Anyway - I have DDD/herniation/bulge/tear at L4/L5. I have not been able to work for the past 3 years - although pain stays fairly low if I only do about 4 hours of v. light/sendentary activity a day (with my base meds of oxy & Lyrica), whenever I go above 4 hours of activity, I need breakthrough meds, and after about 8 hrs - pain is major, even with meds.

Consequently, I spend most of my day on the sofa or on the recliner (aside from sleeping an average of 10 hrs - meds really knock me out). This means if I want to do anything like read/watch TV/talk to people/go on the computer, I am bending from the top of the spine/base of the neck. Now - I am developing all kinds of arm/hand/neck/across the shoulder pain. This especially comes about after being on the computer (too much time on spine-health - ha-ha!). The ache develops in my neck, and at the bottom of my neck - and especially down my arm, pinky and ring finger - numbness/tingling and deep, deep bone ache.

So - the question is - for those of you confined to the recliner most of the day, like me, how do you position yourself so you don't hurt your neck/arm/shoulder?

And as with my lower back, my arm/neck are fine so long as I don't do anything!

I do keep myself active as much as possible - I walk, do short errands to the store, take care of my home (ha!) - but I'd just like to be able to use the computer without all this extra pain. Any suggestions?

PS I'm assuming that to avoid pressure on my l4/l5, I'm putting pressure on discs further up the spine, and now hurting those discs. At this point, I have no wish to start doing MRI's etc for this new pain - all that crap has not helped at all for the lumbar back pain, and my neck pain is nothing compared to the back pain.


  • I have a small plastic stool I keep my feet on to take the pressure off my back and sometimes I have my heating pad and a pillow under my arm on the arm of the chair. I do some stretching of my arms overhead and try to clasp hands together behind my back. And I try and take frequent breaks..i have a heating pad on my back alternating with my arm and put a TENs machine on also on occasion. I have a good lumber cushion to sit on also. I'm interested in any other tips others may have. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm most comfortable in my recliner with it slightly reclined, my feet just a foot or so off of the floor. I have a little green pillow that I put on my lap and I put my computer on that. I also have a pillow behind my back and a doubled-over bed pillow behind my head so I'm sitting straight, just move my eyes to look at the computer. I use my wireless mouse on the table next to my chair. The table rolls so I can roll it very close and even slightly over the arm of my recliner.

    I swear I don't know what I'd do without my recliner and rolling side table.

    Take care and I hope you find a good position for you to be in and be able to stay a while.

  • Hi, i was getting pain in my neck and shoulders from sitting in front of the computer for a long time.
    I adjusted the angle on the montior, so where i was'nt having to bend over as much, and that took care of the problem. Maybe that will help you also.
  • I think I'll try all of them! I just have a little net-book (I call it my little mini-me - it's an HP mini) - which I love because it's so small and light to move around, but I think it makes me bend my head forward further because the screen is much smaller. I think the pillow on the lap will help with that.

    I think we get such a sweet attachment to our pillows and heating pads and ice and "special chairs" - They're such a comfort to us!

    I think I broke my record last night and slept 12 hours! I was so scared I would never get to sleep last night - I just could not get comfortable. I am truly blessed that I'm a good sleeper - once I get there! This pain is new for me - and although I instinctively seem to know how to manage my lumbar pain, the neck/shoulder/arm pain gets scary for me, because I don't yet know how to handle it - ice or heat? exercise, stretches or rest? anti-inflammatories? anti-nerve meds? Oxy? muscle relaxants? Well - I'll see what my PM has to say next time. And I can definitely do some research around here (spine-health).

    In the meantime, thanks again for the advice.
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