Hi. I've been recently diagnosed with end stage disc degeneration of L5 S1. I have not slept in a bed for almost 5 years and have to sleep in a recliner. I don't get any nerve pain. My problem is if I lie down or stand still for any length of time I get pain in my lower back area and my buttock muscles seize. My consultant says that because I have no disc left when I go into any position other than sitting the area is so unstable the muscles try to stabilise this instead and lock up. Every morning I can't even bend enough to touch my knees but this eases during the day and the pattern repeats every day.
I have been put on the list for a L5 S1 fusion with a Wallis ligament to go on L4 L5 to protect the disc above the one which has degenerated. The rest of my spine is ok and the discography showed the same result as my MRI. I am hopeful this will solve my problem as I can't go away anywhere on holiday due to the problems with sleeping in a bed.
I have not come across anyone who has had this particular problem with lying down. I first noticed it after I had a back massage and couldn't get off the table or bend to put my clothes on! I can sit for hours no problem and as long as I don't try to bend in the mornings or go out before the muscles unlock I can manage without any painkillers. However the problem isn't going to go away so surgery appears to be the only answer (I have tried massage, osteopath, physio, pilates etc).
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has had the same problem and whether fusion surgery helped them.