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night time back pain

hulaw2007hhulaw2007 Posts: 45
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Lower Back Pain
Over the course of the last year I have been getting worsening pain at night. What happens is I fall asleep and wake up in severe pain. I try to roll over but I start to cry because it hurts so much to roll over and get out of bed. Rolling over is the worst. The pain is in my lower back. I am so exhausted. I do have a long history of back pain and had a microdiscectomy (L5-S1) 18 months ago, but never pain at night like this. The pain slowly dissipates during the day though never goes away and is worse in certain positions. I have an MRI scheduled for April 29 and will see my ortho pedist on May 6. I just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this or if there are any questions I should be asking my doctor about this.

-Kim
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13

Comments

  • Hi Kim. I have had the same problem for over 5 years. After at most 2 hours I wake up in severe pain. So I have to sleep in a recliner in a fairly upright position as that is the only way I can stop the muscle spasms. In the morning I can't bend to touch my knees but during the day this gradually eases as long as I don't lie down or slouch in a chair. The whole cycle repeats every night if I try sleeping in any bed/couch/flat surface. The only way I have found to get round the problem is my reclining armchair.

    I have recently been diagnosed with end stage degeneration of the L5-S1 disc and am due a fusion op in July. The surgeon said what is happening is because there is little or no disc left the vertebrae move and the muscles go into spasm to try and support the area. I have tried other options such as Pilates, physio, osteopath and muscle relaxant to see if this would break the cycle of spasm but nothing works. It has taken this length of time for them to diagnose the problem. I had an MRI which was conclusive but they also did a discogram which proved the problem was the one disc as the rest of the back is in a decent condition. Hopefully your MRI will show up something in this area and they can go from there!

    Meryl
  • Hey there, I find I hurt more at night. I also tend to have more leg and feet cramps at night.

    I'm 1.5 years out of my 2nd MicroD at L5S1.

    Some ideas to try that worked for me are
    - 8 hour release tylenol (I use store brand) has helped. If I don't want to use that, I also found that aspircream (?sp) which I rub on my lower back also helps.
    -Drink water before bed which forces me to get up to the bathroom in the middle of the night and walk around so I don't stiffen up.
    - pillow between my knees (if on side) and under knees (if on back); this also keeps me from trying to get on my stomach.

    Also, could it be time to get a new mattress?

    I hope you don't mind my suggestions. Let us know how the doctor goes.
  • Thanks for the reply. :-)
  • Turning over in bed is so very very painful for me. It takes me forever to do.

    I am sorry you are suffering :(
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I wonder if there is any scientific studies to show that the pain occurs mostly at night. Mine used to hurt like crazy in the wee hours at night, causing me endless sleep. Kim, what is the cause of your back pain?
  • I also wonder if it's time for new mattress. Before all my problems began, I used to get lower back pain and I felt it was my mattress - way too sinky and soft.

    So we took the great plunge for a sleep number bed where I can make my side as hard or soft as I need it any time. It's simply the best thing in the world, along with my $125 tempurpedic pillow, 800 count Egyptian cotton sheets and quilt. I've taken great pains (pardon the pun) to make my sleeping environment the very best it can possibly be.

    Cath
  • I am starting to dread going to bed at night. Rolling over is really the killer, I start to cry many times. I cry out it hurts so much. What causes it? I don't know for sure. I did have a discectomy on L5-S1 in October 2009, which was a miracle for the leg pain which has completely disappeared. My back pain was gone for about six months after that (well, mostly). Then slowly it became worse and worse and is now unbearable. I am still in pain this morning - took two percoset, not sure if it is even helping at all. The MRI I had in June 2010 showed some scar tissue around the S1 nerve and showed DDD in that Lg-S1, decreased disc height and disc dessication all in the L5-S1. I have an MRI scheduled for Friday. I imagine it will show the L5-S1 is still a mess if not worse. The doctor is most likely planning a fusion at that level depending on the MRI results. I just am wondering if there might be another cause because its weird to just have the severe pain only at night. I certainly hope its what I expect and they just do the fusion and I have at least a chance to leave this pain behind. As for what caused it initially, I fell off a roof putting up Christmas lights ten years ago, I have never been the same since.
  • I am also very sorry you are having so much pain rolling over in bed, I know exactly how you feel. Its horrible. I am so exhausted I get so little good sleep.
  • I do think a new bed might be good even though ours is not what would be called old. I just don't think I can afford it. I do have an excellent pillow though. :-)
  • I don't think a new bed or mattress will solve the problem. I have tried sleeping on hard mattresses, soft ones, sofas, garden loungers, other beds when away from home etc. Nothing made any difference apart from a recliner which supports my back all the way down and I have to be in a fairly upright position. I used to have therapeutic back massages but found that I couldn't turn over or get up off the table and was worse than before I'd had the massage! I have also tried a special pillow between the legs and a lumbar support cushion - both were useless. I did get a foam bed wedge to put my back at a similar angle to the recliner and this does work a bit although I find the wedge which goes under your knees to stop you sliding down the bed cuts off the circulation. You could try them though as they do help.
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