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My worst back pain "episode" yet--any ideas?

sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Chronic Pain
I woke up at 5 this morning in almost unbearable pain. I was on my tummy and I swear it felt like I had an elephant sitting on my lower back/hips! It was like all the bones were crushed together and either I had to move or the pain would kill me and trying to move would kill me. I finally (after much moaning/groaning/praying/and even saying a few words I normally wouldn't) got turned over enough to slide to the edge of the bed. I had to just kind of slither to the floor and pull myself up by hanging onto the nightstand.

I finally made it upright and shuffled around trying to get the "elephant" off of me. My legs didn't want to support me and I was afraid I was gonna fall. The main reason that scared me was the fact of what it'd take for me to get back up! It was absolutely the worst pain. Through it all I'm trying to figure it out, trying to pinpoint the main cause. I doesn't feel at all like muscle spasms.

Well anyway, I finally got to moving again and the pain eased back to it's normal ache thankfully. Can anyone give me any ideas on the cause of this? Have you had any similar experiences? This isn't a new occurance but it's never been that bad before. I already dread going to sleep for fear of the pain that wakes me but now it will be even worse. I know that lying on my stomach makes it worse and I've tried everything to keep from ending up that way but it still happens sometimes.

I had a lumbar mri 4/09 that only showed tarlov cysts in sacrum. My low back pain started during a myelogram for my neck almost three years ago. Any ideas?

Thanks for reading


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    this keeps happening to you Debbie. As you know my issues are lumbar. And after my first surgery I've no longer been able to sleep on my stomach. I can only sleep on my back. And I had slept on my stomach or side all of my life. I had to put pillows on both sides so I wouldn't roll over on my side or stomach. I hope you can get it figured out.
    Good luck, Jim
    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!
  • Wow, that sounds horrible. Sleeping on your stomach is a huge no-no, especially after cervical surgery. After all, where does your head go? It has to go to either side or face down and you smother to death.

    I'm taking a stab in the dark that having your head turned so long may have caused the pain to radiate down into your already bad lumbar. It could be that nerves were irritated while in that position, who knows, but don't do that!!!

    Are you scheduled for any further lumbar exploration or treatments? I know you've been having problems and maybe it's time to start to work on that area next.

    Of course, what I've said may be all wrong, but it's a guess. Take care and I hope it doesn't happen again. I really think, though, that you need to get to work on your lumbar now to get it healthy again, if that's possible.

  • I was finaly forced to find a memory foam matress toper for my lower back would feel like that all the time, Its a 3 inch foam matress toper and i am suprised it actualy helps,

    I am kicking myself in the ass for not buying this long time ago, it actualy suports my body where i dont feel the pressure as i did when i tried to sleep on the nice firm matress,

    We went from store to store and most were crap that i would not waste money on, besides i am 1 cheap bastard,

    This memory foam is not cheap if you buy 1 thats worth anything, I started reading up on it after some were talking about it here on sh, If you buy the real deal ebay has a site who has it with larger selection but dont get the cheap crap made in china if you do get it,

    I am not kiding this is a must for a spiney and i was stupid for not looking in to this years ago,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Everybody here has given out some good advice to help reduce this kind of pain. If at all possible, get a good memory foam mattress. The most important bit is to avoid sleeping on your stomach.

    Disability retirement
  • I have a memory foam mattress also and it makes it hard to move completely over in it! Keep a pillow behind you and in front to hopefully stop you from turning over to your stomach. I always side sleep and have a pillow between my knees and a side sleeper pillow.

    I hope icing your back will help and see your Dr. if it doesn't get better soon. Do you mean you just had a lumbar MRI last month or 2 years ago?

    I have had the same issues before when my facet joints were causing me issues and always used my desk chair to haul myself up in the morning. Try to pull yourself up from a chair or bed by using your arms and never sit up by using your back muscles alone. i hope this gets better. 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
  • sorry that your going through the same kind of thing as me .we are old hands at this and i am sure that you know that only people like us know just what hell we have to go through every day .and as if that's not bad enough we then have to go through the double hell of a flare up ..i guess that's what you and i are having right now {friday 21.oct} .if nothing with help my only advice is rest ..sorry hun i am out of suggestion as i am in agony and at my worst too ..thinking of you
    tony x
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I could see how the memory foam matress would sink and would be hard to move in it and get up, But this 3inch memory foam is just enough where you dont sink in it, its just enough to take the triger point areas away when you skeep on it, Now i can lay on my back because it gives just enough so i dont feel the same pressure in my hips,

    Our matress is very firm so this works perfect for me, i dont think i ever slept as good,

    We know how important a good night sleep is with spine pain so muscles and nerves can rest, my worse days always were when i could not sleep well, Its like your nervious system goes nuts with the pain,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • reading some of the above ..i also bought the top end tempur mattress on a lovely sleigh bedstead it looked lovely but both kath and i hated it !! i could not turn or get off the bed AND it gave kath backache! so we bought the combination mattress on an electrical adjustable bed .the combination mattress is memory foam {75mm} and high end pocket springs .its amazingly comfy and kath can sleep 10 hours on it no problem ..but i can only do 2 max but that's down to my knackers spine ! if your shopping for a bed of a new mattress do your home work and spend as much time laying on the thing befor you shell out thousands of pounds/ dollars .
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • How is skeep different than sleep? If it's a new way of getting rest, can you share please? I'd love some good, deep skeep. :-)

    Git 'er done!
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I wanted to reply to each of you individually but I can't sit here very long. I'll be honest with you, I can't even think straight for the pain. I've had very little sleep and am so exhausted. I try to think of ways to describe how I'm feeling but you all already know just how it is. In a way I want to talk about it but in a way I just want to curl up and hide you know? Sorry if I'm not making any sense but all I can say is this stinks.

    Thanks for caring guys. The understanding I get here means so much.

  • I understand how you fell and I can't sit over 5 minutes in my desk chair any more. I just hope and pray your pain improves Debbie. Most advice has been given and I wish I had some great solution to help you. I'll just send good thoughts and prayers.

    Hope you're better soon,

    AL S
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Thanks for everything. Yesterday I thought things were improving then last night it came back with a vengeance. Ah well, this too shall pass....I'm sick of myself today you know? Yep, Al, I know you understand.

    I hope you're doing well and that the cymbalta is still helping. Feel good my friend,

  • Hi Deb,

    Yes I do understand and if the Cymbalta wasn't helping I probably wouldn't have been online. I did go shopping last night, a big deal for me since I barely left home for so long.

    Feel better soon.

    Your friend,

    AL S
  • When's the last time you saw the doc? When you did, did he/she give you any ideas what you might experience from the cysts? Were you supposed to follow up in XYZ months or just call if things got worse?

    I totally understand the feeling of wanting to crawl in a dark hole and hide, but if you are feeling that poorly, then you really should consider contacting your doc.

    Hang in there,

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm so glad you went shopping! That's a definite sign of improvement. I hope that you continue to feel better and better!

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Hi there! Hope you're doing great.

    It's been 20 months since I last saw my GP. He wouldn't even consider the cysts as the problem and acted like it was all in my head. I'm not the type to complain for no reason (until these days it seems) and he should know that after seeing me for 15 years.

    I got sidetracked there, sorry. Nope, no follow ups or watching going on. I've been telling myself to just deal with it. It just gets really hard to do sometimes. Guess I'm not as tough as I think I should be.


  • When you wake up in the morning, are you in pain and stiff and once you can get up and moving around, does the pain lessen somewhat? If so, maybe you could see a rheumatologist? I have seen one for years, and at least it is another option for seeing a doctor who might be able to evaluate your issues, and possibly help. I don't know how old you are, but you don't have to be "old" to have arthritis. My daughter started seeing a pediatric rheumatologist at age 14. I have a couple issues for which I'm seeing the rheumatologist. Many people get osteoarthritis with age or after an injury to the joints. There are issues besides osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, and perhaps you could get a new perspective.

    Take care,


    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Debbie,

    So sorry to read what is going on with you. Playing "catch up" since my release from the hospital. I am via surgery a neckie and thoracic now, and have hernias and SEL in my lumbar.

    I thought 'no-no' forever for belly sleeping for my C5/6/7, now, LOL!!, total 'ain't happening! (G) I know prior to this last surgery, if I even rolled on my side, my neck killed me (had to grab my damn bottom teeth to get out of bed!!), and too my upper lumbar gave me fits (and zapped my legs too - later found it was from my dang neck) when I woke up, as they don't take "rotation" positions well at all.

    Maybe you are sleeping rotated on your hips when you sleep? Or sleeping on your side? Like others, I too went to the memory foam side of the house with my purchase (best thing I could have done btw!!) of my fully adjustable TempurPedic. I've been pretty well behaved on sleeping solidly on my side!

    I hope this missive finds you feeling better. Again, so sorry to hear you are going through this mess. As "C" mentioned, have you seen any specialists concerning your spine status and too the cysts and what they are doing? Please let us know how it is going woman and dear, sweet friend!! *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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