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Sleep............any advice would be much appreciated

Joey29JJoey29 Posts: 22
edited 03/25/2013 - 9:24 AM in Chronic Pain
I was wondering if anyone in here could give me some advice on getting a better nights rest, I am currently on 100mg of elavil for sleep but I always have a horrible time even getting to sleep because of the pain in my lower back and the shooting pain down my left leg I am currently taking 10mcg of butrans for pain manangement with 60mg of Cymbalta and 2 mg dilaudid for break through.

I try the pillow between the knees trick and sometime it gets me in enough of a comfort zone that I might get a half hour before im awake again, then the cycle starts all over again. I just wanna get some good solid rest im tired of being tired.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

And once again this place is making all the difference im glad I found this place......


  • I wish I had a magic wand and could give you the answers on how to get some good quality sleep. Unfortunately, after many years and 6 back operations, I'm still waking up myself after a couple of hours in pain and would like to read some of your replies on this too!

    The problem with backs is what may work one day, doesn't work the next. I've heard sleeping in the feotal position can help as it takes the pressure off the spine. I know of one person who swears by his recliner chair for most of his sleep.

    If you have been on your medication for a while, perhaps your doctor could try a different combination to see if it works better for you.

    How about trying an electric heating pad or a TENS machine - something like that. If your pain is caused by inflammation, then I don't think heat would be a good idea though.

    I do hope you can find a way to improve your sleep pattern - I know it's very hard. You are probably like many people on here (myself very much included) where you grab 40 winks whenever/wherever it comes from. I hope you will get more replies on this topic. Perhaps everyone is asleep and has missed it.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Thanks for getting back to me any advice on sleep I will take I have a TENS machine and I had to stop using it, since my l5 nerve root is damaged as soon as I turn it on it feels as if I have bugs walking across my toes it caused more discomfort than anything else, im waiting on some different types of pillows that my occupational therapist recommended I'll just have to play the wait and see game until they come.
  • Hi Joey, I think most people on this forum will agree that sleep is probably right behind back pain in biggest complaint. I agree with Sue that I try to fit sleep in wherever I can. I am usually up until 3 or 4 am and sleep after everyone leaves for work if able to. If not then when they all get home from work and I have tried fixing their dinner I will lay down for a couple hrs. This is usually when I can grab 3 hrs. of good sleep for some reason. This past weekend I caught up on my sleep by sleeping 14 hrs. Sat. and 11 hrs. Sunday. Must have needed it and it did help. I am fortunate that I don't have small children and can take a day off from housework if I need to. I don't know how these poor people who have families to raise and have to work with chronic pain. I am trying to get my disability approved now because I can't go back to work. So I would say to try to rest when you can and make up for it on weekends. If we ever figure out how to make people sleep we will be rich :)

  • Sleep whats that lol!!!! I have to put ice packs behind my lower back and under both legs.The ice does help alot, I have alot of them ,so i can change them alot. Im also on morphine post surgery.Good luck.Hope this helps you.Kathy
    Kathy B
  • I purchased a new pillow that goes under my knees about 2 weeks ago that has been working like a charm. There are many under knee pillows on the market, I have three others, but this one is by far the most effective. The company is circurest
  • I've found that laying on my back, with my knees elevated, helps when I'm in my worst pain. Usually I'll try laying with my back on the floor, with my legs up on the couch. Its basically the same position you would be in if you were sitting, only reversed and without the pressure sitting puts on your spine. Picture back on floor- butt against the front of couch- legs from knee to foot resting on the cushions of the couch. I've taken countless naps in this position, and just giving my spine a rest for even 30 minutes seems to work wonders.

    I also find that sleeping on the couch in general, while not always recommended, is usually the most comfortable for me.

    Another thing I've found helpful, is keeping meds near my bed. So when I wake in the middle of the night, I can quickly take them and try to fall back to sleep. I find that its much easier to deal with a missed dose, during the day, than to tryto sleep for even six hours with a missed dose. Usually by hour five of sleep, I wake up in excruciating pain... best of luck, I hope you find something that works for you!
  • I have a boomrang shaped pillow that I use between my knees and a body pillow behind my back, this keeps me some what comfortable but I often wake up and need to stretch a bit at about 3 pm.

    . I also have just started on med marijuana, eatables, however getting the right strain is crucial as some types are for sleep issues. I live in Colorado so this is an option for me.

    I have also resorted to diazepam when I have not slept for some time. Unfortunately pain equals no sleep and no sleep means more pain for many of us.
  • Mate I find it best by sleeping in my recliner as it takes the most load off my back. The only way I get sleep in bed is to take Valium and it has to be about 4-5am and I only get 2hours anyway or drink rum to get half hour or so early in the night!!!! I just learn to live with it(sorry to say) it's just the life of cronic pain. The worse thing is falling asleep while driving so now I make sure I'm home by lunch time if I need to go out. Try acupuncture I get 10-15 while the needles are in. Sorry for the bad news. But the good news is rum tastes better then any drug the doctors give you!!!!!! ;)
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