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Odd situation

qwertyqqwerty Posts: 3
edited 04/05/2013 - 5:15 PM in Chronic Pain
I had back muscle mid-lower back pain for as long as I can remember (well, since my mid-teens. I'm 6'3). The last 9 months have been especially tough because following an injury that limited my mobility, I gained a significant amount of weight that worsened by back issues.

And then, for reasons beyond the scope of this conversation, I spent the last month sleeping in my car. While that was not an ideal development in my life, one unexpected benefit arose: my back pain... disappeared. Gone. I didn't even know it until I realized the other day that I was able to briskly walk for almost two miles without discomfort anywhere near my torso. It was a revelation, one that explained why despite sleeping in a car, and only for a few hours a night, I had been feeling so much healthier and better overall of late.

I was sleeping in the driver seat, and merely would recline the seat almost (but not quite) all the way back. I would estimate the incline of the seat to be around 20-30 degrees or less.

Now, I have a new place, and must make do with a comforter on the floor until I can afford a mattress. But I can already feel the state of my back deteriorating only after a few days, and absolutely do not want to return to the status quo. It is especially clear to me that sleeping on my stomach (which I am unable to avoid completely and often catch myself doing despite my best efforts -- help??) is especially deadly to my back.

I will see a doctor of some kind about my back problems this summer when my cash flow improves. Meanwhile, what to do? It seems to me that some sort of inclined arrangement that mimics the car front seat configuration would be ideal, but I am not quite sure how to replicate that setup with my currently meager means.

Thoughts welcome.



  • find a recliner that mimics what you had going on with the car seat? I know a lot of people who have chronic back and neck pain prefer to sleep half sitting in a recliner as opposed to lying down in bed. Im a side sleeper but it is not great for my neck issues. After my surgery I slept sitting in a recliner for about 4 weeks and it worked. Whatever gets you the best rest!
    Good luck and Im glad you got your new place.
    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
  • You may want to try either pillows or a couch cushion something with substance to place under your knees or find a foot stool and place your feet through knees up on both of these while sleeping on your back.
  • Before I go on about "FreeCycle", one other suggestion in addition to something under your knees - take a towel and roll it up into a "tube" - and place it under the lower part of your back. My hunch is your car seat has some curve at the lower lumbar area, perhaps - and supporting your lower back will help. It doesn't need to be a big towel.

    Have you tried subscribing to your local online "FreeCycle" if you are in the U.S.? It's an online Yahoo group that has sites for whatever city/county you are in. For example, I live in Marin County, so I searched for MarinFreeCycle and there it is. I am not sure if they are international, but they probably are by now.

    People give things away for FREE. They are not allowed to sell it or they will be terminated from the group. I have given lots of things away - all in great condition - but just things I no longer need - and someone is always happy to come take it off my hands.

    You can also post something you WANT on the FreeCycle and people often will respond to that with something fabulous.

    I have seen many recliners on the MarinFreeCycle, but also beds, sofas, kitchen items - everything - literally! I think the only things you cannot post are things like giving away children, pets or drugs. :)

    Via email, I get a daily list of what is being given away.
    It might be a way for you to get a few things - like a bed or recliner or cushions - or anything to help support your back.
    You're right - sleeping on your stomach with a bad back - ACCCK!

    I hope this helps. Even if it is something temporary until you can find something to mimic your car seat will be better.

    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • qwertyqqwerty Posts: 3
    edited 04/06/2013 - 3:19 PM
    Thank you kindly for your replies. I will check out FreeCycle (I snooped around on craigslist today and found some good stuff too). Meanwhile, it seems that elevating my knees is somehow equivalent to sleeping in a car seat/recliner-like position? I can kind of see why that is. That's easy to manage, so I'll try it for a coupe of nights and see how it goes. Thanks again.
  • qwertyqqwerty Posts: 3
    edited 04/09/2013 - 10:33 PM
    ...feel like a total xxxx posting in here. Clearly this forum is dedicated to significantly more serious issues than mine, and I feel like I've been trivializing those issues by posting mine here. Would a moderator please more to thread to a more appropriate forum? Thanks.

    Post Edited for Inappropriate Language by The Spine-Health Moderator Team
  • This site is for pain in general, there are no rules who can/ cannot write here. Please know that if your in pain, regardless of the how or why, if you are like most of us, you'll want to talk with people about it. For most of us, we are either to shy, embarrassed or don't have anyone to talk too (or a million other reason I could list) and have found a very safe place in this forum. It is also a good place to go for questions, just like you asked. We all replied, no one thought twice about it. Welcome, this is one place you are truly among people who will listen and care!
  • There is nothing wrong with what u asked. One thing that probably all of us spineys have problems with at some point or another, some of us more, some less - is sleeping! When, where, how, how long, and so on. I wish I could stand up and sleep... Ive tried the sofa, the recliner, mattress on floor and our 2 beds. Have yet to try on my back on the floor.

    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
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