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Arm pain waking me up

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 01/19/2016 - 7:39 PM in Sleep Problems
I've got horrible pain in both arms due to my cervical issues. I am (or should I say was) a side sleeper - there is nore more of that. If I fall asleep on my back then my neck turns to the side and the electric bolts start flying.
Anyone have any words of wisdom or positions to try to let me get some sleep?


  • I am having the same problems--pain and electrical bolts in my arms during the night. I also wake up with tingling and numbness. There is no way I can learn to sleep on my back! I've tried, but I twist and turn and end up on my side. I do use one of the memory foam pillows, because I have heard I need to sleep with my head flat. I end up worrying about doing additional damage while I sleep. I am trying to sleep without sleeping pills, but at least when I use a pill, I'm out and not tossing and turning and wrenching my neck! You can't teach an old dog new tricks--I'll never learn to sleep on my back!--Mazy
  • Same problem. Calling the dr today because I AM OVER IT.

    I wish I could help, but the ONLY way my arm feels a even remotely better is if I stick it straight in the air (yeah, it's easy to sleep like that!). Pills work for awhile, but then your awake at 4 and groggy. You just can't win.

    Jeez, I sound like a cranky old lady, don't I? Maybe I've become one!

    July 31st can't get here soon enough for me.

    If my dr has any suggestions, I'll post them here later today.

  • Same problem here, and I was a side sleeper, too... oh how I miss it :-(
    I've had luck using one of those U-shaped travel pillows. Sometimes it helps to elevate the shoulders by making a stack of regular bed pillows and then adding the U pillow for the neck support. It keeps the head from turning to the side.
    What I've found works best for me is a memory foam "multi-position" pillow. It's small, narrow and is flat on the bottom and rounded on the top. (I got mine at a department store for under $20) Then, I have pillows or a wedge under my knees. When all else fails I sleep in the recliner.
  • I too have been having the annoying arm pain. I found that a long hot,hot, hot shower changing from the massage too regular helps for a bit. Ice packs too if you can stand it. If anyone has suggestions for relief please fell free to offer it.I hate to take sleeping pills too but at least I get a few hours of sleep. I'm having my MHI later this week, the last one was a few years ago, I'm guessing by the on set of this flare up that it has goten worse. But I have faith in medicine and the suggestions/advise from others. :)
  • My arm pain got so bad last night that I went into ER. :''( Having worked at a hospital for sevreal years its not my favorite place to be. You know the 1-10 scale 8. They rushed my MRI and found c5 bulging, apparent alot, so I'll be setting up a appointmet with a nerosurgen. I so don't wanna get cut, I know too many peole who had bad complcations from that. So I would apprecaite any suggestions to everything shy of that. :S
  • I have the same issues,and i have figured out what helps me most the time,I use a soft cervical collar,cost about 10 dollars,with this on i can even sleep on my side from time to time, it works for me i mean a couple of nights ago i just could not get comfy with the collar on so i took it off and i woke up shortly there after with my fingers tingling and my arm was numb and heavy took me about 1o minutes to get it feeling half normal. before i tried the collar i would get woke uo several times while tryin to sleep.
  • a water pilled pillow that has memory foam on the top of it. You add your own water until its the level of fullness you want and is comfortable to you. It works pretty good but is fairly heavy.

    Christina :)
  • I can only sleep 2 to 3 hours max. Pain is really bad. Just diag. with DDD C3-C7
    next week appt. with P M Dr..I only sleep on my back.I also have scoliosis Harrington rods from T1-L2 since 1979.
  • Welcome to Spine Health. I hope that you are able to get some help from the PM doc next week. I find that sleeping on my back with a pillow under each arm helps for some reason. I grasp the end of the pillow, hold my arm out and then bring it in to my chest and rest it on the pillow. Helps reduce the shoulder, arm and hand pain.

  • The pillow under each arm helps me too and i no exactly what your talking with grasping the pillow under each arm. its a great suggestion...
  • So then I'm not as crazy as I think, if it actually works for someone else. Cool!
  • Bluewaters71BBluewaters71 Posts: 1
    edited 08/08/2015 - 10:58 PM
    Everytime I wake up now for the past 2 weeks my arms feel as if all the bones are shattered pain is that bad I will hold something my arms go numb and hurt bad it'll take hours for it to stop, I don't believe it's from being on my sides it only starts hurting when I wake up

    No one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
    Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.

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  • I have the same issues due to upper cervical neck narrowing on C6 and C7. I also have bicep weakness in both arms. I sleep with a large body pillow at night. Hugging It seems to help. I also have a very thick mattress pad that cradles my body. A good mattress that is very plush and soft on top is a must.
  • I'm reading this thread after a night with a few hours sleep. I occasionally get a good night - maybe one a week, max - but man, I'm tired today!

    Linda (awaiting Feb. 1, 2016, for c5-6)
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    This is an old thread, the original poster is no longer a member and most responses are a few years old now.
    If you want to post to this topic it is better to search to see if there is another more recent thread or Create a new thread

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • BumbliciousBBumblicious Grass Valley, CAPosts: 5
    I had an MRI revealing issues with C3-C4, C4-C5 and C5-C6 (bulging/protruding discs).  I find that sleeping with two pillows, on my left side only (most of the pain is on the right side), with a pillow to put my right arm on, helps, along with a pain medication to sleep.  The body pillow that someone recommended is a good idea.

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