I'm writing in hopes of some advice on pain after a 3 level cervical fusion. It has been 6 months and my doctor has given the ok awhile ago for massage therapy as long as my neck is always kept in a neutral position and no one moves it for me. I have yet to try my first massage since my surgery and I probably should as the right therapist could probably help a lot. That being said, I've always been a sleeper that moved around a lot and scrunched myself in different fetal like positions. I wake up many times a night usually on my back with my hands supporting both sides of my head and when I move my spine makes horrible cracks or snaps. It doesn't really add to the pain that is already there when it snaps, but it does add to the pain consistantly. But lately I have begun turning on my side in my sleep to give my back some relief from always being on my back. I think when I roll over I have kept my neck in alignment but as I relax in sleep I believe I'm making a side S shape with my neck around my fusion and I'm feeling pain above and below the fusion as if the discs above and below are handling too much pressure from the angles.
With a 3 level fusion your neck no longer would benefit from a neck roll shape as it can't really move that way except for the top 2 vertibrae. And when I lie on my back it feels like it is at a painful angle at the bottom where it connects to the T1. I've tried lying on top of a thin pillow to make a pillow top style but it gives me low back pain. I have found pillows to lie on my side with, but I just change my positioning to a non neutral position while I sleep and hurt myself.
I don't mean to whine, but not being able to comfortably sleep is torture and depressing me. My PT always told me to look in a mirror to make sure my neck is in alignment with the pillow but as I mentioned as I'm sleeping I shift in a bad position. Any advice out there from experience??? I would so appreciate it.