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Sleeping on stomach

Christina69CChristina69 Posts: 534
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm 6 weeks out from PLIF and just started taking my brace off at bedtime as per surgeons intructions. The problem is that I have the tendancy to turn and lay in my stomach during the night. It apparently causes me no pain but Ive read different threads on here about the fact that ppl shouldnt lay on their stomach after a fusion. It's true that I feel like I have more pressure in my back when I wake up by no pain.
Does anyone have any knowledge of this...if its alright or not to be sleeping like this.
If not I'm gonna put my brace back on at night to stop myself from rolling over.

Christina :)


  • I assumed that I wouldn't be able to sleep on my stomach after surgery (L4-S1 360 fusion), but my surgeon's PA said it was ok to do, with precautions. When I do sleep on my stomach, I use a body pillow and 1 additional pillow on top of it. I try to be sure that my back is straight before falling asleep. The PA recommended having someone check my positioning (i.e. husband). I haven't had any pain sleeping on my stomach either, so I'm going to keep doing it.
  • I don't wear my brace to bed or just to the bathroom. Only when I am going to be up a bit. I am a former stomach sleeper (well, BEFORE my injury anyway) and I can't imagine sleeping on my stomach yet.

    I would think your body would let you know if you can't do it. I would think that if you just automatically end up on your stomach you must be fairly pain free or it would wake you up.

    Sounds like heaven to me to be able to sleep on your stomach once again.
  • My NS told me prior to surgery that tummy sleeping was ok as long as I was comfortable. I haven't actually tried since surgery. I have waked up a couple of times almost on my stomach but there was a pillow there keeping me from going all the way over. I have less numbness if I sleep on my back. I prefer sleeping on my right side, because it faces my nightstand. I have one small patch of numbness in the crook of my right leg. It is funny that the numbness is there as my pre-op problems were in my left leg.

    I do not have to wear my brace unless I am up. At first I did wear it just to go potty but I haven't since I have gotten more secure feeling. Do you guys have a TLSO brace or the smaller one. I think mine must be what I have heard called a turtle shell. The worst part about it is the "T" that sits above my breasts, so aggravating. Not to mention HOT when I go outside for my walks. I like to go out really early or after sunset. We are entering the dog days of summer here in NC for sure....

    Kelly Jo
  • Hi All.

    I was told not to sleep on my stomach. I'm a side/stomach sleeper. It helps me to keep a pillow between my legs when sleeping on the side so I won't role over in my sleep.

    Tomorrow is my 6 week checkup appt. so I'm gonna ask about it then.


  • I couldn't even imagine sleeping on my belly, still can't. I lay on my belly at PT so they can do the electrode heat deep massage thing, (that's absolute HEAVEN!!) and it takes 2 of their therapists, and me about 5 minutes to get me back to my back, OOOUUUUCCCHHH!!! And I'm going 25 weeks post-op from a three level fusion PLIF.. I would think if you can do it without pain, go for it!!
  • Yep I am a tummy sleeper as well ( well actually I am 1/2 side & 1/2 tummy as my upper leg is bent and that keeps me from going fully onto tummy.
    My Doc said that it is fine. If it hurts dont do it but if it doesn't then sleep away.
    I do get a much better nights sleep and often start with hugging a pillow, but it is usually on the floor by morning.

    I too have read that you never do this but if the Doc and the PT gave me the OK then I am happy.

    Sleep well
  • So, I went to the doc today for my 6 week checkup. I asked if I could sleep on my tummy and he said yes. He also said I no longer need my brace.

    I would suggest you calling your doc to ask him about sleeping on your stomach.

    Good luck.

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