I had a microdiscectomy 9 months ago on my L5-S1, and about a month ago finally joined the gym again. I wasn't too active before my surgery, but I now know that keeping my core strong is a key to keeping my spine healthy. I no longer have any pain beyond some fleeting muscle aches if I sit improperly for too long, etc., but I'm having a serious setback with one little thing.
In my yoga classes, there are a lot of times where we lie flat on the floor. Warmups, stretching, etc. If I'm moving about constantly, it's not a huge problem, but if my body remains still while lying flat for more than a few moments, my lower back kinda "freezes up" and becomes very intensely painful when I try to move again. This also happens when I'm doing my PT exercises that involve floor work. If I'm lying flat on the floor on my back, it's near impossible to move after a spell. However, once I get up and move about, walk around, etc., the pain is gone with only a slight residual soreness that goes away within the hour.
I cannot tolerate the Savasana, or Corpse Pose, which only involves lying flat on my back, arms loosely at my sides, legs straight out in front of me. That's supposed to be the relaxation pose, and it hurts me more than anything.
If I sleep on my back in bed, I find I need to have a fluffy pillow under my knees. I've tried this in the classes and in my PT exercises (placing a foam roller under my knees) but it doesn't help.
I work an office job and sit on my butt all day. I also know that normally when lying flat, I can fit my hand (plus some!) easily into the space between the small of my back and the floor.
Are there some stretches or exercises I can do to help my back tolerate lying flat on a hard surface? This is a totally new pain to me, and I don't know how to deal with it. I'd like to avoid the cost of yet *another* round of PT just to deal with this small issue. Any ideas?