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Chronic pain Sleep Problems

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Chronic Pain
I was diagnosed with spinal arthritis two years ago (24 YO)

I dealt with it for a while but now with the sleep disturbances it is getting out of control. I went back to college for a different field since being a welder is no longer practical. The problem is now that is the pain is so bad I can no longer sleep. My last attack caused me to be awake for 50 hours. My pain is in the upper back and left shoulder and the last attack caused my hand to go numb. I have no insurance and have no funds to see a doctor.

Any suggestions?


  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i do not have your exact problem but i do have pain and trouble sleeping. you don't say what you have tried so far. i am sorry you are having such trouble sleeping. have you tried melatonin and magnesium together? it is natural and might give you a few hours sleep. I) of course speak to your doctor or pharmacist about adding this to your medications. good luck!be sure to look at the "Sleeping" site! I) Jenny :)
  • With regards to trying things with sleep and consulting doctor,

    I tried pretty much everything under the sun. Sleeping pills,
    melatonin combos, trazodone. Even Percocet does nothing but make me lightheaded and in pain.

    Again no insurance and no money to see doctor on a regular basis. I'm trying to strengthening my back muscles but that seems to be a trigger. Even breathing hurts when I have a attack.

    My family has a history of back problems. Both my dad and my brother have back problems and my uncle committed suicide because of it.

    It would not be such a problem but it is interfering with school(Web Developer)

    I plan on going into business for myself after I graduate.
    With my my back a 9-5 job is not practical but I WILL NOT let it own me

    When one door closes, another one opens

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  • Hiya
    Welcome to spine health. I am presuming that you are american. So my advice for you is to go and see a doctor. You can go to one of the teaching hospitals if you dont have insurance.What state do you live in ? someone here will tell you which hospitals you can go to and give you advice. :)

    Angie x
  • Yes,I'm American, should of said that originality

    I live in northeast Wisconsin and don't know know if the University of Wisconsin has medical school but I know it has a research hospital. It is mostly used for emergencies and biotechnology research(Stem cells).

    Right now I occasionally go through Aurora Health Cares helping hand program which makes it affordable for doctor visits but advanced test are out of the question. I will contact UW to see if there are any options.
  • Ask one of the moderators on this site if they know of any teaching hospitals close to where you are, who deal with this kind of thing.The moderators are; PRIESTESS(miki) dilauro, paulag. Good Luck and keep us posted .

    Angie x
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  • Welcome to Spine Health.

    When the doc diagnosed you with spinal arthritis 2 years ago, what kind of diagnostic testing did he have done?

    Can you at least get to a heated pool or hot tub to soak in a few times a week?

  • I live in Byron IL.(near Rockford)
    I did see a specialist at the University Of Wisconsin about 2 months ago. I found their whole neurology dept to be great.
    you can PM me anytime, maybe with us being close I might have a suggestion or ideas....patsy
  • Has anyone ever suggested you try a TENS unit? It's a transdermal electronic nerve stimulator. I have one and when my muscles get knotted up with too much nerve pain, it really seems to help everything relax a bit. If you were able to get one, it could provide you with some lasting non-narcotic relief. After the initial cost, you just have batteries and the little sticky patches to buy. Not sure if it would help, but mine tends to get some knots out when nothing else will work.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Your symptoms sound very like my own and I sympathise with you. However there is no easy answer, as advised by the others you require medical assistance. I have not found a majic pill , rather the provision of good pain medication has resulted in a more regular sleep patern. I hope our friends in the US can guid to towards a suitable clinitian who can assist you.
  • I don't have the exact same problem that you have, although I do have arthritis in pretty much every joint including my back. I may not be able to offer much in the way of advice but I can offer support. I haven't slept in over 8 years. I haven't even been able to sleep in a bed in that time! I have to sleep in a chair in the living room sitting straight up, which of course hurts my neck terribly. I did recently make a purchace that is helping me to be able to get back into my bed though and is also helping with the pain when I sleep. I bought a mattress topper. I already own a Sleep Number bed, which I paid $$$$$ for and it didn't help AT ALL! But when I put this particular mattress topper on, oh my gosh, it was like sleeping on a cloud. It really did help to relieve the pressure points and alleviate some of the pain. One of the big problems that I've had when trying to sleep in a real bed is that every time I need to turn over or change positions, I have to wake up, sit up, and put myself in the position that I want. By that time, I'm already well awake and completely aware of how bad my pain has intensified since I first fell alseep. So of course I would have to get up. I finally had given up! But things are changing for me now with this topper. If you would like the info on this particular one, send me a pm and I'll give it to you. Personally I wouldn't buy just any one, I'm going to stick with the one that I found. Even my husband loves it and is now sleeping better too. The other suggestion that I have is to try taking Aleve for the pain. It's an NSaid and that is what they use for arthritis. I used to be on Bextra but that was taken off of the market. I've been on Oxycontin for 6 years or so but I still have to take the Aleve just to get by. Good luck, I know how miserable it is to go without sleep. Feel free to pm me anytime and if you have any questions about this topper, I'll give you all of the info.
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