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Lying on my back gives pain - L5 - S1 disc bulge / retrolisthesis

I suffer from a retrolisthesis on L5-S1, and a disc bulge in the same location, which gives me pain and stiffness in the lower back and down the legs, especially in the feet.

I've had the condition for 5 years, but this June, something new happened. I can no longer lie down on my back, because after about 2 minutes, I start feeling a pain in my lower back and feet. My chiropractor, who I see regularly, said that this could be a temporary thing because of stress on my spine, so I should wait to see if it goes away while I continue with my exercise. He explained that my disc slips backwards when I lie on my back, because the core muscles don't function usually when one is lying down.

Has any of you experienced this issue? Did it get back to normal or did it remain the same?

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Comments

  • Have you tried elevating both your legs when laying on your back? That is what I have to do to stop my back psin,
    Hope this helps.
    Patsy W
  • I am not familiar with your retro injury, but I also have a bulge at L5/S1. I have been compressed for awhile, but only in the past couple months I also get alot of pain when laying down. Elevation no longer helps either. The worst part is that when I wake & stand up, I get extreme pain down my leg, makes for miserable mornings. I am having a MicroD early september.
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
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  • thank you both for your replies.

    yes, i tried elevation but it doesn't help much. i just am getting used to sleeping on my side. but to me it feels more like my whole spine has somehow moved backwards (i think that's called a lordosis), i feel a heaviness in my lower back, rather than a thin disc slipping back. i'm soon having an MRI done, so that should clarify things.

  • I have retrolisthesis at L5-S1 and anterolisthesis at the L4-5, a combination which causes a lot of positioning problems. I have found it is vital for me to keep my spine in neutral position to avoid pain when I'm lying down. My physical therapist had to spend a lot of time teaching me to understand that and I'm glad she did. I'd suggest you Google that and also use a long body pillow to encourage your body to stay in correct position.

    I know you're anxious to hear the MRI results. How long has it been since the one that diagnosed the retrolisthesis, or was that x-ray?
  • I have problems with my L4-L5, and L5-S1. This area is sensitive to touch and I can't lay down or sleep on my back. It does not help if I elevate my legs. The only thing that helps is if I curl up my knees towards my chest or lie down on either side with bent knees. That way the sore area does not touch the surface of the bed or couch.
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  • Kaifmahood - have you been to your physician since you have these new issues? I have used a chiropractor and was helped so I'm not against chiropractors, but I have concerns when those with spinal issues go to chiropractors unless their physician ok's it. I suggest that you see your physician or contact them to explain your new symptoms. It's best to make sure what the cause is.
    KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • finnora said:
    I have problems with my L4-L5, and L5-S1. This area is sensitive to touch and I can't lay down or sleep on my back. It does not help if I elevate my legs. The only thing that helps is if I curl up my knees towards my chest or lie down on either side with bent knees. That way the sore area does not touch the surface of the bed or couch.
    Mine isnt sensitive to touch, thankfully, but yeah curled up on side every night really sucks! 20 days till surgery for me.
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • JerseygirlJJerseygirl Posts: 18
    edited 08/20/2012 - 7:21 AM
    I am new to all of this. I have had pain for years. I am always looking for advice and for someone to give suggestion on how to cope with pain. I realize what works for one does not always work for others, however when your in so much pain you willing to try almost anything. I am not able to lay down on my back anymore when do I wake in so much pain and can not move my legs. I have to sleep in a recline position. Since I cannot afford to go out and buy one of those craftmatic beds my husband has took two body pillows and places them under are mattress to elevate it up for me. It seems to work for the time being. However I am still waking up every two hours in pain from my hips however my legs are not going numb as of right now. I am no doctor but I think laying flat on my back was causing my legs to go numb and all the pain down my legs at night since I have elevated my self it has released some of the pressure. If I slide down out of the reclined position I do wake up (temporary)paralyzed in my legs so I do believe there is some kind of connection in this sleeping position FOR ME. Just something for you to ponder on. Hope it may help.
    shiela diodati
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