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Back Pain While Sleeping

My upper back kills me when I lie down at night. When I get up and sit upright it usually goes away only to start again while lying down. I have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis of my lower back with the dr. suggesting surgery which I am avoiding. I have some numbness in my feet and calves that are not caused by diabetes. The numbness supposedly comes from the stenosis. I take 600 to 800 MG of ibuprofen plus half a Norco in order to sleep and 600 MG twice during a round of golf just to make it through the round. All my drs just give me a blank look about my upper back pain. I have a back brace of sorts which sometimes relieves the pain. It wraps around my whole torso under my arms and fastens with velcro. I have had a couple of lower back epidurals one of which worked like a charm and the other did nothing. The dr. who gave me the epidural said he had a hard time finding a spot to insert the needle due to calcium. I'm 71 years old, am 6'5" and weigh 260 lbs. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,646
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • For what it's worth, my grandfather had back pain from stenosis for 30 years before having surgery, a laminectomy, which worked like a charm. he has no back pain at all now.
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  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 06/17/2016 - 2:00 PM
    It may not be your spine at all if sitting up eases the pain. On page 3 of the following information you can see the pressure put on your spine in different positions. There are more pounds per square inch (PSI) when you are sitting, put on your spine, - lying down puts much less PSI on your spine and should ease spine pain. 
    So if your pain is not caused by your spine, it may be from other vital organs.

    Your thoracic spine is joined to your ribs and your ribs protect many of your vital organs.

    I think you should ask your Dr about this especially if sitting eases the pain as that is very unusual with thoracic spinal problems, it is usually the opposite way round.

    I would ask my Dr to test other vital organs as the pain may be coming from somewhere else and could be referred pain. It is important to tell him/her that sitting up eases your pain.

    The other thing is that with bad thoracic spine damage swinging a golf club, and twisting your thoracic spine, even with a brace, should be excruciatingly painful.
  • Hope you find relief soon, I too am having a lot of pain in the thoracic area, it hurts all the time and feels worse sitting, cannot get comfortable.

    Just a note...I do have diagnosed problems in my neck, then I started getting the thoracic pain.
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