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Old 08-15-2004, 07:41 AM   #1
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Morning pain bad, is this normal???

I have a protruding disc between L-4 and L-5. It has been two weeks. I am doing some stretching, etc. In the morning, I have horrible pain, cannot walk, basically function at all. Later in the day, it gets a little better. Is this normal after this time? The morning episodes don't seem to be improving at all. I was in bed for over a week when it first happened. I did lots of stretching in bed before I got up this morning and it is really bad now. Should I baby my back or push myself??? Thanks for your advice. I am very frustrated......

 
Old 08-15-2004, 08:04 AM   #2
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

I have this same problem (herniated L4-L5 with tear and impingement on left leg nerve,) and it gets so bad in the morning I don't want to get out of bed, but yet I have to because laying there hurts so much I can't stand it.

It's like my back seizes up in the night and I am awakened every morning by the pain which eases up after I'm up for a while. I have no idea why it happens, except that maybe because I don't move much when I sleep, all the muscles get upset by morning. And there are days, (like today) when the weather also has to play a part and keep me miserable for the rest of the day.

I surely feel your pain. I don't know what to do about it, nor do any of my doctors. They have me taking muscle relaxers when I go to bed to try and stop it, but it doesn't help.

I bought a hot tub in the hopes that it will ease my back in the morning, as a shower almost helps a little. Maybe if I get up and crawl into the tub, it will loosen things up. I hope.

Stormygale

 
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Old 08-15-2004, 08:18 AM   #3
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

Stormygale, how long have you had this pain?? I can't imagine living everyday like this.....I also feel like my muscles spasm in the morning due to non-use at night. Taking a muscle relaxant does not help me either. I am using a walker in the morning just to get around and I am still in agony. Were you told to exercise or just rest your back when you are in pain? I get some relief when I lay flat on my back on the floor but not for long. Many mornings I cannot stand to take a shower. I am thinking about P.T., but unsure of anything at this point except the pain....which I know I will have everyday..... I also was told I have a tear also.... Do you know if the herniation repairs itself?? I guess I need to get more info from the MD but I am not really crazy about them, personal experience tells more much...

 
Old 08-15-2004, 08:35 AM   #4
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

I have the same thing myself. It kills me for 1-2 hours every morning. In fact, I am constantly late to work now, because I can't get moving fast enough.

I have been fighting this for 6 months now-some days are good, some not so good. I wish I knew the answer-it might be surgery for me.

Good luck.

 
Old 08-15-2004, 09:44 AM   #5
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

Bones--Morning pain and stiffness that improves (even a bit) is a very common pattern. So is the opposite, which happens to be my experience, in which everything feels best when I first get up, but deteriorates as gravity takes over later in the day.

I _do_ think working with the right PT may be helpful. There are some gentle stretches that some people do before they get out of bed that are useful to them. However, it is _not_ a question of "babying" or "pushing it." It is a question of what _specific_ PT you do, that has to fit with your specific situation. What has me concerned in your posts is where you started--that, for whatever reason, you have not found a doctor whom you feel takes your situation seriously enough. And you do not have a diagnosis that makes sense to you and seems to explain your symptoms reasonably enough.

Backs are usually complicated, to say the least. And I know this is easy to say from a distance. But I do think finding a doc with whom to work and in whose assessment of your back you have confidence is the first step. Then that person can recommend whatever specific PT (or whatever else) he/she thinks is most likely to be useful to you. We can talk about our own experiences, but there is no way that anyone here can tell you, from a distance, whether stretching will help or aggravate things, which ones, how much, and so on.

In terms of docs, there are several specialities that can be useful, although the best is to get a recommendation/referral from someone you trust, be that another doc or another person with severe back trouble. The specialties include physical medicine, neurology, and orthopedics. Personally, my "quarterback" is a neurologist, but that has mostly to do with the fact that he is the guy who most "gets it" for me and with whom it is a pleasure to work.

So keep the faith, if you can, and keep the search as well. I don't recall if you've said where you live, but hopefully there are the right docs and or centers there. If not, doing some travelling for an assessment (as hard as that may sound) may be what you need to do.

Good luck,

Standingman

 
Old 08-15-2004, 09:50 AM   #6
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

One other note, which I intend to be encouraging. I saw several (like about four) docs before I found the one with whom I now work. I hope it will be easier for you. There is also a thread on this board called "Finding the Right PT" (you'll get it via the search engine) that may be useful to you. The emphasis on a good, collaborative relationship--that people wrote about re: their PT--applies to relationships with docs equally so.

Again good luck,

Standingman

 
Old 08-15-2004, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

Mornings are the worst for me. I'm 4 weeks post op from fusioin. The stiffness and soreness from being in bed all night,or at least most of it, really takes it toll. One pain pill and a half hour of moving around usually make me feel better.

What standingman said sounds like very good advice.

Hope things improve for you.
Julie
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APLIF T4-S1 on july 19, 2004
Harrington rod T5 - T12 1982

 
Old 08-15-2004, 03:40 PM   #8
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

I absolutely need to find a good MD, especially since my bones are compromised in my lumbar spine(osteo). It is so hard to find a decent MD, but that is what I will do next week. I could finally function by around noon today. The pain is so unbearable, I have to take a shower holding onto the top of the door. If I take any pain medication, my head floats all day and I hate the feeling. I guess I need to really concentrate on physical fitness, building abdominal muscles, mabye yoga when this passes. Thanks for all your responses, nice to know you are not alone!!

 
Old 08-15-2004, 04:01 PM   #9
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

try pt.it will definitely help but you must give it a fair shake.3 months of pt twice a week and daily home exersizes which most can be done laying on your back.stretching everyday is so important.ive recently fractured some ribs and been unable to stretch and man can i feel the difference.

 
Old 08-15-2004, 05:30 PM   #10
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

i have a herniated L5-s1 disc--up until 1 month ago i had about 10 out of 10 pain most of the time but always worse in the morning, i would take about 3 steps and it would feel like my back and all up my leg were going to explode.
the pain is worse in the morning because when you are lying down sleeping at night all of your discs sort of soak up nutrients and/or fluid from the tissues around them, apparantly we are about 1/2 inch taller in the morning, and then as we walk around, the sourounding tissues then reabsorb the fuid again, now i suppose they need to do this because they dont have a blood flow of their own(they need to eat some how!!)
i have been doing mckenzie excercises for the past month and i would say i am 80% back to normal--i am doing everything to avoid surgery--
the pain is way worse in the morning for me, i get out of my bed and do extension exersizes, walk around a little, then lay down for a few minutes, then get up again and walk more--within about half an hour the pain is way down...hope this helps..things are alot better when you know whats going on.

 
Old 08-16-2004, 12:15 AM   #11
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

My mornings also are the worst time. Driving makes me hurt a lot too. I don't have the extreme pain that most of you seem to have, but my entire body screams in pain when I wake up. From my neck all the way to my feet! When I was working (not currently, on short term dis) I would expect my calves and heels to hurt first thing when I woke up. I am a nursing assistant and was working three twelve hour shifts in a row. Plantar faciitis (sp) is very common among nurses, and that is what it feels like, though I am not sure that is the prob. But, I haven't worked in a month now, and I wake up and my feet, heels, calves, knees, low back, mid-back, upper-back and neck hurt so bad. The only relief i get is to take a nice hot shower and let the water run on my low back. That of course is temporary. I end up taking a pain pill not long later. It sucks. The only thing I can say to help, is first thing do some stretching. Elongate your body (arms extended over your head, all the way down to pointing your toes: like you are stretching standing up), flex your feet up and down. Other than that, I don't know. Could ask your therapist (PT), they would have good suggestions.

 
Old 08-17-2004, 02:58 PM   #12
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

Thanks so much for your suggestions, I am stretching in the AM, I try to stand up as tall as possilbe in the morning, but the pain still wins out eventually. I am going to go see a P.T. this week to get started on some exercises. Laying flat on the floor also helps although I am not comfortable while I am down there. Every morning it seems the same, I almost fell over today and I tensed up and boy did it hurt. I want a new body!!! If anyone has any good exercises, let me know. I have a protruding L-5, S-1 disc with a fissure ( is this leaking fluid?). That is causing the rediculopahty that is ridiculous.... I guess, it is to me anyway, too nmany big words for pain....

 
Old 08-17-2004, 04:22 PM   #13
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

I've been dealing with this for over 5 years. Some days are better then others. I've re-arranged my pain pill schedule (I take Oxycontin every 12 hours, but anyone will tell you it really only works for 8,) so I take mine at 2am and 2pm. That also seems to have helped. I also do stretching exercizes before I get out of bed trying to loosen the stiffness up. It doesn't work much, but the hot tub does. After 20 minutes in the hot tub with my coffee, I'm ready to move for the rest of the day. I must get in the tub about 4 times a day. It helps me. I don't know about anyone else, but everyone is different. I hope you find a rountine you can life with and that will help you.

Stormygale

 
Old 08-17-2004, 06:04 PM   #14
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Re: Morning pain bad, is this normal???

Right. You really have to find what works best for you. I do some gentle (very gentle) yoga while I'm still in bed. But a good PT will be able to figure out which things have the best chance of helping for you!

good luck.

Spiro

 
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