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Cannot lay on back without pain.

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Old 03-17-2005, 09:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Minneapolis MN USA
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Kari7171 HB User
Cannot lay on back without pain.

I hurt my disc 9 weeks ago and it is doing quite a bit better but the thing that still causes me problems is I cannot sleep on my back. Tonight I layed on my back for 10 minutes in bed to watch a movie with my husband and there is this pain I get right above my tailbone that really burns and feels sharp. It only hurt right on one vertebrae it seemed like. It seems like it sticks out there since this all happened. Like I am sitting on a pea or something. Anyway it was doing fine until I layed on my back. Each night I have to lay on my side with a pillow between my legs then I am fine. Has anyone else had that problem with a damaged disc?

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Old 03-17-2005, 11:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Read66 HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.

I feel your pain. I also can't lay on my back without waking up with my low back (right above my tailbone) feeling like someone is stabbing a knife in me. Unfortunetly I always seem to roll onto my back during the night. So mornings are never good. My pain also radiates into my left hip and down my leg.

I have a tear in my L4-5 and will be having surgery soon.
Have you seen a DR? Try ice on your back and ibuprofen. If that doesn't help you probably want to get it checked and get an MRI and possibly a discogram depending on what the MRI shows.

Good luck

Old 03-18-2005, 12:09 AM   #3
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beachgirl01 HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.

Hi there,
I hear your pain! It's no fun at all. WHen I sleep I put a pillow between my knees, I cuddle on in my arms just under my stomach and I place one just under my back. It helps so much. Of course during the night they get a little out of place but you learn to just kinda adjust them as you sleep. Have you considered physio for some relief. I've started accpuncture as part of my therapy and it has helped abit, something to consider anyway. Also ask your doctor for some muscle relaxants. I take them before bed and they do help a fair bit. Good luck, I hope you are able to find relief. Kristy.

Old 03-18-2005, 01:22 AM   #4
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Bionicwan HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.

Hi Kari,

Sorry your having problems.

As for the pain while lying down, I have that and it varies w/me but either ice or heat helps me. Ice of course you can use anything from an ice bag to my personal favorite, a bag of frozen peas.

Heating pads are awesome but I have graduated, now I use an electric blanket. I crank that thing on high kick down the A/C and I am as close to heaven in this world as one can get!

I can't lay ON my back I usually only get comfort in a fetal position.

I have several shot out discs and I've never experience the "sticking out like a pea" you have, but then again I have a lot of things that nobody else has heard of - another example of just how different we and our individual pain & symptoms are.

I assume you've been to the Dr about this?
Have you asked them what they think this could be?

Like Kristy said, muscle relaxers might help, I take soma during the day for I still "try" to go to work each day, at night time my PM has me on a strong mg of zanaflex and that really helps calm things down

Hope you feel better soon

Last edited by Bionicwan; 03-18-2005 at 01:25 AM.

Old 03-18-2005, 04:29 AM   #5
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kwise HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.

I'm soo glad that you posted. I know exactly what you are talking about and I have been trying to figure out how to describe the pain I have. and you are exactly right feels like right above my right tailbone it is just sticking out there. But I have found that I have a totally dehydrated L5 and bulge in L4. I went through 3 rounds of ESI and still didn;t work. But I havnet found anything to help. I'm suppose to go to spine doc real soon. Sorry my advice didn't help but was soo excited that I had to write that there was someone else with what I am going through. Keep me posted

Old 03-18-2005, 05:53 AM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 56
Fly_Girl01 HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.


I as well am sorry to hear of your pain. I am the same way, my back got severely screwed up (see my sig) plus theres more, just ran out of space, lol, last June. I havent slept on my back since (at least intentionally). Car rides are pure torture, and there are like 3 good movies at the theatre I want to go see, but know I couldnt sit in those seats for 2 hours without squirming like a worm. Like the other posters said, you cant help what you do in your sleep, but the pillow between the legs helps alot. The heating pad idea sounds good too.

Bionic, you mentioned zanaflex. Do you know the milligrams so I can ask my NS? Ive been on them all, Soma, Flexeril, Skelaxin (made me want to puke my brains out). Maybe its worth a try, because I couldnt tell you the last time I had a good nights sleep and didnt take 10 minutes to get out of bed in the morning. So far flexeril has been best, but i think Ive been on it so long Im tolerant and now have to take 2 to get any relief.


-In pain in PA
Encroachment C4-C8
Compression fractures T5-T8
DDD T9-T10
Retrolisthesis L5-S1

Last edited by Fly_Girl01; 03-18-2005 at 05:55 AM.

Old 03-18-2005, 07:21 AM   #7
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Kari7171 HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.

I had an MRI about 7 weeks ago when I was in so much pain that I could not walk. I am doing considerably better compared to that. It's so weird because where I have the pain is so close to my tailbone and the damaged disc is way higher then that it's L5 but that is not right by the tailbone. My doctor had no explination for the pain I have by my tailbone. She is just a GP I haven't seen a specialist yet since it has been getting better all of the time. She got me through the acute stage. I take aspirin three times a day which helps a lot. I take the extra strength 500mg with a stomach protective coating. I worry about taking aspirin every day since it can cause bleeding stomach ulcers. Ibuprofen makes me really tired so that is why I do not take that. So I was laying there last night one my side and it really started throbbing a lot. I had already taken aspirin but it wasn't helping. It got even worse for about 20 minutes the throbbing and stabbing pain then all of the sudden it just completely went away and has not come back. I use a bag of peas also. It works great. Normally it gets rid of most of the pain but it did not seem to help much this time. It just seemed to go away in the middle of the night on it's own. I am glad also that there are others out there with this problem. I just can't seem to understand why I had pain so low by my tailbone when my L5 disc is damaged. But seeing that others have that same problem makes me think maybe that is just what goes with it.

Old 03-18-2005, 07:30 AM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.


Understand the pain. Seach under my name and you will see my posts. However, maybe I can offer a suggestion to allow you to sleep on your back. I now sleep on my side, but want to get on my back soon.

This is what the doc suggested to me before this last surgery and it did work for me. He said that if I did not have one of those wide wedge pieces to put under my knees, to use 2 or more pillows (depending on how thick) and make a stack to place under my legs so that when on my back and my lower legs on the pillows I was actually shaped much like I was sitting in my good chair. He said that would take additional pressure off my spine and bad disks. Didn't allow me any turning and tossing around, but I got good full nights of sleep in that one position. Most of us have extra pillows around so you don't have to go spend money to try this. Hope it helps out.

Old 03-18-2005, 07:39 AM   #9
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Kari7171 HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.

I can sit almost anywhere without pain though. I am doing pretty good considering I could not walk a month and a half ago. The doctor did not prescribe physical therapy. The only thing she did was offer me an epidural and I said no to that because I wanted to try healing without it. So right now I am just on my own. I have been walking on the treadmill which I am making progress on. It makes me stronger all of the time. I can walk with a bounce in my step again. Two weeks ago I still could not. I will probably have pain that comes and goes for quite a while a disc protrusion is a pretty serious injury. I sit at my desk at work for 5 hours straight and manage pretty well. It's just the laying on my back thing that is difficult. I also have pain sometimes sitting on my couch since it is so cushy and there is not much support for the lower back. I have almost no pain again this morning now. My back just felt a little stiff when I got up. I always take one extra strength aspirin when I first get up.

Old 03-18-2005, 01:00 PM   #10
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rebel_forever33 HB User
Re: Cannot lay on back without pain.

Im another with the pain at night. I hurt my back 3 yrs ago, and sleep in recliner for about a year tell I got some new matteres. know I sleep with pelows under the arm and between the knees, and also take an elival to help me rest. hope u find a way to sleep becouse no sleep makes pain even worse when eratable.

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