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I can't get comfortable, any suggestions?

Started by Time2change on 11/13/2011 11:29pm

Posterior lumbar fusion @ L4,5 & S1 in May 2010 now experiencing terrible muscle spasms, pain to lower back that extend to left butt and back of left leg. (pain and numbs was I. Right leg before surgery). I cannot take any pain medicine with codeine or it's derivatives, which pretty much leaves me with IBU and muscle relaxers (don't do anything- so I don't take them) massage therapy helps, but of course comp won't pay.
So, I'm getting to the point again where standing and sitting hurt. I am almost ready to give up sleeping in bed as I am so uncomfortable despite using pillows under my knees/ or between them when on my sides. I do go to the recliner but eveni amnot guaranteed comfort.

Does anyone have any tips, suggestions that worked for them.
Thank you

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6 Responses


Hi Time2change ,Have you consider going back to your Doctor that did the work and having him exam for changes that have appear to be occurring. That would be the most director method of finding out what is going on. H/she probably will send for diagnosis tests as I am sure your are you had before.

I don't know what type of therapy if any you may be doing at home. If the doc checks you out and there is nothing wrong that he can fix, you might want to consider trying aqua therapy. Doing gentle exercises in warm water you would certainly benefit from. Comp should pay for it.

Good luck


I had my l5-s1 fused March of 2011. I had some of these problems, but started PT 5 weeks after surgery. My therapist did some massaging, heat, tens unit, as well as ultra sound. I was injured at work and work comp paid for all of this since it was helping control the pain I was in. Also after surgery your nerves become tight and need to be worked with and stretched out. I do exercises at home and walking helps as well. I am currently taking tramadol which helps control some of the pain I still have. I'm not sure if any of this helps, but hope it does. Oh yeah i also have a ball which I bought from the PT and do lots of stretching exercises which helps my back as well. Anything else don't hestitate to get back with me, more than willing to help or answer any questions.


Hi hun Im similar to you. I find that if I have a good stretch in the bedroom depot with my hubby (posistions that aint gonna hurt of course) I sleep better. I too cant take any meds which is frustrating and very painful but sometimes a hot water bottle helps with the spasms. I usually lie flat on the floor for 5 mins when Im really bad but make sure there is somebody there to help you up slowly. Dont give up sleeping in bed. Try sleeping with no pillows and lie flat for a bit dont stay in the same position to long tho as you may be stiff as do I get. Keep in touch and let me know if this helps. maybe we can help each other Ive given up on docters and medics x


Thank you all for your replies. As i mentioned before my original surgery was fusion at L4, L5 ans S1. It appears according to my testing the lower portion of my fusion has failed called Osteolysis. This is caused when the body re-absorbs the bone, so the material placed between L5 and S1 is gone and i am now bone on bone. There is some nerve impingement at these areas dependent on my movement. Needless to say sitting and standing have become very painful so i spend most of my time in the recliner with the heating pad.
I am hoping to have surgery soon, but its a workers comp case so it can be denied. I am hoping and praying things move forward soon. As a nurse i really don't think the people who do these cases (workers comp, ins companies) understand many of us just want to get better, decrease pain and get back to work. If they did i wouldn't have to wait up to 45 days for a decision to be made..sorry - venting.
I am glad i know whats going on, and am very confident with the abilities of my surgeon. For me, the first surgery (fusion) was the best thing i could have had done; as the original pain was gone. I was left with surgical pain and muscle spasms..but ill take the spams compared to what i had suffered with.
I will be glad when the spasms and pain decrease, even just a little bit. I hope everyone is hanging in there. We need to be educated consumers, ask questions, and never take "no" for an answer.


So very sorry to hear that you are having so much pain. You did say you are more comfortable in the recliner, and I used to find that too. After surgery a couple of years ago, I rented an adjustable bed to recover, and found that the adjustability was a huge help. So when we returned the adjustable bed, I went shopping and purchased my own. And can't tell you how much more I look forward to getting into that bed at night now that I can raise and lower it where I need to. So if you think that might help you, I hope you will go try them out and see if they will help you too. : )


HI, I'm also struggling with pain I have Lidoderm lidocain patches 5% also have Diclofenac 1.3% (antiflamitory) patches. These 2 products are Rx but well worth each it they last 12 hrs. They have awsome sticking power. :)