Pain Concern
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Horrible Lower Back Stiffness and Pain after sleeping on Back

Every night when i go to bed i have to sleep on either one of my sides because i can not sleep on my back with out waking up in horrible pain and stiffness. I was told that it was from the fibromyalgia and that there was nothing that i can do about it. I hate waking up like this. I am currently on savelle 50 mg 2x days, tramadol 50 mg 1x day, tizanidine 8 mg at bedtime, robaxin 1000 up to 4 times a day, amitriptlyne 50 mg at bedtime and celebrex 200 mg once a day. Is there something else that i should be taking for this or anything that i can do to help it. I have done most everthing that i can think of.


13 Replies

You could try duloxetine, I know it helps me, unfortunately it does not keep the pain at bay when you go into a flare, but if I don't take it I feel worse. I've also got some 'dragon balm' which is cheaper form of tiger balm, tried it a couple of days ago and I think it worked. Going to use some in a minute as my neck and shoulders are killing me. Hope this has helped. If you go to the fibromylgia page on health unlocked there are lots of lovely people who will share their success and not so successful ideas


The medical community make me sick telling everyone that they have fibromyalgia, when it could be something much more serious!

A story: Three years ago I was referred to a so called pain specialist. I say "so called", because when I told him just how much pain I was in from slipped discs my neck and back, he asked me why I thought I had slipped discs! I told him five MRI scans and an emergency operation to save my legs and stop me being in a wheelchair, to which he replied "You don't have slipped discs, you have... (Yep, you guessed it} Fibromyalgia!" I walked out of there, went back to my GP and asked to see a decent pain specialist. I was referred, had nerve block injections, and have never looked back!

So, the moral of this tale is, do NOT just accept so called specialist advice, it is YOUR body and YOU decide what happens to it! I don't know a lot of those medications, but I do know that amitryptiline did nothing for me apart from have me like a zombie! It's quite a cocktail to still be in pain. Have you tried heat or rubs? Putting a pillow between your knees whilst on your side can help too.

Go back to your doctor, tell them that the cocktail of drugs isn't working and that you want to be referred to a pain clinic.


Hi, I really don't think this is a main symptom of fibro! Have you seen a physio? If I sleep on my back I get the same so I tend to opt for side with a long pillow between my knees or front. I think on the whole the reason for this problem is one or more underlying joint stiffness/problem which doesn't like being held in this position for long periods. A physio may be able to mobilise the stiff link helping you sleep better. Best wishes


Look up Bursitis I have this and can't sleep on my right side, am on 50mg amytryptiline a day for this and recently had it my pregabline increased but going to stop that as it is causing weight gain, and that just makes things worse.. good luck with this but my guess is you have the same as me x


I take tramquel 200mg it's a slow release form of tramadol, works a treat for me.


It sounds like the problem I had. When I told my dr he said it was a classic symptom of spinal nerve compression; bulging disc, overgrowth of bone, are a couple of causes. Maybe an MRI or nerve testing is in order, (although mine didn't show on MRI).

Your fibromyalgia is an easy out. I think your doctor needs to reconsider.


They will not do another MRI. He did an xray and it showed that i had deg disc disease.


Hi 2ndchance, just wondered how they diagnosed your spinal nerve compression if it didn't show up on your MRI? What treatment did you get for it? I suffer from really painful lower back, my sacral area gets very swollen and puffy, but is now swollen but hard, I'm not sure why it's changed, but the pain is worse atm? It's really painful for me to lie on my back at night too, but is worse on my sides so I have to lie mostly on my back. I am also trying to find a solution to this problem.



If you get sacral pain (sacroiliitis) then you really need to be checked out by a rheumatologist - sacroiliitis is the hallmark of the spondyloarthritis group of inflammatory arthritis, and it is something that can be treated. unsurprisingly, a rather large number of people with spondyloarthritis get told initially that its fibro.


Put a couple of pillows under your knees and lie on your back. This takes the pull off the back from the legs and should help you sleep on your back.

When on your sides put the pillow between your legs, again this allows the hips and back into a more neutral position.

Puffy sacrum sounds to me like you have some kind of build up of fluids through lack of movement. Can you get down on the floor on a soft carpet or mat and gently (gently!) and slowly rock your knees to your chest? Knees wide and hold on to them with your hands. Feel the sacrum under you. If this disperses the puffiness and reduces swelling then you have another piece of information to help you puzzle your way thru this. 👍🏼😜


I have this to just as your discribing and it's painful, very painful. Does it also take your breath away when you try and turn over ?

I havnt found anything that really helps but having lots of pillows under tummy and between knees helps to keep me on my side and to stop me rolling onto my back. Not always but it's worth a try.

Good luck and try and breath when you try and turn over it's to easy to hold your breath and it makes it hurt more. I dread standing up when I get out of bed too because it just hurts so much when my back is stiff and sore from night time and not sleeping .

Good luck


There may be something you can do about it or they may not. You are going to have to experiment.

Normal sleeping does involve a lot of movement. The body moves in order to prevent muscle stiffness. Movement is part of the sleep cycle system protective mechanism.

Try changing to a harder bed. The harder bed will force you to work on relaxing your muscles in order to be more comfortable. A soft mattress will allow you to have more tense muscles. Tense muscles will have a knock on effect by causing other muscles to become tense.

It is worth seeing a McTimony chiropractor to see what muscles in spasm can be un-spasmed. Reducing the number of muscles that you have in spasm will improve the quality of life and lessen the pain and discomfort.

How much is your drug regime causing the problem you have? It is beginning to be recognised that pain killers can cause pain. Not going into the details of this here as it would take me a little while to check the sources and explain the mechanism of how pain killers cause pain.

There is the possibility that you are not moving enough in your sleep and your are getting the side effect of pain, stiffness and discomfort from not enough movement. This is an area for your investigation.

When you wake up with pain and stiffness you need to get the muscle moving. It is important that you get the muscle moving at a very slow rate because propioceptors are switched off and if you try to move too fast you will damage yourself. Try concentrating on making a very small movement back and forth. This technique for me works to get a muscle working again when it has locked. Patience is required because the temptation to get it unstiffened too fast is very great.

I sort of know what it is like because I went through a period where I was only getting of fours sleep when I need eight because of pain and stiffness.

Hope this helps


If it hurts to sleep on your back, then the simple answer is don't sleep on your back. What you can do though, is try and make yourself more comfortable and in a better position in bed. That means getting your pillows exactly the right height so your neck isn't kinked the wrong way; perhaps try a small pillow under your knees when lying on your back (as that helps keep the lower spine in a more relaxed position); put a small pillow between your knees when lying on your side, and/or rest your upper arm on a bigger pillow when lying on your side. All those things will help relieve the stress on your back. I believe that Occupational Therapists can help with sleeping positions, and can even sometimes supply long body pillows or wedges to help you stay in the right position.


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