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Old 01-21-2008, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default Hip & Back Pain = No sleep for me : (

For the last few weeks I've had a really hard time sleeping. Before bed I take 2 Tylenol PM and 3 Advil but by 2am to 3am I am up and in pain (my lower back and hips). In the past I could fall back to sleep but the last few nights no matter what I try and I can't get comfortable enough to get back to sleep. My husbandís side of the bed is usually more comfortable for me but lately that's not helping either. HELP!!

I need a quick fix, or at least a fix that doesn't include a doctor. I have fantastic medical insurance but I'm sick to death of the doctors always blaming everything on my weight and trying to pressure me into having a sleep study done.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated by my husband and I (I'm sure I'm keeping him up at night with all my tossing and turning).

Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:31 PM   #2
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Ashley, have you tried sleeping on your side with a pillow (or two) between your knees? When my low back and hips hurt, that's the best way for me to sleep.

Also, I know I sound like a broken record with this, but I've had terrific luck with chiropractors. They can treat back and neck pain beautifully, without meds, and in my case I've never been hassled about my weight. I struggled with what you're struggling with when I was bigger, and I still have some trouble because of my hernia (now fixed, so I should be better). I have great insurance that covers massage and chiropractic and so between them both I have great relief.

Good luck!
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Old 01-21-2008, 04:16 PM   #3
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Have you tried using a heating pad? (Having one with a shut off is helpful so if you do sleep you won't get burned - also set it on low for sleep.)

I also drew a little simple sketch to show another possible way of sleeping with your legs elevated as an alternate - or as a variation so you can switch around during the night. I use two pillows (king size ones or longer) when I try this at home.
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Old 01-21-2008, 04:42 PM   #4
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Default Bitter Pill

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCutieAsshley View Post
For the last few weeks I've had a really hard time sleeping. Before bed I take 2 Tylenol PM and 3 Advil but by 2am to 3am I am up and in pain (my lower back and hips). In the past I could fall back to sleep but the last few nights no matter what I try and I can't get comfortable enough to get back to sleep. My husbandís side of the bed is usually more comfortable for me but lately that's not helping either. HELP!!

I need a quick fix, or at least a fix that doesn't include a doctor. I have fantastic medical insurance but I'm sick to death of the doctors always blaming everything on my weight and trying to pressure me into having a sleep study done.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated by my husband and I (I'm sure I'm keeping him up at night with all my tossing and turning).

Thanks!
I've had neck & back problems ever since a childhood accident. In my experience; chiropractic: good temporary relief but no permanent solution; physiotherapy: dead waste of time. Medication: Analgesics give temporary relief (I have a script for Voltaren pills which are banned in the US because they are rough on the gut, and they are!).

The only thing that has made any significant, sustained difference in 36 years is exercise. I suspect it both strengthens the joints themselves and also provides better muscular support/suspension. In my case anything that involves jolting the neck ie sports/running is out of the question, so I walk a lot and swim.

I imagine a local ladies gym could give you a program for strength building rather than fitness/weight loss.

One other thing that has helped is a water pillow and a good overlay on the mattress. But without the exercise it is only a matter of time before things get unpleasant again.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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Last night I tried a pillow under my knees and one near my lower back. Neither pillow helped. Maybe it was cause I was already in pain or maybe I didn't give it long enough. I'll try it tonight...I'm praying it helps. I don't know if I can take another sleepless night.

I've been thinking about checking out a chiropractor. I'll call my insurance company tomorrow and see how that works.

Thanks for your help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Vickie View Post
Ashley, have you tried sleeping on your side with a pillow (or two) between your knees? When my low back and hips hurt, that's the best way for me to sleep.

Also, I know I sound like a broken record with this, but I've had terrific luck with chiropractors. They can treat back and neck pain beautifully, without meds, and in my case I've never been hassled about my weight. I struggled with what you're struggling with when I was bigger, and I still have some trouble because of my hernia (now fixed, so I should be better). I have great insurance that covers massage and chiropractic and so between them both I have great relief.

Good luck!
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:29 PM   #6
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I never thought about a heating pad, I'll have to pick one up tomorrow.

Thank you so much for taking the time to replay and even draw a picture! You rock! Last night I tried a pillow under my knees but it didn't seem to help. Tonight I'm gonna try and recreate your drawing. I'll let you know how I make out.

Thanks again!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by moore2me View Post
Have you tried using a heating pad? (Having one with a shut off is helpful so if you do sleep you won't get burned - also set it on low for sleep.)

I also drew a little simple sketch to show another possible way of sleeping with your legs elevated as an alternate - or as a variation so you can switch around during the night. I use two pillows (king size ones or longer) when I try this at home.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:31 PM   #7
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I may have to break down and hit the gym. I can't take many more sleepless nights.

Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by southernfa View Post
I've had neck & back problems ever since a childhood accident. In my experience; chiropractic: good temporary relief but no permanent solution; physiotherapy: dead waste of time. Medication: Analgesics give temporary relief (I have a script for Voltaren pills which are banned in the US because they are rough on the gut, and they are!).

The only thing that has made any significant, sustained difference in 36 years is exercise. I suspect it both strengthens the joints themselves and also provides better muscular support/suspension. In my case anything that involves jolting the neck ie sports/running is out of the question, so I walk a lot and swim.

I imagine a local ladies gym could give you a program for strength building rather than fitness/weight loss.

One other thing that has helped is a water pillow and a good overlay on the mattress. But without the exercise it is only a matter of time before things get unpleasant again.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:15 PM   #8
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I have been dealing with back pain for about 18 years now. If I learned one thing - heat alone can make the pain worse. If it is muscular the heat can cause more swelling and that will cause more pain. I would try either just ice or ice and heat alternating. 20 min ice - 20 min heat etc.

Also - try stretching. I have to sleep on my side with a pillow between my knees. Try both sides - one may work better than the other.

Also - don't totaly throw out the idea of a sleep study. After I got my C-PAP a lot of my aches and pain went away. Being able to get a good nights sleep can do a lot toward helping ease pain.

A chiropractor is a good idea - make sure they x-ray you so you can be sure it's not something more than muscular.

Good luck I hope you find relief.
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:46 PM   #9
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Unfortunately there is likely to be no quick and easy fix. As much as I dislike chiropractors in general, I think a good one is more likely to find joint/back problem if there is one...as you've experienced, mos MDs just write off problems like this to being caused by weight, without serious investigation. I'll second what Sandie said about getting the sleep study...get one, if for nothing more than to rule that out as contributing to the problem. The other thing I'll add from experience is to take a long hard look at your mattress...few if any will give folks of any size good support for more than a few years, regardless of their advertised claims.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:15 PM   #10
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Default Another Source


Ashley,
Here's another source "The Healthy Back" website. They might have some
supplies that could releive your discomfort. Also , check out a physical therapist as they may suggest specific exercises for you to do AND what should be avoided based on your pain.



http://www.healthyback.com/?mt=B&se=...FUWoGgodqlMZFw
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:33 AM   #11
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Most lower back pain is caused by a lack of mobility in the hips. And spinal loading, whether through exercise or excess body weight, is only going to exacerbate the pain until the mobility issue is resolved. This, of course, only applies to you if your back pain was not caused by a traumatic injury.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:37 AM   #12
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In my own case, my low back pain is caused by an extra mobile joint in my sacrum which allows excess flexibility in my hips. Between that and my hernia, my low back had little stability. I'm hoping that my hernia repair will help my low back settle down; so far it does seem a lot better.

Having an extra, mobile joint in my sacrum is great for birthin' babies and wild and crazy sex, but it's not so great for having a stable pelvis for things like walking or sitting.

Ashley, if your back doesn't feel better with position changes and ice, a trip to the doctor is definitely in order. Obviously I'm a fan of chiropractic but I've also had good luck with a muscle relaxant called Flexeril which really helps relieve the muscle spasm that sometimes happens.

Hope you feel better...
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:44 AM   #13
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To expand on my previous post: the hip joint is the second most mobile joint in the body, after the shoulder. When the hip joint becomes less mobile due to muscular imbalances, tightness in the hip flexors and quads, and weakening of the glutes, the joint directly above (the lumbar region) will try to compensate. Unfortunately, the lower back is one of the joints in that body that needs stability, mobility's antagonist, the most. Hence, the pain.

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Old 01-22-2008, 02:09 PM   #14
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aww im really sorry to hear about your pain!! i'm still suffering with sciatica so i know how bad it can be when those areas hurt. i dont even know what to advice to be honest, im still battling my stuff with uber painkillers..

i just wanted to show some support! *hugs*
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Old 01-22-2008, 03:10 PM   #15
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I have a lot of back problems and the only thing I have found that was much help was Naproxen (Aleve). I take 3 Aleve twice a day when I am having a flair up. That is a lot, but it is under Dr's advice.

My lower 5 discs are squished and when they get angry it causes swelling that presses in on my nerves that then makes me feel like I am being sawed in half by dull rusty knives. The Aleve (any NSAID, but I find Advil is not strong enogh) will take care of the swelling in a couple to three days and I am back on my feet.

I tried all kinds of pain relievers and muscle relaxers, but nothing could get me up and I was bed-ridden for a couple of weeks two years in a row. With the Aleve, I have been able to keep it down to a few bad nights (knocking on wood).

Good luck...I hope you don't have many more miserable evenings and can get some rest. I don't know how you are managing running after a 5 year old with that back.
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:39 PM   #16
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Before you start treating the symptoms and taking some form of medication, really consider mobility work.
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:50 PM   #17
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My lower 5 discs are squished
Love the technical terminology. According to the chiropractor, my 2nd/3rd vertebrae are 'buggered', another highly advanced description...
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Old 01-22-2008, 05:42 PM   #18
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I want to thank everyone for taking to time to post! I'm working on a few things to help with the pain...I'll post in a few days with an update.

Fortunately, the pain is mainly at night. Unless I'm doing a lot of walking or standing my back and hips don't give me a problem during the day. I swear the problem is my excess weight putting to much pressure on my hips while I'm sleeping. I may have to break down and buy a new bed. Our bed in only about 3 years old but with all my tossing and turning I've given it a intense work out.

Thanks again for all of your suggestions! You guys are the best!

Hugs,
Carla
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:49 PM   #19
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Default Heat?

Hi Ash,

If you do find that heat helps it, you might want to look for a heated mattress pad. My wife and I use one, mainly cause we're cheapskates and keep the thermostat set at 60 at night. Our has separate controls for each side and makes the bed a very cozy place.

I hope you find a way to feel better soon.

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Old 01-24-2008, 12:37 PM   #20
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With regards to the bed - look into the Memory Foam beds or toppers. My parents have the entire mattress, which I don't find all that comfortable. But I invested in a 2 inch topper for my current mattress, and it makes a world of difference. I had an injury and have herniated discs, bone spurs and sacroiliitis, which is agonizing when you try to sleep.

Secondly - while there's been some good advice here about helping with pain, it is important too see a doctor. Back pain, especially spontaneous pain with no known trauma, is important to have properly diagnosed. Things such as a kidney infection can manifest as back and flank pain, even without other symptoms.

Be up front with the doctor in regards to your weight - stress that you have no ongoing issues, no trauma, and haven't had any alterations in your weight or lifestyle that can contribute to this. Also specify that this pain came on suddenly, as opposed to a progressive issue.

Some things you may want to consider looking into are x-rays (which can show any trauma, or also inflammation in the joints), blood work (for elevated C-Reactive Protein that indicates inflammation, as well as RH factor for elimination of inflammatory arthritis) and a complete chemistry profile to eliminate any other systemic issue.

When dealing with the initial pain stages, immobility is generally not the best route to go for MOST muscle strains. While you may want to rest, it's important to keep active and strengthen the muscles.

That said - if there is ANY inflammation in any joints, proceeding directly to any form of activity or therapy for treatment will not help, only make it worse and will take longer to heal. You need to get past the acute phase with rest, anti-inflammatories etc. before you can look at improving strength and flexibility. I was initially diagnosed with a muscle strain, and the treatment was the complete WRONG thing to do, since the pain was disc herniations and inflammation of the joints in the hips. The treatment was appropriate for long term, but not in the intial stages.

I'm not a proponent of chiropractors personally, but if you do go that route, any decent chiro is going to order a work up and x-rays before treating anyway. Either way, get someone to order tests.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:42 PM   #21
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Actually, I second that on the memory foam mattress as something to try. It worked for me. I got a brand-new, expensive standard construction mattress and box springs about eight years ago, and it quickly, within a few months, developed a huge hole on the side where I slept about 2 inches deep. I got that mattress exchanged under warranty, and the replacement mattress also developed a hole, same place, same depth. Oy, the backaches! I couldn't sleep for more than 6-7 hours at a time, and that not very restful.

We then bought a Tempur-Pedic. It is amazing, so comfortable, and I can sleep all I want without developing a backache. It allows for wonderful rest!
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by BigCutieAsshley View Post
For the last few weeks I've had a really hard time sleeping. Before bed I take 2 Tylenol PM and 3 Advil but by 2am to 3am I am up and in pain (my lower back and hips). In the past I could fall back to sleep but the last few nights no matter what I try and I can't get comfortable enough to get back to sleep. My husbandís side of the bed is usually more comfortable for me but lately that's not helping either. HELP!!

I need a quick fix, or at least a fix that doesn't include a doctor. I have fantastic medical insurance but I'm sick to death of the doctors always blaming everything on my weight and trying to pressure me into having a sleep study done.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated by my husband and I (I'm sure I'm keeping him up at night with all my tossing and turning).

Thanks!

My hips have been killing me lately, to the point where sometimes when I'm taking a step I feel like I'm gonna fall down. I feel your pain and I hope that you find some kind of relief soon!
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:17 AM   #23
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Just a warning about Flexeril. I can only take half a pill, and then I'm knocked out for 10 hours. A whole pill and I'm comatose for about a day.

Good advice, lol.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:19 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Risible View Post
Actually, I second that on the memory foam mattress as something to try. It worked for me. I got a brand-new, expensive standard construction mattress and box springs about eight years ago, and it quickly, within a few months, developed a huge hole on the side where I slept about 2 inches deep. I got that mattress exchanged under warranty, and the replacement mattress also developed a hole, same place, same depth. Oy, the backaches! I couldn't sleep for more than 6-7 hours at a time, and that not very restful.

We then bought a Tempur-Pedic. It is amazing, so comfortable, and I can sleep all I want without developing a backache. It allows for wonderful rest!

i third it, i bought a memory foam topper for my cheap rental bed (gag me it is a piece of...) and it has helped although not 100%, but it is maybe 80% better, try overstock.com if you want a topper, 2 inches is enough for me (i had 3, wayyyy too much) and it came fast and helped lots...
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:47 AM   #25
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Carla, I don't know if this will help or not, but being build kind of like you, though not quite as extreme, laying down flat doesn't work for me. My butt sticks out too much and it throws my spine out of alignment. I also get sciatica, which worsens the situation. The solution sucks though: if I want a good night's sleep, I have to sleep on an adjustable bed. A good chiro can help, and maybe even the right kind of stretching and accupuncture. After too many nights of terrible pain no matter what position I slept in, and then having knee surgery and sleeping on a recliner for that time because it was easier on my knee, I found that my back stopped hurting at night. Wasn't long after that I got an adjustable bed. That was years ago, and now my hubby and I have one he purchased for us. It kind of sucks to have to go that route, because it can be expensive, but I'll admit, it's the only way I can truly rest without pain -- and it's nice when we watch movies in bed sometimes, too.
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