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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: chronic back pain

 ichifish - Sat May 30, 2009 7:26 pm

I've had back pain ranging from mild to severe for about a decade. My back is susceptible to injury, but my biggest complaint is pain while sleeping. It keeps me awake, and 4 out of 5 mornings I wake up with a stiff back. Sleeping flat on my back is uncomfortable, and sleeping on my side strains my back. The less I sleep, the better. If I take sleeping medication that really knocks me out that is sometimes better. I've tried a few different mattresses, but that didn't help (the one I'm using now is medium-hard).

Further info: I went to a physical therapist a few months ago who showed me how the muscles on the left side of my back are much stronger than those on the right, and how this has been pulling my back out of alignment for years. Although walking helps my back generally, other exercises that I used to do, such as swimming, now seem to only intensify the problem because I rely on the left side muscles. I'm now in the process of trying to reverse this through stretching and exercises, but not having much success.

Thanks much.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:22 pm

User avatar Hello,
I think may be a matter of time as the exercises to balance the back muscle will take 6 weeks bare minimum to lessen the pain.

You may try some liniment and moist heat 20 minutes prior to sleep and perhaps Mobic (an NSAID) at bedtime. This may get you through until the muscles start to balance out.

I would add some lower extremity stretching. In general men tend to have tight hip and leg muscles with weak abdominals. This would be another area to focus on balancing the muscle - stretching the legs and tightening the abdomen.

Take care.
 ichifish - Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:58 pm

Thanks much. You've recommended several new activities and I'll try them immediately.

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