Pain much worse lying down at night

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I have a significant disc extrusion at L4/5 which is causing me considerable pain in my lower back, right buttock and right calf. Sometimes the pain reverts to my left side.

During the day I can cope using painkillers and walking but at night the pain is acute---once I get settled in bed initially it's OK but when I wake up every few hours I can hardly move without acute pain in both legs. My legs are weak to stand on and then it's painful to walk to the toilet.

Is this normal? I'm assuming that lying still for a few hours does something to make my legs painful on movement--is this the likely cause, has anyone else exprienced a similar situation?

Don

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  • Posted

    If u hAve inflammation then lying still for any amount of time will cause morse pain . May be u need to seek the help of a neurosurgeon, what test s have u had so far and what has any medical professional suggested. I go for spinal fusion next month as iam at the point I can't even sit

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Jessica. I've had an MRI which shows a significant disc extrusion at L4/5. I've had three goes at steroid/cortisone injections but none have worked and I've just been referred by my GP for physio but I don't hold out much hope with that.

      I'm also currently having weekly decompression sessions at a private clinic in London--this invoves stretching the spine but nothing has improved yet after three sessions!

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Again Don

      steroids will only bring down inflammation temporarily. If the nerve is being pressed by the disc then it won't fix anything.

      if the disc is not too shot then physio (months of) can get it back into shape and position.

      if that fails then you need to consider surgery to remove the bulging part of the disc, a microdiscectomy.

      these issues come from degeneration of the disc. It stops getting the nutrition it needs and over time bulges and presses on the nerves leaving the spinal column. You must build up the muscles to support the spine. The weak disc leaves the joint unstable so the muscles have to do more work. If you can take pressure off the disc with the muscles then you have the best chance of minimising the degeneration. If the physio works then you can get the disc to gradually squeeze back into its proper place. But the degeneration is a one way street, so you will need to work to maintain it as an ongoing thing for ever. But having a good strong core is good anyway, Check out spine-health .com. They have videos with all the gory details.

      good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Don

    that sounds really tough. Very sorry.

    when you say is it normal, it is consistent with a disc extrusion. what treatment are you getting? If you are getting weakness in the legs and lots of back and leg pain then you might want to consider more treatment than painkillers. Pressure on the nerve can cause cumulative damage to the nerves which take a long time to heal. Are you getting physio? Have you spoken to a consultant or surgeon?

    Michael

     

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    • Posted

      Good point Michael. I'm now trying to get an appointment with a neurosurgeon but it takes so long with the NHS. I'm therefore looking to pay to see a private specialist neurosurgeon for an opinion.

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    • Posted

      Good plan. It's a shame to say it but the NHS can be very slow and unresponsive dealing with painful, chronic but non life threatening conditions due to being short of money. I would be ready to do the whole thing private if you can find the money. If it comes to surgery you want to be treated ASAP by the best possible surgeon in the best theatre and with the best aftercare. Post surgical help with recovery is vital. I did not do my recovery right and I am still paying for it 10 months later.

      By the way, is the disc ruptured or herniated? If it ruptures and starts leaking gel from the disc into the spine you need surgery pronto.

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  • Posted

    Hi don, I understand how you feel completely here. I have these pains, but pretty much 24/7. started off in short spurts, but that was a year ago now these started. A year later, I am waiting for an appointment with a surgeon to discuss my options. I find that it is worse from laying down, or still either on side, or back is extremely painful, even on front you can get them. I have two prolapsed discs, on left and right, so i get the pains you experience in both sides. I also have trouble going to the toliet, going for a number 1 can take me 10 - 15 mins sometimes, and going for a 2 is like having my back smacked repeatidly with a sledge hammer. The pain is almost unbearable!. Pain is alot worse at night, because your body is naturally tired, all muscles are fatigued from supporting you all day, so you feel alot more in your body and everything that is painful is usually double even with painrelief, and having to dwell on it all day subconsuley also makes it worse as well, as you are more aware and heightened towards the pain feeling. its normal to feel this pain for this disc prolaspe, i feel for you, and i hope it gets fixed for you soon, my thoughts are with you Don.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Andy.

      Your symptoms seem very similar to mine.

      You're right, night time can be very painful and, in a way, comforting to hear that someone else confirms that this can happen.

      I also know what you mean about going to the toilet although I only get pain when I go during the night.

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  • Posted

    Hello I had the same problem. To get some relief after I woke up with the pain that I had on my left side, I found sleeping on the floor lying on my left, brought almost instant relief. Also sliding a wooden chopping board under my injured side also helped as time went on.

    I hope it helps. Ray

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