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Back Spasm (tightness) at night (Page 1)

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Hi There,

I am looking for any adive for the ongoing back spasms (severe tightening) I get after sleeping for only a few hours. It's odd that I don't have any back problems during the day... but it keeps me from sleeping at night. I often have to get up and walk around to loosen them up or sit straight up in bed to get any sleep.

Anyone have any idea what is going on?

I'm desperate to find out. It has been going on for years and no doctor seems to be able to help me. I am a 42 year old female.

Thanks for any adice!

Tracy
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First Helper SueL
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replied April 2nd, 2008
Back Spasms tightness at night
I am having the same problem. What was the answer/response?
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replied April 2nd, 2008
Back Spasms....
I was told it was spondolothesis as slightly slipping of the spine. I am going for my cat scan tomorrow to see if that is what it is.

Does yours bother you only at night? I found if i strengthened my back muscles... it was much better.

I'd be interested in hearing if yours sounds kinda the same??

Thanks for emailing...

Tracy
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replied April 2nd, 2008
Back spasms tightness in the back at night
Thanks for the reply. I don't have it all the time. I can go for a month or so and not have any issue at all. But when it's acting up I lay in bed for about an hour or so and then it tightens up. The center of my lower back gets tight and my legs get numb or tingle. Nothing much will get it loosened up except a really hot bath.

What's really interesting is I am very limber and stretch every day.

I will investigate spondolothesis. Thanks again.

God bless you,

Ken
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replied April 2nd, 2008
Back Spansums...
Hi Ken,

Mine is the same way... It is not bothering me right now. It seems to be worse in the winter when I do less gardening and thigs that strengthen my back. I am back at the gym angain and it is now fine. I was told because when your muscles are strong it holds everything in place. When they aren't worked they loosen up and the spine slightly slipps out of place causing the spasms that feel so tight. I only ever get them after I have been sleeping for a few hours then i wake up and can't go back to sleep. It happens on and off.... sometime it doesn't bother me and other times it does.

Best of luck... if you find out anything... let me know. I will see how my cat scan goes tomorrow. I probably won't know for a week.

Tracy
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replied June 13th, 2008
Same thing!!!!!!!!
I have been dealing w/ this on and off for years... it seems to come and then go.. I have gone to Orthop. and they just want to give musc. relaxers, chriopractors, which is so time consuming and had a CAT scan, oh, maybe last summer? or the prior.... It seems to just appear, at night. I will be in bed, and it seems like I am almost paralyzed.. and have to prop my arms under me to move. I then must roll over 10x a night to get any sleep.. and when i find that sweet spot, I do not move! I exercise at a gym, not heavy duty, like Curve type... and in summer walk beach daily...it is mostly the middle section of my back... i do tend to 'crack' alot wonder if it is the beginning, or indeed arthritis...... runs in family.... I have bloodwork and dr. appt. next week.. I have never mentioned this to my family phy. but think time!!!
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User Profile
replied June 13th, 2008
Supporter
Back spasm is due to soft tissue been infalmmated
Back Spasm (tightness) at night is due to soft tissue injury in the lower back area,so treat your back problem first,even you deny it.
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replied June 13th, 2008
soft tissue been inflamated?
ok, soft tissue inuury? what/ how does this occur...
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replied September 8th, 2008
spondolothesis
i am having surgery in a month to relieve the stenosis in my back ( through nerve decompression ) and also having fusion to help with the degree of spondolothesis i have. spondo in a sense is sort of like a stress fracture of your spine.
i was operated on 5 years ago after walking efeectively failed me and i was literally back on my horse in 3 months, 3 days. perhaps not smart of me, but i did iy anyway.
i am having it again as a different area is now being affected. full recovery was about a year- full recovery meaning for me that the whole procedure was just about forgotten and i lived a full life easily again. however i was able to do most things within months....riding horses 3 months, skiing 6 months etc etc. Running though is a nono!
the point of my story- there is hope! research your surgeon ( you are the consumer), no question is stupid and don't hesitate to get second opinions.
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replied September 10th, 2008
Back pain at night
I have the same problem and have had it for years. My back mostly does not trouble me during the day but during the night it drives me crazy. After an hour or two of sleep I have to get up and walk around for a while to relieve it. It is like a pinch in the lower back and buttock area. I used to get some relief but now its every night. I am having to take sleeping tablets or pain killers to be able to get enough sleep so that I can go to work. CT shows mild stenosis and bulging disc but apparently not enough to be a problem. I am worried about taking drugs every night as I have been doing it for years. Anyone have an ideas for me. So far I have been to osteopaths, physio, acupuncture, chiropractor, have changed my mattress and have had to drop my working hours. It has cost me a fortune. I am really worried about exercise because it often stirs it up and makes it makes it worse for weeks.
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replied September 10th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
You need to see a spine surgeon for proper diagnosis. You make no mention of having an MRI done or anyone giving you a diagnosis.

You've been going about the problem you are having the wrong way and in the wrong direction.

The first thing you need to do is get a proper diagnosis with a spine surgeon. Either an orthopedic surgeon who specializes only in spines or a neurosurgeon that specializes only in spines.

You will no doubt need MRI of the spine done and possibly other tests.

None of those that you have seen are able to properly diagnose you and you have not gotten proper treatment because you have no diagnosis.

A CT is not enough to diagnose your problem, you need and MRI.

"CT shows mild stenosis and budging disc but apparently not enough to be a problem"

That's an absurd statement. Just because it doesn't fit the classic picture of what might be causing your pain, any good spinal surgeon will use the tools of an MRI and CT scan as only pieces of your problem. He/she will then take your symptoms and try to match them to your MRI and or CT or both.

Mild stenosis and bulging disc can cause far more pain in some people than in others. To say that because it is mild, it can't cause your pain is an insult to the patient, IMHO.

Go see a spine specialist and get a proper diagnosis and the a course of treatment. What you have been doing is an obvious waste of time as it has not helped you and you continue to suffer in pain.

Fran
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replied September 10th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
hey i sometimes get tightness in my back (lower) at night, and i have to get up and walk about for it to ease off which is a nightmare because it feels like my spine is crushing and it's also breaking my sleep pattern ggrrr!!! i visited my doctor and he diagnosed cramp as i have no other back problems, he told me to get a new bed and mattress and to try sleeping on my back straight for a few weeks and it has seemed to wore off Smile hope this helps a little Jenny
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replied July 12th, 2010
I have the same problem with tightness in my lower-mid back at night while I am sleeping. It usually wakes me up to the point where I have to switch to a recliner or something where I can sleep sitting straight up. It seems to happen a month or so at a time then goes away for a while. It always seems to go away after I do a lot of core exercises (i.e. planks). If I have a lazy month and eat bad they always come back. So my guess would be it is from inactivity and unhealthy diet. I have also had the pinch in the lower back pain as well. I have figured out that it is due to how I sit in chairs. If you do not sit with both feel on the floor you will eventually knock your pelvis out of line which causes the pinch. I have to constantly correct how I sit because for some reason I always want to sit with one leg tucked under the other...very bad habit. When I really pay attention and don't do it for a while it goes away. I went to many docs for both of these problems numerous times. I've wasted money on MRIs, X-rays, hydro-codons, muscles relaxers and tons of ibuprophen. None of which corrected the problem like healthy exercise and eating along with consciously sitting correctly. Maybe this will help some folks. I am not a doc or anything; just very observant.
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replied December 6th, 2010
Lymphoma - back pain at night
Months ago I was having the same lower back pain at night ONLY and I read up on these forums for some help.
Im a 25 yr old, fit and healthy female. I was able to control the pain with anti-inflammatories.

I had MRI scans, Nuclear Med bone scans, CT scans and a further MRI scan with contrast over the course of 4 months. Each time saying there was a grade 1 spondylythosis at L5-S1 which is the reason for my back pain - WRONG!! There turned out to be a lesion at L2 which was missed on the 1st MRI scan and did not appear on the CT scan.
Finally the MRI with contrast showed that the lesion had progressed significantly since the 1st scan.

After a biopsy and further tests they diagnosed HODGKINS LYMPHOMA. I have just started chemotherapy and the pain in my back has already reduced.

Moral of my story: Despite what doctors say, If you suspect something is abnormal then it probably is. Keep persevering with the tests and get 2nd opinions.
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replied March 3rd, 2012
Hi back ache friends
I have just started getting this cramping pain in my lower left back over the last 2 weeks when I sleep. It actually happens when I lie down in any position -bed,floor even in the swimming pool when I go into a horizontal position such as freestyle. I have to get up and it takes between 1-2 hours until the cramping stops depending on how long I have been in the position for.I had a CT scan which showed fairly typical wear and tear in the lumbar spine. Been to chiro and physio and new doctor has put me on anti inflammatories and valium so I can get some sleep 3 days ago. I have also developed a bulge on my lower left front side of my tummy which the doc says is suspected spigelian hernia. I am still getting 2-3 hours sleep before waking up and having to get upright. I have full range of movement in my body and yet this pain is driving me crazy through lack of sleep. Any advice friends.
cheers
lachness
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User Profile
replied December 14th, 2010
There are a lot of back pain programs out there, and only a small number actually do what they say they will. I recommend FutureGym exercises because they don't just treat the problem, they also identify and correct the cause. I get a 100% success rate with clients who practice this method.
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replied July 19th, 2011
Tightening in back when asleep
I have had back pain for years. I'm 37 and can't remember the last time I slept well. The pain is in the middle of my back, on either side of my spine. It's a tightening feeling. Almost as if someone has reached into my back and twisted the muscles. Sometimes I imagine jamming a spike into my back, almost as if would relieve the pressure or something. I've seen specialist who have found nothing wrong. I am fairly healthy (could run 2 miles pretty easily). Nothing helps - I go to sleep and sure enough 2-3 hours later I am in pain. I toss and turn all night. I can take a sleep aid and I still wake up. Which one of my drs. said was weird. He basically said when you're asleep you shouldn't feel anything. Over the counter pain relievers, anti imflammatory meds, hardcore presdcribed meds, nothing works.

Any help would be appreciated.
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replied September 8th, 2013
A spine Dr. is what I am doing next. There is a spine clinic in a Hospital not too far away. I also have had mid back pain and night muscle spasms for one year! Worse now. It started with a lifting of a heavy saddle onto a horse. I think something got crushed when I lifted. Soft tissue needs MRI. So that's what's next for me. Hope you get well.
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replied August 9th, 2011
I have had back spasms in my lower right side of the back for awhile now. During the day I am totally fine. Doctor seemed to think I was crazy and had no solution or reason why. I went to an orthopedic doctor that specializes in the spine and after blood work and xrays I finally have a diagnosis that makes sense - I have been diagnosed with DISH - Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis. Here are a couple of sites that explain in detail.

i'm also attaching the website from Mayo Clinic for osteoarthritis

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarth ritis/ds00019

Initially he put me on pain meds for a couple of days so I could relax and get some sleep. We are now working together to deal with the arthritis. I'm not crazy about the NSAIDs and at this point I don't need to take them regularly. Just when it kicks up. Bascially it is severe arthritis and as with all arthritis, it can take a vacation, but never go away. Walking and stretching have worked wonders.

Hope this helps ...
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replied August 10th, 2011
Hi,

A client of mine has the same problems with her back when she sleeps at night. Sometimes it takes her 2 hours to fall asleep because the back pain is so intense. She tries not to take drugs or medication like Aleeve because of the side effects but sometimes she has no choice. Her condition is a mix of herniated discs in her lower back and thrombosis. We've tried to help her develop her support network of care providers to allow her to stay on top of her treatment plan which includes therapy, regular exercise and a sensible diet. But these techniques don't seem to work.
If anybody has suggestions, maybe you can help us out.
BTW, I'm Rod and we help people manage their pain and live healthier lives.
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replied August 10th, 2011
Active User, very eHealthy
Rodmason, herniated discs happen because muscles put the disc there. And muscles can take the herniated disc off the nerve. As long as the muscles are distorting the disc, the ligaments cannot heal as they are constantly being pulled apart.
The usual problems are 1) The lower back is in flexion 2) the hip flexors are tight so the lower back is in constant compression and 3) the hips are twisted either by one hip higher than the other or each hip is twisted relative to the other one.

Some useful evaluations include:
1) Is the patients weight evenly distributed on each leg? Have them stand on 2 bath scales. You might be surprised at what you find!
2) Is there an equal space between the arms hanging at the patients sides and the ribcage?
3) Is there equal space on each side of the ribcage? This is between the bottom of the ribcage and top of the hip bones on each side.
4) Are the knees pointing straight ahead or are they pointing in or out?
5) Is one hip higher than the other?
6) Are the shoulder rounded forward?
etc., etc.

Once you see these postural deviations, there are specific exercises to reverse these distortions.

It's a lifestyle thing. You can't expect results doing stretches for 5 minutes a day and then going back to sitting with bad posture for the next 8 hours.
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replied November 9th, 2011
Hi all. I've been searching these forums for answers to night back spasms for years and finally I think we've found the cause. This symptom is one of the classic signs of ankylosing spondolitis. I've got other signs such as recurring iritis. I'm in my late 30s. This apparently occurs in about 3% of the population and is a form of arthritis that is auto immune in nature. Ask your GP for a full set of arthritis blood work. I've had pain and interrupted sleep for the last 3 1/2 years and for the first time...after just 2 doses of Mobic, I'm virtually pain free! Good luck all!
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replied January 5th, 2012
Hi all, I started to develop back pain at night one month after my second child was born. The pain is in and around my spine in the middle of my back. It kicks in each night after a few hours of lying in bed. It keeps me awake more than my five month old son. I'm trying to combat this with stretching and exercise. The pain is spasm like in nature and does not allow me to lay comfortably in bed. Pain subsides when I stretch it out. I haven't been to the doc about this. I can't take meds as I am breastfeeding. Any ideas?
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replied March 3rd, 2012
I suffered with this pain for 8-1/2 yrs (before I had my surgery 12/03at age 50)...and couldn't even roll over w/o waking my husband to push/roll me fast as to not drag out the pain of me trying to move (bone on bone and occasionally pinching a nerve)..I discovered lying on my side (knees bent) when I went to bed seemed to relax my back more than lying on my back and trying to roll over.
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replied June 2nd, 2012
Back pain at night
I am having the same thing, started two months after my second child was born. Did you get any help?
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