problem sleeping

Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
edited 1. May 2014, 13:49 in Living with Arthritis archive
Like most people here I imagine I have difficulty sleeping as by the time I give in and go up to bed at about 9.30 my pain has pretty well set in making it hard to get comfy. I have cervical spondylosis and 9 weeks ago had surgery to remove two discs and then fuse three vertebrae. My pain is mainly in the base of my neck, my shoulders and arms and on a bad day up my neck to the base of my skull. I can only sleep on my side and wake several times a night with pins and needles in my hand/s and/or pain.
I know about relaxation techniques but this is where my difficulties begin. As I relax so my body starts to twitch or jerk, sometimes my whole body, othertimes just an arm, leg or my head/mouth. This is not constant but can continue off and on for a couple of hours and consequently as well as waking me up just as I drift off to sleep I find myself getting into a cycle where I start resisting relaxing. I have also found that this also happens at times during the day if I am relaxing.
Any ideas on things that might help and as I'm going to see my fantastic GP on Friday to discuss post-op pain relief ( still very much needed as unfortunately the operation did not reduce my pain much) should I mention it to him?


  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,280
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Slosh and welcome again I have answered your post in hello..
    The thing that helps me sleep is amytriptiline sorry spelling...I take it around 7 to go to bed around 9.30 is an antidepressant but is given in much lager quantities for that...also have you been offered acupuncture I have heard so many good post about this lately..all this can be offered at a pain clinic if you have not been to one ask your GP..its so hard when you are in pain ..I don't sleep well every night but do get a few decent sleeps in a week,I hope that someone else will come up with more ideas... :)
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was on amytriptiline (can't spell it) in the past, two or three tablets a night but when I first saw a consultant I was moved onto duloxetine which works in a similar way. Regarding the pain clinic, I had been thinking about this but when my daughter who also has ongoing health problems (different problem/hospital/GP) they would not do this without a letter from the hospital.
    I was a bit naive going into the surgery as I had just assumed it would sort out the pain, wasn't until the consultant came to see me to sign the forms etc on the morning of the op that he told me he couldn't guarantee that I would be pain free after the op.
    It does get to me especially as before I finally had to go off on sick leave I was really struggling with the pain at work to the extent I was only working reduced hours on alternate days.
    Thanks for not saying " it's early days/be patient" as I'm a bit fed up with hearing that and have realised that my pain free days are a thing of the past.
  • Francie7532
    Francie7532 Member Posts: 40
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would definitely bring it up with your GP. I'm sure he is trained in pain management or can get you a referral to a specialist, especially after your comprehensive surgery. There are lots of meds for pain, google gabapentin. It's a nerve inhibitor so helps with nerve pain and it also helps with sleep. Good Luck!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,429
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I,too, think it's worth asking the GP about a Pain Clinic. A few people on here have found them very helpful and I'm pretty sure not all were referred by a consultant. In fact, my impression was that it's usually the GP who refers.
  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had problems sleeping when I had my back problems. I tended to save my drowsy making codeine/tramadol or whatever for bed time. I also used amitriptyline for a while and that helped with sleeping a lot.