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Upper-mid Back Pain Only After Sleeping
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1930012_tn?1323168485
I have had several abdominal surgeries, and a heart surgery. I had cancer twice, and then a heart attack. But i know i  was born with a spine disease. Scoleosis. My spine is crooked. But i havent had any pain until the last couple of months. I had an injury a couple of years ago moving my sofa bed, and of course not lifting correctly, hurt my back really badly. It swelled up pretty bad. I went to the doctor bc i could bend forward, but coming back up or bending back was impossible. I have 4 kids, and could not pick the babies up. I have severe migraines that prevent me from planning any exercise regimines. But i walk 3 miles when i can. which is about 3 times a week. Anyways, i was answering your question about the abdominal surgery. I have had several to get the cancer out.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear All:
Do you feel this pain after carrying a heavy load or hard exercise?
Do you feel this pain after resting for long time in bed and having no activities?
If Yes; There are 2 options:
1) Your case is not critical and you should only strength your back and stomach muscle
2)If you have this pain for a long time, you should go to meet an Orthopedist and ask for MRI; It shows many things. Some time you have pain in lower back but feel it on your stomach because the nerve strings are connected from bock to many parts of body. So be serious in this matter.
Also be informed that on common problem especially in young age is prolapse disc or herniated disc that usually happens on T4 T5 and T6. It happens because of carrying heavy load or exercise but may be you don't feel it in this time, sometimes once your muscle weaken it shows it self. One of the effects of prolapse disc is cramping muscles.
Dear friends it is all the story that unfortunately happened to me, So go to specialist as soon as possible and ask for MRI or relevant tests. if you go very fast you may heal it by exercise and medication otherwise you should go for operation. I wish the health for all of you, Don't worry but do it now!
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Avatar_f_tn
You make a good point. Medhelp has a forum devoted to people with herniated discs in the thoracic area.

Someone else wrote that pleurisy may be the problem. In my studies of myofascial pain & dysfunction they mention that possibility.

And then there are gallbladder problems to consider.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been waking up with muscular pain in my mid back for a very long time now.  In fact, it wakes me up.  Usually between 4-5AM.  It's worse on my right side, and it hurts so badly that it even hurts to breathe!  It feels like a sore muscle all day long now.

But recently, I've been having pain in my neck bones, and it goes to my mid back bones as the day progresses.  It feels like a hurting stiff neck all day, everyday.  I have tried different sleeping postures, but nothing has worked.  I do stretching to try to relieve it, and have used a massage machine to reduce the pain, but no relief yet.  I'm thinking of getting a professional massage and an MRI because I can't hardly stand it anymore and I'm beyond exhausted with getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night.

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've found massage therapy to be quite helpful.

Also, I recently started seeing a chiropractor with experience in Active Release Therapy, and I am happy to report that I finally have a diagnosis! (All my family doctor did was throw more and more painkillers at me.)

Google "psoas" aka your hip flexor muscle. If you spend a large part of every day sitting down, this muscle can get quite tight. It attaches to the part of your spine where the thoracic and lumbar spine meet (mid-back, exactly where my pain is!!!!). That psoas tightness makes all the other muscles in my back (mainly on my right side) go haywire to compensate.

Go to a chiropractor and/or massage therapist if you can, and google "psoas stretches." It's still an uphill battle for me, but I've definitely seen an improvement.

Also: sleep with a heating patch or heating pad. Trust me, you won't catch on fire/burn, and you'll find yourself miraculously sleeping for 8 hours.

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Avatar_f_tn
I'm glad you're improving. Now it's only a matter of time.

There is a sure-fire way to tell if your psoas muscles are spasming - you can't stand up straight - and you have hyperlordosis.

The psoas muscle attaches to all your lumbar vertebrae and the lesser trochanter. When this muscle contracts it pulls you forward (flexes your torso) and it flexes your hip at the thigh.

When pain is extreme people crawl to get around because you don't use this muscle when you're on your hands and knees.

Sitting with your knees higher than your hips shortens the psoas muscles.

I told my doctor that when I went to Bodies: The Exhibition I was surprised when I saw how large the psoas muscle was. He agreed but in hindsight of course it must be large as it must lift up your leg when your knee is bent.

Everybody should own a moist heating pad and feel free to take it to bed with them, but not if you're on drugs or alcohol.  Try to find one that turns off automatically after awhile - not all of them do.

A word of caution. I once woke-up in the middle of the night because I smelled something burning. My husband and I tore around while getting dressed as I was going to call the fire department if we couldn't find the source. It took me awhile to find the heating pad which was smoldering between pillows in another room. I had given a friend a massage that afternoon and had forgotten to turn it off. It took about 12 hours to catch fire. You can bet I never made that mistake again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I have suffered with morning back pain and other related ailments for many years.  I finally know what it is and I think that "Ankyllosing spondylitis" may affect many of you.  It is not terrible, but you do need to know if you have it, so that you can prevent further problems.  Please go to this free website to read more www.
******.org  I've pasted a small excerpt from their website below:

AS Patient Guidebook

What causes ankylosing spondylitis?

The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is not known, but there have been some important developments in our understanding of this condition over the last few years. What is known is that it is about three hundred times more common in people who inherit a certain white cell blood group numbered HLA B27 than in those who do not inherit this group. This white cell group is not related to the red cell blood groups, which are important in blood transfusions.

Who gets ankylosing spondylitis?

For a long time we have known that this back complaint "runs in families." The link with the white cell blood groups confirms this and will be discussed later in this booklet. Typically, the disease affects young men. However, we know that the illness occurs in women as well. Many people go through their lives with back complaints that are never really diagnosed as ankylosing spondylitis. We know now how important it is to recognize the condition early, because treatment is usually very helpful and the patient benefits from early diagnosis and, therefore, early treatment.

What is the difference between ankylosing spondylitis and other back ailments ?

Back troubles are some of the most common complaints seen in a doctor's office. In each year, 2% of a general practitioner's patients consult him with backache. Although most patients with back pain do not have ankylosing spondylitis, the doctor must recognize the different nature of the back problem in each patient. The most common back ailment is "back strain," which may occur at any age. A "slipped disk" is another example. In older patients degenerative, or wear-and-tear, problems commonly affect the back.

When a patient goes to the doctor with backache, the doctor must decide whether the problem is an inflammatory arthritis, that is, ankylosing spondylitis, or one of the common mechanical back problems. The treatment is different. The diagnosis is made by listening to the symptoms and examining the patient. The doctor may perform certain blood tests and examine X-ray films of the back. We will discuss these points separately.

What are the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?

Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis that help distinguish it from mechanical causes of back pain are:

- slow (insidious) onset over weeks rather than hours
- age of onset around 20 or 25 years, rather than any age
- early morning stiffness and pain
- persistence for more than 3 months (rather than coming on in attacks)
- improvement with exercise, worse with rest (the opposite is true with mechanical problems)

Although we have been talking about a disease of the spine, pain is not always confined to the back. Some patients have chest pain which is worse on deep breathing, and felt around the ribs. This chest pain does not come from the heart but from the joints between the ribs and the backbone. Many patients complain of a shut-in feeling in the chest because it is difficult to move the ribs fully with deep breathing. However, the lungs can continue to work because the diaphragm is not affected.

When ankylosing spondylitis begins, it usually causes an ache felt in the buttocks and, possibly, down the backs of the thighs and in the lower part of the back. One side is commonly more painful than the other. This pain arises from the sacroiliac joints. The morning stiffness which is so characteristic of the condition wears off during the day. Many patients find that pain wakes them in the early morning, and if they get up and walk around, the discomfort settles. Patients may also experience the pain and stiffness after a prolonged period of sitting, as, for example, in a cinema or on a long car ride.

ankylosing spondylitis in its early stages may cause considerable pain, but effective treatment is available to relieve this, even though the discomfort is not always eliminated. Later the disease becomes much less active, or even totally inactive. The stiffness is rarely a handicap, provided that the spine is in a good position. Most patients with ankylosing spondylitis are able to carry on with their work and lead a normal life.

A few patients in the early stages of ankylosing spondylitis feel generally ill. In other words, they feel tired and miserable and may lose weight. It is not uncommon for them to be treated for depression. Some people may never have anything more than a series of mild aches and pains coming on and lasting for several months, never troubling them greatly. This seems to be more common in women with the disease. At this stage the disease can either clear up or it may go on to cause stiffening higher up the back, or in the neck.

Limb joints

Sometimes, either at the start or later, ankylosing spondylitis may affect joints other than in the spine. The shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are the most commonly affected. The effect on these joints is similar to the effect on the spine,- there may well be a period of aching in the joint, perhaps with some swelling, but treatment relieves these symptoms and they settle down. Ultimately, there may be some restriction in the movement of the affected joints, but with proper treatment and active exercises from the start, the disability is slight. In particular, the hip joint must not be allowed to stiffen in a bent position.

Other trouble spots

Tender places may sometimes develop in bones that are not part of the spine. One of these is the heel bone, making it uncomfortable to stand on a hard floor, and another is the bone of the "seat" (ischium), making hard chairs unpleasant.

Does ankylosing spondylitis only affect the joints of the back and limbs ?

No. Other parts of the body may be affected. For example, attacks of inflammation of the eye occur in about 1 patient out of 7 sometime during their lives. These attacks are due to iritis, or inflammation in the colored part of the eye (the iris). A painful red eye should be reported to the doctor without delay, or permanent damage might occur. If the doctor is not available, then the patient should go directly to a hospital emergency room or ophthalmology department.

Other rare complications, happening in less than 1 patient in 100, may occur. These include problems in the heart, lungs, and central nervous system. Treatment is available for all of them. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis are not any more at risk of getting heart attacks, strokes, or cancer than the general population. Colitis, or inflammation of the bowel, is associated with ankylosing spondylitis in some patients, as is a skin condition called psoriasis.



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Avatar_m_tn
Apologies...I'm going to plug heating pads again, since I simply can't stress enough that they are essential (if your pain is muscle-related). I found that using them for a couple hours didn't really help...so then one day I bit the bullet and kept the thing on all night.

And WOW! I woke up many glorious hours later, feeling 27 again and not 92. If you're uncomfortable having an electric heating pad in your bed, spend the 10 bucks and buy a package of stick-on disposable ones. It's no cure but it beats being miserable :)
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Avatar_f_tn
If you harbor active trigger points in your iliopsoas muscles the moist heating pad must be placed on your abdomen - the full length of your abdomen - from the top of your rib cage down to the lesser trochanter.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the exact same symptoms as many on here.  Severe mid back pain (EVERY night) routinely at 7 hours of sleep and perfectly fine rest of day.  I changed my mattress b/c it was 10 yrs old anyways and that did not resolve the problem.

Thankfully as I researched frantically I stumbled upon this amazing forum.  I was ready to read all the books that were suggested centered around posture, trigger point release etc. etc but like a couple of other people on here I didn't have to take that step.

After reading all 400 posts I documented them and organized them in a matrix and I realized that the doctor, chiro etc. route did almost nothing.  I became a firm believer that the first area to attack/address is the posture, particularly at the work place.  I started sitting with the correct form, back & head straight etc. and also focused on the (some call it upper-cross) exercises & stretches...basically stretching tight pectoral muscles and tightening/strengthening back muscles.  the door stretch and similar stretches that open up the chest and bring the shoulder blades back together seemed to help.

HOWEVER, like a couple of other people on here, the major breakthrough came when doing the "lumbar extensions" which are basically pushups with only your upper-half (waist and legs remain on floor).  I achieved IMMEDIATE results.  I started doing 4-5 sets of 10 reps daily for 3-4 days and then 2 sets or so thereafter daily and from the first day was sleeping through the night pain free....forced myself to sleep 10-11 hours and NO pain.  Have had pain free nights ever since while simply doing the stretches opening the chest and pushing shoulder blades together and the lumbar extension.  

I thank everyone for contributing to this community and know what many of you are going through and my best wishes to those that have suffered for decades +.  I would strongly urge anyone still looking for solutions to consult your doctor or a good physical therapist to put together a posture strengthening program that works for you.  

I did also go to a PT after the fact to make sure the exercises & stretches I was doing were "safe" and to also see if there were other routines I could incorporate...which the PT did advise on & help.

I'm a believer on this one that surgeries, pain killers, chiro adjustments etc. etc. will not do much good, at least in many cases for those that spend a lot of time with poor posture either sitting or standing.

Good luck finding your solution...hope this helps someone like it helped me!
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Avatar_m_tn
would like to add for those that are interested I'm a male, mid 30s, not overweight, non-smoker, very active and in shape.  

And my thoughts on the arthritis related posts....in my potential solutions list it was dead last as the blood test doesn't mean you have arthritis it means its a possibility as everyone with that type of arthritis has that reading in their blood but NOT everyone with that reading in their blood have arthritis.  Since there is no cure or fix for the arthritis, only pain management, i viewed that as the absolute last thing to look into.  Ignorance is bliss in this case in my view.  Heck, I could have tested positive in the blood and still found a solution, sounds like others have given up hope that had the positive blood test, which is a shame unless they have exhausted everything else that has worked for others on here.

just my 2 cents...
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Avatar_f_tn
It is such a comfort knowing I'm not going mad as I dont  think anyone believes me when I try to describe the pain. I have no problem getting to sleep but once I waken, should it be 2 hours later or 6 hours, I am unable to get back to sleep due to the excruciating pain in my mid back. The pain makes it impossible to get comfortable in any position & the spasms are uncontrollable. if anyone can offer any advice or diagnosis it would be greatly appreciated!
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Avatar_m_tn
Problem sounds the same and I to have tried a variety of treatments over the past 7 years.    Sleep on the couch, so I can sleep upright.   Not a great solution, but seems to help.    

Starting to look into the connection between cholesterol medicine and back pain.   any chance you are on cholesterol medicine too?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi everyone,

If you are suffering like everyone else is with the mid back pain after sleeping 5~ hours or so, then I encourage you to do as I did, and read the ENTIRE thread. It will take a few hours, but it is worth it.

I want to tell everyone that I suffered before (read my previous posts) and I currently feel 90% better. I did what "jobhk" recommended in his post on Feb 09, 2011. Basically, do lumbar extensions all day everyday. Google search for "lumbar extension" and look at the first pic that comes up. That is the exercise I did. I followed his advice and did it almost every hour for 6 reps each time for about 6 seconds.

After a few weeks my pain dropped considerably when I did this in combination with sleeping on two pillows. I don't want to sleep very upright, so instead sleeping slightly elevated seems like the right balance when used in conjunction with these stretches.

Btw, I tried almost everything else on this forum and nothing else worked except for the lumbar extensions. It's not 100% for me, but I bet it's because of my office job that is interfering with the last 10% of pain. I'm still working on it, but now I am able to sleep 7-8 hours with little pain. Sometimes I can hit 9-10 hours, but I will wake up pretty stiff still.

Good luck to everyone!
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Avatar_f_tn
You're right on.

Bad posture contributes to most of our problems. Stretching the muscles in front of the body (pectorals & abdominals) and strengthening the muscles in the back (rhomboids, trapezius & erector spinae) counter the effects of gravity which pulls us forwards.

I too have had excellent & immediate results with the "lumber extensions" stretch with my clients. In yoga it is called the cobra. This position stretches the abdominal muscle.

Good posture not only looks good but you feel better, breathe easier and it decreases your chances of developing arthritis.

I'm disheartened to read that so few people have been helped by physical therapists.
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Avatar_f_tn
Get yourself to your doctor immediately. I had a new client who was suicidal because her muscle pain was so severe she couldn't handle it any more. Luckily I knew to ask her about if she was taking a cholesterol lowering medication. She later told me she was at lunch with her girlfriend and when she told her how helpful I had been the girlfriend said that she wished she had told her because she had the same problem.

"Lipitor is a member of a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. The statins include lovastatin (brand name: Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), fluvastatin (Lescol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), and cerivastatin (Baycol) (Baycol was withdrawn from the market in August 2001).

Statin drugs are known to cause muscle pains and inflammation around the muscle cells (myositis). It should also be noted that the risk of muscle injury is greater when a statin is combined with other drugs that also cause muscle damage by themselves. For example, when lovastatin (Mevacor) is used alone to lower cholesterol, muscle damage occurs on the average in one person out of about every 500.

However, if lovastatin (Mevacor) is used in combination with other drugs such as niacin, gemfibrozil (Lopid), or fenofibrate (Tricor) to further reduce cholesterol levels, the risk of muscle injury skyrockets to one person out of every 20 to 100 who receive the combination. The risk of muscle damage is thus multiplied five- to 25-fold by using a combination of a statin and another cholesterol-lowering drug rather than by just using statin alone.

In fact, the manufacturers of statins recommend that any patient taking a statin "should be advised to report promptly any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness...When a muscle disease is suggested, the doctor stops the statin drug."

You see, statin drugs cause three types of muscle conditions. First, they can cause muscle aching. This condition generally reverses itself within weeks of discontinuing the drugs. Second, they can cause muscle pains and mild muscle inflammation that may also be accompanied by minor weakness. Blood testing for the muscle enzyme, CPK, is mildly elevated. This condition also generally reverses, but it may take several months to resolve. Third, statins can cause severe muscle inflammation and damage so that not only are the muscles painful all over the body, they also become severely weakened. Heart muscle can even (rarely) become affected. Blood testing for the muscle enzyme, CPK, is markedly elevated. When the muscles are severely damaged, the muscle cells release proteins into the blood that collect in and can damage the kidneys. This can lead to kidney failure and require dialysis."

Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
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Avatar_f_tn
There is more.

"In each of the above three forms of muscle conditions that result from statin drugs, the outcome is always much better when the condition is detected early.

My patient is expected to do well. I have discontinued his Lipitor and his muscle pain and stiffness will resolve in the upcoming weeks. He will follow-up with me in a month for a progress report.

There are many other medications (aside from statins) and diseases that can cause muscle aching. Of all causes, however, statin drugs are what I see as the most common culprits. If you or someone you know has muscle pains, check the medications being taken first!

Finally, please understand that the statin drugs have been shown to be the most effective (and widely prescribed) medications to optimally lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks and stroke. This perspective article is intended to highlight the fact that even the best drugs require monitoring and can have side effects."

Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

"I am a rheumatologist—an internal medicine specialist who is trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat diseases that involve the muscles and joints. Because rheumatologists have a keen interest in undiagnosed conditions, I see a number of patients every week who are seeking a first diagnosis."
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a 48 year old female, I am not overweight, I have been having these same symptoms.  At first I thought it was my stomach hurting through to my back, now the back pain is so severe in the mornings until I begin to move around.  My pain is mid back, radiates around both sides of my ribcage on either side of my spine and into my
sternum and upper stomach.  Have had tests on stomach, MRI on stomach etc. all showed nothing.  This past week the pain has worsened and am going back to dr to try for an answer.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I had similar problem. No matter what doctor did pain would not go.
I changed bed , problems gone overnight. I got really scared from the forums , people mentioning back problems not being cured.

Try changing bed guys. I recomend softer bed but firm support.
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Avatar_m_tn
This happened to me today too.

The solution is simple:

Drink a bottle of vodka and you can sleep better tonight.

True Story.
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Avatar_f_tn
Funny! I'm sure if I ever drank a bottle of vodka it would kill me.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am going to look up the lumbar extensions, and hopefully they will help.
I have experienced a little relief by sleeping in a more upright position; I bought a puffier and firmer pillow and one of those chair shaped pillows.
This reduces the pain a little.  I will still wake up with it, but can usually go back to sleep if I shift positions, especially if I get myself even more upright.
Sometimes, during the day I will experience some stiffness right in the specific area the pain seems to come from, making me think I have a pinched nerve.  I have also wondered about having larger breasts,  I am a D cup and while that isn't so very large, I think it is for my frame. although I don't know why it would suddenly, in my 42nd year of life, start bothering me.
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Avatar_m_tn
I haven't figured out the cause of it myself. Some days are better/worse than others. One thing that is consistent is that if I drop down and do the lumbar extensions every 1-2hours, for 6-10 reps holding it for 6 seconds, then I can usually sleep 7 hours comfortably, with only the last two hours slightly uncomfortable.

This is compared to before when I could only sleep 4-5 hours followed by 1-2 hours of horrible painful "sleep"
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Avatar_m_tn
I moved out of my parents about 2 months ago to my first place in the city. I brought my bed I have had for 3 years.  The first night sleeping at my new place I woke up at 3:45am and had a terrible pain inbetween my shoulder blades in my spine.  It almost felt like it needed to be popped. I see a chiropractor every 3-4 weeks and he said it's just my body's way of telling me I need an adjustment (sorry, but it has to be something more severe if it's waking me up at night even after adjustments).  I've now been woken up every night since then around the same time (3am-5am) and have the worst luck with falling back asleep because of the pain.  The only times I haven't experienced it is after drinking alcohol.

I've been reading everyone's posts and am wondering if there could be a relation to stress? Whatever the cause, if anyone has had any luck with finding a solution PLEASE SHARE! I'm becoming desperate - so tired and sore.

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Avatar_m_tn
Hey,
I had/have the same pain. For 6 years now, I wake up at around 2-3am with lower back, than go to recliner for about an hour and than back to bed get few more hours of sleep. Didn't have a single night without doing so. If I travel I have to take pain killers, that's the only way I can menage. Are you still pain free. Sorry to bother, it's just great to hear what works for other people.
Martin   : mart_mi***@****
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Avatar_m_tn
Greetings,

I used to search forums like these for answers, too.  I had terrible pain for years, mostly only after sleeping, and I saw lots of specialists and tried lots of therapies and treatments to no avail.

I finally have the answer:  Ankylosing Spondylitis.  There is a previous commenter who mentions this possibility.  You can get tested for the HLA-B27 gene, which is implicated in 95% percent of cases.  I suspect that at least some of you have AS and don't know it.

Now, the good news:  AS is typically treated with all kinds of scary meds, BUT contrary to medical opinion, a No Starch Diet works for many of us.  It sounds harsh, but trust me, when you start to have miraculous pain relief from it, you'll continue on.  There is lots of support for this diet at kickas.org and there is a book called The IBS Low Starch Diet by Carol Sinclair which is super helpful.  I've been on the diet for 8 weeks and have watched my pain decrease to about 5% of its former, miserable self.

Good Luck,
Steven
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Avatar_m_tn
I read this site 2 weeks ago when I woke up in agony in my mid back after about 4 hours sleep. Same as lots of other posts - have been fine during the day but when I lie down I wake up in excruciating pain every night. I went to an ostiopath first who couldn't explain what it was and made it worse. Then was recommended a physio who sorted it immediately.  Turned out to be something to do with the joints between my rib cage and spine - caused by overstretching, and resulting in the muscle going into spasm when lying down. I am now on the mend and so relieved. It's scary reading these sites sometimes so promised myself I would only post if I got fixed. My advice is stick to a recommended physio and do the exercises they give you.
Good luck everyone.
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Avatar_m_tn
glad to hear you are doing better. what is the "mend"?
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Avatar_m_tn
Found this site two weeks ago after my back pain during sleep got so bad I was getting only 4 to 5 hours of sleep.  I had burning pain between my shoulder blades, and a severe tightness in my mid back.  After reading through most of the posts here, I decided to try the following:

1 - correct posture while sitting.  I work at a computer 8 hours a day, and realized I was slouching at work, then slouching at home on the couch.  I believe this was the cause of the burning between the shoulder blades.  I was pulling muscles/tendons in a way they shouldn't be pulled.  I adjusted my chair at work, and began thinking about sitting up straight all the time.  I also began doing an exercise to specifically strengthen the muscles I need to sit up straight.  I do this by pushing my elbows back while keeping my shoulders down, as if I am trying to hold an orange on my back between my shoulder blades, and holding for several seconds.  I repeat 10-20 times a day.  For the first few days, my upper back was a little sore from sitting correctly and this exercise, using muscles I hadn't used in a long time.  But, after two weeks it is much easier.

2 - Psoas stretch - This is what I call the "hip flexor" stretch.  Google it and you will find youtube videos showing how to stretch these muscles by lying on a table.  I believe the tightness in these muscles was causing the mid back pain.  Almost immediately after I started this stretch, that pain began to improve.  When this group of muscles is tight, it causes your pelvis to tilt forward, giving you a more arched lower back.  I had actually noticed a few weeks before while looking in a mirror that my pelvis was very tilted. This pain is now about 80% improved, more of a slight discomfort now after 5 to 6 hours of sleep instead of a real pain.

3 - I have recently added two new stretches.  First, what I believe is called the cobra stretch in yoga.  Lying face down on floor, leaving pelvis on floor, and lifting upper body up on elbows for a few seconds, then lowering and repeating about 10 times.  Second, from that face down position, moving back to hands and knees, then sitting back on heels, leaving arms straight out in front on floor and lowering head and neck, stretching upper back, holding for about a minute.  

My pain is much improved now, more of a discomfort than a pain, and I'm hoping it will continue to improve by continuing the above.  I recommend everyone try these types of exercises/stretches first to see if they help, before moving to more expensive/time consuming options, such as doctor/chiropractor/physical therapist visits.  Especially if you haven't had any recent trauma (ie car wreck) to indicate a medical problem.  It could just be posture/tight,underused muscles.  Best of luck to all!    
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Avatar_f_tn
Bravo! You wrote an excellent Post. I hope people take heed.
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Avatar_f_tn
to be honest, the reason you get back and stomach the the reason you have pain in morning is because you might eat late or drink less water. Try this eat about 6 and after that make sure you do not eat also fizzy drink or any thing with caffine in , even fruit due to citrus , i have had this problem for a long time, talking about 5yrs so this is the best advise iv been given by the top specialist, try it and i hope it works for you and make sure you try keep stress free good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
iv been to the top specialist, iv got same probs, wot to do is keep track of your food make sure you dont eat afta 6 also not to much citrus,try to eat small portion of food through the day and completly stop fizzy drinks or caffine. Drink Plenty of water during the day and try stay stress free. If you do that for a week you will see a difference hopfuly. Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
iv been to the top specialist, iv got same probs, wot to do is keep track of your food make sure you dont eat afta 6 also not to much citrus,try to eat small portion of food through the day and completly stop fizzy drinks or caffine. Drink Plenty of water during the day and try stay stress free. If you do that for a week you will see a difference hopfuly. Good luck
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I stumbled upon this site and was amazed to see people talking about the same kind of pain I have. Mine is about 3/4 down my back around the middle but a little to the right. After 3-4 hours of sleep I wake up with the excruciating pain and can only creep to the recliner. After a while in the recliner it goes away and I can return to bed. I have had this pain for 10 years and the doctor says it's nothing.

For me an airbed was a godsend. I put the air mattress on top of my regular mattress and can sleep trough the night with no pain at all. This was an instant fix! Well it's not fixed :(. If I am without an airbed the pain is there. I'm not sure how good this is for the long run, but it works miracles at least for me. For me the airbed has to be on top of another bed, or it could be a double airbed. Also not completely inflated. It must have some give. When I stay in a hotel a pack an air mattress or my vacation would be ruined.

This probably won't work for all kinds of pain described in these posts, but for the kind I described it's worth a try.
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I forgot to say by airbed I mean the kind you take camping not the sleepnumber types. My airbed cost about $20.
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damaged back last week....doctor said it was a muscle spasm but feels more like disc in lower spine has gone.
tried solphodol,ibrufen,diazipam and heat relief none are working..any other ideas..feel depressed as not a lot i can do

thanks
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A happy update for you - I have no more morning back pain! Here’s what I did:
Find a Chiropractor who specializes in Active Release Technique (ART). Mine is great! I saw several doctors, sports medicine specialists, and physiotherapists, and she was the first health professional to understand what I was talking about when I said, “My back only hurts when I sleep!”
I also find massage therapy to be helpful. You can look up how to do self massages with tennis balls, but I suck at this and therefore find it hit-or-miss.
Also, I started doing beginner’s yoga twice a week and started stretching for 45 minutes to an hour every day. Yes, EVERY DAY...it’s annoying but my muscles need it after years of office work and 6 months of daily pain!
Here’s what I do:
1. Cat/cow stretch, child’s pose, child’s pose with arms stretched out to the left, child’s pose with arms stretched out to the right (about 30 seconds each, 5 repetitions of this sequence)
2. From hands and knees (tabletop position), sweep one arm up to the ceiling and look up at the arm. (Repeat 5-6 times for each side)
3. Lying-down glute stretch – “thread the needle”
4. Lying-down psoas stretch (grab one knee, bring it in to your chest)
5. Lying down twist - drop both knees to one side, look in the opposite direction
6. Seated – butterfly stretch
7. Seated – hamstring stretch, one leg at a time (once you get to the point where you can reach/grab your feet, this becomes an awesome back stretch)
8. This stretch, for the muscles in between your shoulder blades: http://www.drbackman.com/rhomboid-muscle-stretch.htm
9. Pigeon pose
10. Warrior 1 and 2
11. Kneeling psoas stretch (http://www.floota.com/PsoasStretch2.html) with one modification. My Chiro told me not to do the hard lunge...so I keep everything at 90 degrees, tilt my pelvis forward, raise one arm (the arm opposite the kneeling leg) and then lean over the side of my kneeling leg.
12. Calf stretch – up against the wall or on the steps
13. Chest stretch against the wall: http://www.fitsugar.com/Wall-Pec-Stretch-Explained-1806590
14. Neck rolls – chin to chest, right ear to right shoulder, head tilted back, left ear to left shoulder
Of course I’m not a doctor, don’t push yourselves to the point where a stretch is painful etc. etc. I just had to develop this routine on my own because doctors were so clueless about this problem and ended up scaring me more than they helped me!
And stick with it! The Chiro/ART combined with daily stretching has taken about 3.5 months, with gradual improvement and a couple setbacks. But I feel like a new woman!
Also...use heating pads! I slept with mine on all night, which most people are scared to do, but it reduced my agony to manageable levels and let me sleep through the night. If you don’t want to use it while sleeping, use it before you stretch to warm up your muscles.
Good luck!
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Im 18, a female dont have a job yet an usually stay at home. I started sleeping on my moms mattress and i woke up 1:00am to find my back in pain. It aches from my right side to the middle of my back and a little to the left. Basically my whole back is in pain. It also radiates to the front right of my torso around te ribs. I didnt do any rigorous activity like lifting heavy things. THIS JUST HAPPENED A FEW HOURS AGO. Its 1:48am and i still cant sleep! What do i do!!!!
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I too wake up with severe stiffness in the midback.  The minute I get out of bed and walk, the pain subsides.  A few years ago I was diagnosed with moderate arthritis in my neck after a bulging disc issue (C3). Physical therapy helped the disc issues, but I think stretching in the AM helps the stiff back problem as well as a hot shower. I am a jogger.  I try to jog on dirt rather than pavement.  Hope this doesn't make the back worse.
Any ideas?  One other thing, damp or humid weather makes the pain worse.
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I was talking to a co-worker a few days ago, and mentioned this pain in my back after sleeping a few hours.  She surprised me by saying she'd had the same problem a few years ago!  She tried tylenol, advil, having her husband pop her back, etc.  She went to the Dr. and he diagnosed her with GERD, and put her on Prilosec.  He said that in a few people there is a nerve that is in the back rather than the front where heartburn/acid reflux discomfort is usually felt.  She started taking the Prilosec every morning and the pain is gone.  She did say it took about a week for it to start working.  She still takes it everyday,  and has been pain free sleeping through the night.
I hope this helps someone here.  I just bought a pkg. of the stuff yesterday and am going to try it.  keeping my fingers crossed!
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I found this site a few months ago after being at my wits end with not sleeping and getting no relief. I've waited a while before I responded because I wanted to do some trial and error things to see what worked. I know some of the responses in this thread were immensely helpful to me and I am grateful to the people who came back and posted.

First, I saw a chiro for a total 4 sessions. He recommended the tennis ball method and some specific stretches. I did these stretches faithfully for about 6 weeks and then I slacked off because at heart, I am a lazy person. I continue to do them every once in a while though because it still feels good, but it no longer is necessary for the back pain. The stretches are - stand up, reach your arms above your head and clasp them together, bend and hold to each side. Hold for at least 5 secs. Do this at least twice a day and remember to breathe when you stretch!

The second stretch is to sit up straight, cross your right arm and clasp your left shoulder. Tuck your chin into the crook of your elbow, slowly twist to the left and bend at the waist, just a bit. Then repeat for the other side.

These things helped but what was the biggest help for me was a better supporting pillow. I need neck support so I bought one of those memory foam pillows. And much to my surprise, I am now a back sleeper (after many years of being a side sleeper). I also shove a spare pillow under my knees. People, I am telling you that I cannot believe I finally was able to sleep without this pain. A few people in this thread mentioned being so desperate that they thought of suicide, and man, I was there. I'm not saying that this method will work for everyone. What I hope to convey that there is a solution out there that will work. It'll take some time and patience (easier said than done when you're so flipping exhausted), and a lot of trial and error. I sincerely hope everyone figures out what their solution is because not sleeping well *****.
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I promised myself that when I figured this out I would come back here and tell everyone the solution.  Well, I'm not 100%, but I'd say I'm at about 85%, and that improvement has made a world of difference in my day-to-day life.

So, here's my story.

About two years ago, I started being awoken by pain about 4 hours into sleep.  The pain felt like a severe muscle spasm.  I could sometimes roll to a different position and alleviate it enough to fall back asleep, but the rest of the night I would be waking up every 20 minutes or so having to move again until I would finally have to get out of bed because the pain was so bad.  

I had no idea what it was, so I started experimenting - different positions, different mattresses...nothing worked.  So that began my long road with doctors.  I saw A LOT of people - GP, orthopedic surgeons, a physiatrist.  I went through two different rounds of PT.  Nothing worked.

I finally went to see a really well-respected chiropractor in my area.  He told me to do stretches backward over a wedge he provided to keep the spine mobile.  He also adjusted me.  He did the adjustments a lot at first - at least once a week.  That seemed to help.  I was getting through more sleep at night, but it wasn't perfect.  I'd still have some really bad days, but I had enough good ones to keep me going back.

About a year into my back pain saga, I started having problems with my eyes.  One eye would get really red and be super sensitive to light.  It would go away after a few days, then it would pop up again a few weeks later.  The eye doctor diagnosed me with iritis/uveitis and asked if I had any back pain.  When I told him, he thought there might be a connection between the inflammation of the eye and the back pain, so he told me to see a rheumatologist.  He told me to talk to the chiropractor about it too.  They agreed I could have something like Ankylosing Spondilitis.

This rheumatologist was great!  I was tested for everything, but everything came back negative.  I do not have the marker for AS. I was also given a Lupus panel, which not only tested to see if I currently had any auto-immune diseases, but if I was on any path to them in the future.  I wasn't.  So I still didn't have any answers, but the rheumatologist told me one thing no one else had:

I had tried taking Advil before bed, but the problem was the pain didn't start until 4 hours into sleep, when the Advil was already wearing off.  So she told me to take 2 Aleves before bed, since they are longer-acting.  BUT, she also told me that the true anti-inflammatory properties of these pills don't actually kick in until after you've taken the pills regularly for around 2 weeks.  I didn't know that.  I started taking them every night before bed, and SHE WAS RIGHT.  After about a week and a half, things got better.  I stopped waking up in the middle of the night every night.  I could actually sleep anywhere from 7-10 hours a night with no issues.  Now, I sometimes still wake up in the morning and I can feel that it's a little stiff, but it's nothing like it was before.  It is amazing that something so simple helped so much.  I still have a random bad day here and there, but the pain is nowhere near as severe as it once was.

Now, I don't necessarily want to be popping Aleves for the rest of my life, so I'm working on trying to stop the inflammation.  This is where food comes in.  I took an ALCAT test to see what foods I'm sensitive to, and I'm cutting those out of my diet for a bit.  Foods can cause an inflammatory response in the body, and since I don't have any of the underlying inflammatory conditions, I'm starting with the foods.  I'll keep you updated on that.  I'm still also doing my stretches and getting adjusted about once a month.

But, if you haven't tried taking an anti-inflammatory for 2 weeks, try it.  It was a lifesaver for me!
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Like many others here, my search for answers led me to this forum.  About 2 weeks ago I read through the whole thread, which was very helpful. I'm happy to report that I am doing much better, so I will add my experience here so it can hopefully help someone else!

History in a nutshell:
- I'm 30 years old and in good shape. I exercise 5-6x days a week, am of normal weight, and don't smoke.
- Pain started gradually about 3 months ago. Woke up with dull pain after sleeping in late, which progressed to more pain after only 7-8 hours and then excrutiating pain after 5-6 (about 1 month ago now).  Figured it was time to replace the mattress.
- For the past 6 months, I have been seeing an ART chiropractor for a recurrent shoulder injury.  I have spent a great deal of time working on my posture and have been doing lots of physical therapy exercises for my injury.  When I told her that I was starting to have more noticeable morning back pain, she agreed that it might be time for a new mattress.
- Well we bought a nice expensive new mattress, and I quickly learned that the mattress was not the issue. Something else was going on.
- I then consulted Google, which lead me here.  

What I've been doing:
- After reading this ENTIRE thread, I decided that I would first go the stretching route.  While I am in good shape, I also sit at a desk all day at work.  I also realized that since I had been so preoccupied with my shoulder injury, I had basically ceased doing a lot of the lower-body exercises that I had typically done before.  
1. For the past 4 days, I have spend at least ONE HOUR each day doing psoas/hip flexor stretching, tennis ball massage on my back and glutes, and a rolling pin on my IT bands and quads.
2. I've placed a small flat pillow underneath my bum/thigh area while sleeping.
3. I bought a microwaveable moist heating pad, and I've been keeping it heated and tied around my back for 1-2 hours before bedtime (this is when I do most of my stretching).  I heat it up one last time before bed and have been falling asleep with it on.
- These three things have brought me back to 90% after just a few days.  Lower body stretching has been the absolute key for me here!  I think rolling my IT bands a few times got rid of half of the pain alone.  They were so TIGHT and I didn't even realize it.
- My chiro gets back from vacation next week…..and now I think I can finally tell her what is causing the pain!

Lessons learned:
- Remember, your leg bone is connected to your hip bone, and your hip bone is connected to your back bone.
- Back pain can be a symptom of a problem elsewhere in the body! Check your PSOAS!!
- Desk workers beware: prolonged sitting is a hazard! Even if you have a nice chair and are comfortable during the day, it still may lead to other not-so-apparent discomforts.
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Thank  you. You wrote a good letter. I hope people take heed. For those of you who are not yet convinced how detrimental sitting can be for the body an article was published just today by Henry Blodget titled, Sitting Three Hours A Day Can Cut Two Years Off Your Life.
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Has anyone found the solution to stiff back pain after 4 or 5 hours of sleep?please help me I can't take it anymore.going on three years :(
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Hi read your post about your upper back pain only after 4or 5 hours of sleep.i have been going through the same pain for the past 21/2 years please let me know if you have found relief and if so how?thank you!
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I do not understand why people keep asking if anyone has found relief. Read through the pages of text like the rest of us did to find relief. Yes, the fix is out there. It is in this thread, so please take the time to read it.

If you want to be specific, look at my posts. I explained what I did to get over it.
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In my case...

PROBLEM
Waking up with upper back spasms/contractions/cramps after about 5 hours sleep.  Very bad pain between my shoulder blades.  Sometimes seemed to move to other areas in my chest and made breathing painful. Alleviated quite quickly by getting up and moving around.

CAUSE
Trapped/irritated nerve in back of neck, caused by lying in bed with my laptop on my chest watching programs before sleeping.  Any other activity with your neck craned forward and inactive could do it.

SOLUTION
The opposite. Any exercise that bends your neck backwards.  I looked at the sky/ceiling a lot. I watched programs lying on my front resting on my elbows with my laptop in front of me and my neck squeezing backwards (not for everyone).  Sit up straight so there is less of an angle when looking forward.
  
CAREFUL
Don't use this solution unless you are sure you have the same cause ie. a trapped nerve caused by a bulging disc in the back of the neck.
  
Are they spasms (contractions or cramps)?
Spasms cause a particular type of pain, different to a trapped nerve/bulging disc.  With spasms, stretching the muscles should be painful, but then bring relief. Arching my back and pulling my shoulders forward stretched the muscle, then brought relief.  Getting up and doing things did the same.
  
Is it a back of neck issue?
Do you spend a lot of time looking down, either at a computer screen or otherwise?  Does looking upwards cause pain or stiffness in the back of your neck?  Looking up and rotating my head slowly gave me the sensation of grinding salt in the back of my neck.

Will the solution work?
When looking down too much, the disc is actually bulging at the back of your vertebrae, trapping the nerve where the disc is bulging. My solution is to squeeze this disc back into shape by doing the opposite movement. You may get some improvement on the first night, but it may take a few weeks to clear up completely.  You then need to maintain good habits.

Pain in the neck to one side?
The site of the trapped nerve in your neck may also be painful.  If this pain is to one side then the bulge is likely to be slightly on that side.  Your exercises should squeeze more towards the pain.

Danger
If you misdiagnose this issue then the exercise may cause further problems. It may be better to take these suggestions to a doctor.

Disclaimer
I am not an expert, doctor or any other type of medical practitioner.  I've diagnosed and successfully treated various back problems after reading a book called 'How to Treat Your Own Back' 20 years ago. The causes are always bad posture for me, generally working at a computer.   Just be careful :)
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I have had the same issue for a year and half now. Been to PT and massage therapy. Nothing has helped went to a physiatrist and had MRI, my spine is fine so he thinks its muscular and wants to give me intra muscular injection, im not happy about it and I am going to do another course of intense Massage therapy deep tissue for 2-3 times a week. and then go to a chiropractor before I resign to the Injections...
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Past 3 days I've been waking up at 5am ish which is well before my alarm... My mid to lower back is killing me... I'm reading ppl have had this for 4+ years without any resolution... I love my sleep and need to figure this out ASAP :/
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hiya i am female and been reading these post as trying to find advise about my lower back pain.....i go to bed fine no problems, then during the night and when i wake up , my god, my mid lower back is killing me the pain is intense...i have to get up and walk around to ease it , it takes a good 2 or 3 hours till it goes then i have nothing during the day, but then i know the next morning it will be the same, i have been to doctors had ultra sound on my back and front, all clear, i do have a xray booked for a few weeks time, but this is really getting me down. had it for a few months now,  any advise would be great as pulling my hair out and its not fair on my husband as kids even though they are helping me loads.. please help...
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just to add to my above comment, i have changed mattress , not over weight, non smoker....aged 35..
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Hi bfrantic I was justbreading your post and found it very helpful as singer I had my baby daughter a year and a half ago I've had lower back pain due to carrying a lot of water in the womb doc called it lower back muscular pain gave me tablets and exercises to do but not worked abit, and the pain has come back five times worse from reading yours and a few I know what to do to help my back so thank you so much xx
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I have a simple solution that worked for me and I hope it will work for some of you....

I'm female, healthy, 37, not overweight.  I have a history of moderate chronic back pain from an injury a few years ago.  I always sleep on my back with a big pillow under my knees to ease my lower back, and have always slept fine.  Then about 3 weeks ago, I fell asleep in an awkward position, and have been in pain ever since.  As with many of you, it hurts incredibly at night, and sleeping propped up helps, and after 20 min or so it eases up in the morning and then I'm fine.  The pain is midback, stretching around the ribs in the front, into the centre of the back, down the sides and middle....pretty much everywhere.  I've tried anti-inflamatories, massage, chiro, had xrays and blood tests done...nothing.  

My physiotherapist in passing mentioned sleeping with a rolled up towel under the small of my back.  Well, a few nights ago, in total agony, I laid down with a folded t-shirt under my lower back.  It was only a cm or so higher than the mattress.  Slept for 9 hours, practically no  pain!  Now it has been 3 nights, I've slept through each night, with 95% reduction in pain.  Just slept for 10 hours straight. It's amazing what a difference such a small thing makes....I can barely feel it under me.

I hope this works for some of you....my body is very sensitive to these kind of postural things, and I went through a similar experience last year with severe neck pain until I happened upon a pillow that took the pain away in one night.  Good luck!
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I started having the exact same problems as you all a couple months back. I am male 34, slim, have a desk job. Tried these:

- increased stretching, exercise, keeping the back lumber hams stretching, abs and back strengthening, reverse push ups ..
- took vitamin d blood test, came out to be 9, took 60,000 IU supplements per week
- cut down sugar to rule out dietary organs involvement (http://www.ucmg.net/mid-back-3-5-06.htm)
- cut down on desk time at work
- improved posture and ergonomics at work

Though each of these relieved the pain to some extent, nothing made it go away. Finally during travel the pain seemed to be disappearing. This was contrary to me expectations as I was actually worried that the softer mattresses in hotels might actually aggravate the pain. At home I use a coir mattress which is pretty stiff (common in India). I have been using these harder mattresses for the last 5 years to relieve a lower back ache problem and they have helped.

But now suspecting these same hard mattresses for mid back pain, 4 days back I added a foam top on it and the mid back pain has not happened since.

I guess all the other things were compounding factors - the desk job, poor posture, lack of exercise, stretching of back and hams, low vit d, but the trigger was my slim self on a stiff mattress.

Will wait and watch and post back. Keep trying everyone, all the best.

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I am 37 female, live a low stress lifestyle, mainly sedentary at computer. I found this site when I was experiencing the exact same kind of pain.

Mid back pain. Comes after 4 hours of sleep. Excruciating pain that radiates to the sides of my chest. No sleeping position can relieve the pain when it hits. Pain starts going away 40mins after waking up or sitting in an upright position. Pain is completely gone after 2 hours. Day goes on as normal. Slight ache in the affected spots. Completely normal by night time. Goes to bed, and then wham! the pain comes again.

Changed mattress and pillow. Did exercises. Popped arnica, Traumeel. Used deep freeze gel. Occasional Ibuprofen. Didn't help.

I don't like living with pain. So I consulted 2 chiropractors and a GP and had an X-ray on spine done. All Drs said I was fine. Possibly some bad posture and diet. But generally fine. Then my GP checked my vitals and suspected I have Gastric-Oesophagal Reflux Syndrome. I hadn't considered that it was a gastric problem till now. I've always thought it felt more like a back problem. She gave me Nexium, which I've been taking since last night. But I also tested her theory by plopping myself on 2 pillows in a reclined position when I went to bed last night. Viola! I had 7 hours of sleep right through with no pain. My back didn't even feel sore. I went back to snooze in a normal position and woke up 2 hours later in pain again.

If it's an acid reflux or inflammed oesophagus problem, that may explain why I only get the pain when I lay down in a horizontal position. Now that I have started paying attention to a possible GORD problem, I'm watching my diet, cutting out alcohol and coffee, sipping lemongrass+ginger tea and watching my posture.

I don't know if my Dr's diagnosis is right yet. And I will post again when I get better (fingers crossed). I just wanted to leave a note here for anyone who is struggling with the same kind of pain. It's just one more aspect to consider.

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This is a follow up post on my condition. See my previous post above.

I have been on Nexium for 7 days now and have been watching my diet. I eat small meals 5 times a day and have cut way back on alcohol, soda and coffee. I have not slept in a reclined position for 3 nights now and am completely fine.

So it looks like it was indeed a GORD problem and the reflux had caused a major heartburn. I swear it had always felt like a back pain. I would never have suspected that it was acid that was causing the pain.

If you are experiencing the same thing, please have yourself checked out for GORD too.

My symptoms were -
- Pain hit after about 4 hours of sleep.
- Excruciating mid back pain (T10 or T11). Felt like a car just ran me over. Hurt badly when trying to breathe or cough. Pain radiated to the sides of chest towards lateral abdominal muscles and at the gastric area above abdomen. No pain in abdomen.
- No adjustment in position could alleviate the pain when it came.
- Sitting upright at my computer or slowly walking about reduced the pain after 40-60mins.
- Pain was usually completely gone after 2 hours, with a slight soreness for the rest of the day at the affected spots.
- Felt fine throughout the rest of the day. No pain when going to bed.
- Switched beds and pillows. Did not help very much.
- Slept in several positions. Including pillow between knee on side, pillow under knee on back with folded towel under lower back and sleeping on stomach. Did not help.
- Took arnica and Traumeel. Did not help.
- X-ray showed spine was fine.
- No prior injuries. No major recent incidents. No change in living habits.
- 37 yrs old, female with a low stress lifestyle. Healthy weight. Good medical history.

Good luck!
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GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)  not GORD.
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My symptoms were: severe thoracic back pain 5-6 hours after falling asleep. It was hard to breathe and couldn't stay in bed. No position would make it better. I couldn't keep sleeping. Once I was up and walking, the pain would go away after an hour or so. I would be fine during the day, experiencing only minor headaches and some knots on my back -that I could feel. I went to the doctor and the X-rays showed no sign of damage.

I had just been hospitalized because of a bad case of tonsillitis, and got over it with the help of antibiotics. And two months prior to my symptoms, I went skydiving and the parachute opened rather abruptly. I didn't know if skydiving was to blame, or maybe something to do with a side effect of the antibiotics. Could it be bad posture at work? I had no idea where the back pain was coming from. I had recently moved to a new city, it was very overwhelming. And after reading this forum, and seeing that many people had had this for years, I was pretty scared of having to withstand the pain every night without answers or hope of relief.

I followed the advice posted by some of you; I did exercises during the day: the trigger point, different stretches, got a heat patch, and I started reading John Sarno "The Mindbody Prescription: healing the Body, Healing the Pain." I immediately felt relief after reading a few of his book chapters and being open to what he talks about. I was willing to do anything to cure myself; and, when I started reading the book, I sat down and started to think about what it was talking about. I confronted a lot that night, let it all go, and I felt the tension dissipate from my back -it was amazingly liberating. That night I was able to sleep without any pain. I did wake up at 3am as usual, in fear that I would have the pain, and I didn't. I laid there in bed, with no pain, in awe that it had worked; and at the same time, worried that it may come back. But, the next night, and the night after that, it didn't. I started to be my old self again and was so thankful to life for having good health.

I am in complete astonishment of the logic behind the book's concepts. I hope all of you find relief; back pain is just horrible. The book worked for me, so I highly recommend it to people here.
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I have had the exact same symptoms that you described for about 2 months now. I wake up after about 5-6 hours of sleep in incredible pain and cannot go back to sleep. Usually, this coincides with a fairly strong urge to urinate. I quickly discovered that I could sit up for an hour and the pain would go away. Finally, I tried using two pillows and had my first uninterrupted night's sleep in weeks. This has worked fairly well for me for about a week, but I've found that the pain is creeping back in. It's not so bad that it wakes me up, but I can feel it when I do wake up.

My pain is in the mid-upper back T5 region and between the tips of the shoulder blades. I have had back pain for years, spasms and such, and have figured out that they coincide with stress. I have also started reading Dr. Sarno's book. The first night I started reading it, I woke up the next day with no pain. But that was the exception, as the pain eventually came back. So, not sure what to make of the book. I keep picking it up and putting it down. Not consistently reading it, and haven't made it that far in.

I just went to the chiro today, and he was concerned at the notion of night time pain. He immediately wanted to do x-rays to make sure their are no tumors or anything like that. Once those are ruled out, we'll move on from there. He did say that I was negative on any other signs that something serious like that could be the cause. It's a bit scary, but I'm glad he's being thorough.

Will post an update when I have more information.
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Ive had low back pain for 3-4 yrs off and on.I would only be able to sleep for 4-6 hrs nightly,being wakened by low back pain and belly aches.Also not being able to sit to long or walk very far  and god forbid I bend over or twist to far.Finally  last year I went to my PC who then refered me to a Radiologist. After X-rays and MRI I was told I have 2 bulging disk. I did 5 weeks of PT stretches and light resistant type excerises.Worked wonders but even after a year Iam still in pain.I will end up back to doctors for sure. Ice and excerise really help but short term. Just thought Id share.... for some times back aches are more then Indigestion.  : )
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Avatar_m_tn
I see my first post was April 2009 and here I am about 3-1/2 years later with no noticeable pain (at all) in the middle of the night or after sleeping for any period.  Pretty remarkable and for now I am thinking that my pain of two years+ may have been related to peri-menopause, stress and general relationship dissatisfaction.  I also read John Sarno's book and although I got a lot out of it at the time, it wasn't an immediate cure for me by any means though well worth reading and thinking about. For those of you who are women and in your late 40's and early 50's, you might want to think whether you are menipausal.  I think menopause can lead to discomfort in many different ways, with estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuating.  At least it is worth a ponder for the women.



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Avatar_f_tn
Your symptons sound very familiar. I can't recommend too many changes to your lifestyle routine as I dont have the appropriate information to make such a judgement but I think some orthapaedic products could really help you. If you could buy memory foam mattress ,it would be alot better than a spring mattress undoubtedly. This would support your back and relieve some pain. I daresay your neck is hurting similarly so maybe investing in memory foam pillows to replicate that support on your neck. Admittedly, these arent cheap mattresses so you could look at a cheap memory foam topper to help you out with less expenditure. If you can support your back whilst you sleep, half the  battle is won. Good luck mate, I hope it improves
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Wow i am so relieved. And i know everyone says that but it is such a good feeling to know that someone else knows the pain and how tiring this makes a person. Mine is the same exact problem as i have read. But mine sttarted while i was pregnant and we moved to my parents house. I trumped it up to being pregnant but now it is still here and getting so annoying. I did read that back pain after sleeping could be because of poor posture or a worn down or too thick of a pillow. So i was going to try changing that. Im so sick of sitting up at night while my hisband gets to sleep .
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I sleep in a water bed.  I found this thread while on vacation because every time I sleep on a regular mattress I have the problem described here.  Waking up with lower back pain so severe I can't get back to sleep, which disappears after getting up/showering/walking around.   After reading this I am thinking it must have something to do with the type of mattress.  Perhaps you should consider a water bed, which affords me a pain free night every time...
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had the same upper back pain/stiffness after sleeping for  6 hours for about 1 year. It progressively got worse once I started going through a major change in my life which added a ton off stress.
I have read all of your comments on here which helped me so much! I am now PAIN FREE when I wake up and I wanted to share what worked for me.
Quick bit of info...I am 38 female, no accidents or anything like that. I am a hairdresser and have bad posture that can't  helped sometimes with my job. I see a massage therapist and an osteopath on a regular bases which help a lot but not for this particular problem. I hadn't tried physio or anything else but now I don't need to.
The first thing I did was started drinking 7cups of  water, I didn't drink any before. apparently this is essential for your muscle which I didn't know.
The second thing I did was started taking magnesium, which again is essential for your muscles which I didn't know.
After doing these 2 things for about 1 1/2 weeks I noticed that the major tightness which felt like an elastic being pulled tighter and tighter in my upper back went away now that my muscles were better lubricated. But that revealed that I had a major throbbing pain under my left shoulder blade when I woke up.

The third thing I did was started swimming lanes. Because my posture is always going to be compromised with my job I thought maybe I needed to strengthen my upper back so it can endure more before it hurts. I go 3xs a week for 20 mins. At 1st I could really feel the pain under my left shoulder blade when I swam but it's been about 1 mounts and my back is getting stronger so I don't feel it as much any more. When I sleep now that throbbing ache under my left shoulder blade is mostly gone. I still wake up with a tiny bit stiff but nothing compared to before.  
I also am at the tail end of my stress which I think has played a part in my recovery.
I did buy and read the trigger point book that a lot of people were talking about. It was a great book and I think that trigger points are a big issue in back pain. However I found it very hard to pin point my trigger points myself. I'm going to see if my massage therapist can help me find them so I can try to do it at home.

I really think the big thing here is the swimming that strengthened my upper back. A lot people have mentioned stretching the upper back, but there hasn't been to much talk about strengthening the upper back. I think that as we get older and especially if your posture is bad and your not able to change it enough your back needs to be stronger to endure everything we put it through.

Hopefully this info will help someone as everyone else's info helped me...good luck and keep trying things until it gets better. There is no reason why you should have to live your life in pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
I woke up this morning googling for relief and found you alls posts. Did anyone ever discover their issue? I am desperate and my doctor..........
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had the same upper back pain in the morning (and throughout the night) for ten years now.  It lasts from about 30 mins after I lay down to about an hour after I wake up.  Laying on my stomach brings the most pain (but is the most comfortable!)  I have found that being upright helps.  I have been sleeping sitting up for the last six years.  This helps enough that I can actually take a breath in the morning.  Recliners, couches, propping up the top half of the mattress (to about a 45 degree angle) and adjustable beds have helped.  Good luck!  I am still looking for a better solution.
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Has this condition been given a name yet, i dont think i get the pain just from laying down ive laid down for a fair few hours and i dont get any pain but if im actualy asleep then i am in excruciating when i awake.... Although saying this it might not be the act of sleeping, its probably due to the fact that i sleep on my front or side,and when im laying but not sleeping i will be on my back, but i find it very hard to sleep on my back! Ive been to the dr that believes its a nerve, its seems plausible but im not sure! His give me some stretches to do and told me to keep warm, not helping at mo! And i tried the ball between back and wall i did this morning noon and night yesterday and also had a massage off a friend and it was still the same pain when i woke up this morning :-(
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't know why people keep coming to this forum to post asking for help when the answer is in the thread. THE CURE IS IN THIS THREAD. I've gone from 4 hrs of comfortable sleep back to 8-9 hours. I can't do more than 10 hours, but that's fine with me. It's gone down to just like 5% of the pain it used to be.

Read my previous posts about what to do for the stretches!! Two pillows + all those stretches I recommended EVERY HOUR of EVERY DAY will do the trick.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same issue. My rheumatologist suggested getting tested for vitamin D levels as its deficiency can cause this. I was very low on vitamin D - 11 (should be > 50). So i startedvitamin D tablets. It helped - a lot. But comes back every few months once I stop the tablets.
I m actually writing this post in the middle of the night while the back pain subsides so I can go back to sleep.
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ALL OF YHE ABOVE SUMS UP MY SLEEP PATTERN FOR ALMOST A YEAR NOW, EXCEPT I HAVEN'T SEEN A DOCTOR. THE ONLY REASON I'VE NOT SEEN A DOCTOR...I'D RATHER NOT FEEL LIKE I'M CRAZY WHEN THEY TELL ME WHAT THEY HAVE APPARENTLY TOLD EVERYONE ELSE IN THIS BLOG, WHEN I KNOW HOW REAL THE PAIN IS!! THANKFUL I FOUND THIS BLOG & KNOW NOW, NOT TO BOTHER SEEING A DOCTOR!
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear PPNH,

Just to help broaden your understanding of anatomical etymology, 'oesophagus' is the English spelling of the word probably because it comes from the ancient Greek for gullet 'oisophagos'. Whereas 'esophagus' is the more recent American English spelling.

Hence the different acronyms GORD and GERD used in the UK and USA respectively. There are both the same disorder though and neither is correct or incorrect.

Unlike the 'World Series of Baseball' the world wide web (WWW) is actually world-wide and hence you may come across people with varying expressions and language.

You would be correct in assuming that I am a pedant.
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I suffered with upper/mid back pain if I slept longer than 7 hours at night. Pillows and positions made no difference.  It seemed to be related to being in a horizontal position.  
2 months ago I completed a 7 day juice fast, then a Colon Cleanse followed by a Gall Bladder Cleanse.  The pain is gone now.  I also don't suffer from the pain, gas and bloating that I used to have after eating. My shoulder bursitis is also cleared up.  Plus lost 7 pounds!

I don't consume coffee, wheat, dairy or sugar after the cleanses.  There is no desire for them.  Not sure which one helped, but am so happy to be pain free again.  Maybe this can help someone!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, I have the exact same between 4-5 but mostly at 4am... this happens for three weeks now. Plse can you tell me if yours is sorted now? What was it? Mine also on right side... thks
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, im curious also as to why my mid back pain after sleeping 4-5 hours started only 3 weeks ago... I wake up at about 4am every day. I have pain in my mid back on the right side. This pain usually goes away if I rise and get active after say an hour or two. I will feel little discomfort during the day still but not as 4am.

Breathing isnt a problem but its when I might cough also that I feel pain in that same area early after rising. I understand that the answer might be spread out over all the threads on here but possibly someone have had the exact same as me and found out what it is....?

Will magnesium help? Will memory foam help? Im hoping its not my kidney... but with the comments on here it seems not to be. Havent gone to the dr yet...

The idea that this pain comes in the morning when sleeping and not during the day is a bit of a positive for I reckon... but not getting enough sleep and having so much pain early every day isnt! Wish I can sleep longer again.......

Im also a bit over weight about 25kg to be exact... maybe my back need strenghtening?
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Avatar_m_tn
Many of you describe the pain I experience only when lying down. Severe gripping pain in lumbar region, across the back, 6 inches wide.  So much pain I scream out in the night, even with 800m of Motrin 3xs daily.  It;s been going on for 4 months. The doc found I was severely deficient in Vitamin D.  In other words, I have the adult version of rickets.  Without the vitamin, calcium can't be used by the body, and results in skeletal muscle problems, pain, spasms, and fractures.  So check  it out--it may not be what you have, but it's worth a conversation with your doc.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been experiencing significant upper back pain that started about a month and a half ago.  Every morning I wake up around 4:30 a.m. with pain in my upper back.  No change in position helps.  It is painful enough that taking advil every night did not help.  It gets to the point where it hurts to breath.  When I wake up, the pain starts to subside and by the evening I only feel pain if I arch my back.

I went to a chiropractor, massage therapy, and a sports med Dr.  The Dr. took an xray and said that my spine looked healthy!  In his words he said "I guess you are the mystery patient of the day?".  Needless to say I was unhappy with his diagnosis.  I proceeded to another Doctor that gave me Lidocaine shots in my back and ordered physical therapy.  The Lidocaine shots did nothing, and it has taken a week and a half to line up the therapy which I start tomorrow.

In the meantime, I came across this thread and started Lumbar Extensions 4-5 times per day.  I also have been doing psoas stretches, p90x yoga, and  rolling on a tennis ball before I go to sleep. www.do-it-yourself-joint-pain-relief.com with Gary Crowley.  After four days of starting the lumbar extensions, I slept through the night for 8 1/2 hours last night!!  I'm still stiff in the morning but plan on continuing this regiment.

I promised myself I would respond to this thread if I experienced good results.  So far...so good.  I will update again as time goes on.

Adam

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I'm not sure but last Sunday I woke up with a stiff neck and upperback pain with it and it was sore for about 3days and now today I woke up and it hurts again the same way I notice that when I woke up I was sleeping flat on my back and I normaly sleep on my sides not sure if that's what causing it
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Avatar_n_tn
Are there videos anywhere that you know of demonstrating these exercises?  
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I have this problem too.

After sleeping just a few hours, I get severe pain in my back and ribs, especially the right hand side.

No position helps and it is hard and painful to move.

I kind of feel like I have been frozen in a painful position and can't move.

I have GORD (it is called GORD not GERD in the UK) and am taking medication for it.

I have ordered a new bed as the pain is so bad so I want to try that
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I have benefited a lot from this community. I don't want to repeat the problem statement. I have had the same problem for 1 year.PT is only temporary relief. MRI/ct looks normal.mattress change didn't help.exercise did not help. Finally after spending one year in pain. One of the doctors asked me to get a vitaminD and Vitamin b12 tests done.both were alarming ly low. Started taking vitamin d and b12 supliments. 2months on medication. It worked like a miracle.
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Avatar_m_tn
My Friend was in allot of pain, then she started using some product!  When I see her again I will ask what she is using...  if you want to email me at ***@****  I will send you a email when I find out!
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I have found relief! I had all the same symptoms as everyone else here has described...4-5 hours after sleeping severe pain in torso radiating from the back, can't breathe, can't turn or twist to move or get out of bed, after getting up then 30-45 mins later no pain whatsoever.
I have also used many different therapies for it just like everyone else has and finally found what works for me! So easy and not expensive...

I went with the concept that most people here had luck with, sleeping in your recliner, and so I purchased a foam bed wedge. It's 8 inches high at the head of the bed and tapers down at an angle to about the middle of the mattress.
Think a wedge of cheese.
The first night I had total relief and have not had any pain whatsoever till this day. It has been about 8 months.
I first tried putting pillows and such under the mattress to create an angle for sleeping and it worked perfectly! So the permanent solution was to get a wedge.

I have slept since doing this one time without raising my angle of sleep and woke 5 hours later to pain.
My chiro told me when you sleep laying flat you put more pressure on your connective tissue around the spinal zone, specifically the rib heads, and he has recommended to some patients to sleep in their recliner to take the pressure off the spine at night and they no longer sleep in their bed...

This is what works for me and as a Natural Health Counselor for 25 years I am now recommending sleeping a little angled to most people I talk to. There are benefits to sleeping just a little angled and if you can't for some reason I am not sure what to tell you...but I will say that I sleep perfectly every night now!
My set up is a Tempurpedic (firm) mattress queen size, with a foam bed wedge at 8 inches tall and that's it. You can use an adjustable bed but it will cost a lot for that set up. I think I will eventually get an adjustable bed in the future that way I can adjust it to any angle to get relief it any changes but for now a foam bed wedge has technically cured me...

I wanted to share my experience because I know the pain we all feel and I hope it works for you. I have complete relief and sleep better now than I have in years.
Erik
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Avatar_m_tn
Another potential cause for mid-back pain that shows up at night after 3-6 hours is GERD (acid reflux).  If you are getting esophageal erosion to the point that you are getting nerve activation you may feel the effects in your mid-back (stomach referred pain shows up in the mid-back -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referred_pain).

If you sleep with about a 10-15 degree slope in the upper body, that can reduce the pressure on the cardiac sphincter of the stomach and stop acid reflux at night.  Using proton-pump inhibitors like prilosec and others will also reduce your acid reflux.  Unfortunately, you can get flareups where those remedies may not be enough at times.  I've noticed that foods that are very spicy or cause gas tend before bed tend to cause more pain in the morning.

Oddly enough hammocks work very well for nighttime acid reflux (not the flat ones which will dump you on the ground but the ones with gathered ends which are pretty much impossible to fall out of).
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh my goodness, this is exactly what I have! Been about two months now. There's a lot of comments on this! I've been reading through but can anyone summarise for me if they've been able to diagnose/cure this? The original post was from 2007 - what ended up happening for you? I don't know where to start trying to sort this - doctor, physio, chiropractor, osteopath?! I feel like a doctor is just going to send me away with painkillers.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you can't find a solution to right side middle back pain in the morning, here is my little piece of advice: eliminate the consumption of aspartame for a week. Check all processed food that includes aspartame or E951and eliminate it temporarily from your diet, including multivitamins.
It worked with me, after being scared to death because nothing more seemed to work.
It's a cost free solution and if it's your case, that can save your life...
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Avatar_m_tn
nrsable, did you every find out what was wrong?
Best,
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi krytos,
How is your pain doing now?
are you still doing well?
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Avatar_m_tn
Just spent the majority of my day reading the entire thread. It's great to know there are others out there with the same issue as me. It's also a relief to hear that many of us are young, healthy, and not overweight. (I'm 28, 175 lbs, 6', male)

I am going to try:
- lumbar extensions
- trigger point ball on the back
- PSOAS stretches
- sleep with my arms below my head

I'll report the results soon. Thanks to everyone!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your post on "psoas" my back hurts so bad when I first wake up. But the stretches and heating pad are helping so much.
I never heard of psoas until I read your post
Again thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
I've also had these problems on the left side of the middle of my back. If I stretch or try to take a deep breath in the morning I can feel my back spasm. The only difference I've experienced is that I can go months at a time pain free without doing anything different and them BAM! It can come back out of the blue. Has anyone else experienced this?
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Yes, I've experienced this on both sides, but mostly on my right side.

It is difficult to make generalizations here. I have severe spine disease, a degenerative condition that has come on over many years.

During the early years of this process, before I knew that anything was wrong, I'd have idiopathic LBP that would last for 6 weeks or so and then fade. I'd be left in peace for months or years, and then it would happen again. Sometimes the pain would be disabling, and sometimes it would be both sharp and aching for weeks on end. Usually the medical advice I'd get would be either -- lay in bed for a month and take aspirin, or to take a course of PT for 6 weeks.

They don't recommend bed rest anymore, of course, and sometimes chiropractic can help.

But for you, it is difficult to say why you have this pain -- age, weight, posture, activity, ergonomics at work, quality of mattress, quality of shoes, muscle strain, "pinched" nerve, and a dozen other factors may be contributing to your pain syndrome.

Best bet for an answer is to consult with a spine specialist for a history and physical exam, have some films taken, and find out what's going on with you.

Best wishes.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for the info. I haven't been to a Dr. yet as I am worried they'll just put me on medication, but I hadn't thought of a spine specialist.

Thanks again!
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