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slept on my stomach!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,000
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Good News
I am normally a side or stomach sleeper, but after my neck injury this summer I could only sleep on my back with one of those "donut" pillows to support my neck. It was torture, because even if I was having a good day pain wise, I could never get comfy and sleep well on my back. If I tried to lay on either side, the pain was unbearable and my entire left arm would go numb after about 30 seconds.

Right after surgery I was able to sleep on my side for a little while with lots of pillow support. Gradually I have been able to sleep on either side for most of the night. Two nights ago I actually woke up and I had been sleeping on my stomach! I thought it may have been a fluke, but last night I tried it again and low and behold after only 6 weeks post-op I can turn my head enough to sleep on my stomach again!!!! :O) I am SO glad my NS didn't make me wear a hard collar after my surgery or I would not have this ROM back so soon. Yeh!!!


  • I have hope now! I have always been a stomach sleeper and I have not gotten a good night's sleep in two months because I have never slept on my back or my side. So now tonight if it doesn't hurt I may try it. I slept on the couch proped up with pillows last night and that has left me in more pain today than i could have ever imagined. I wonder if my doctor is going to have a heart attack if he finds out? My PT wouldn't even let her assistant lay me on my stomach the other day to do an exercise but maybe sleeping it could be different. I can't wait to get back to my natural sleeping position. Hopefully its now time to try.
  • Try laying kind of half on your side and half on your stomach. Your legs and hips can be face down with one knee kind of bent. Then rest one shoulder (the same side as your bent knee) slightly elevated with a pillow and drape your arm over it like you are hugging it. Rest your head at the edge of another pillow (this one has to be fairly firm and thick at the edge) so you are kind of face down, but your head doesn't have to turn all the way sideways like it would if you were in the middle of the pillow. This is one way I kind of transitioned from sleeping on my side to being able to sleep on my stomach.

    Did you have to wear a collar post-op? I totally believe my quick recovery has been due to NOT having to wear a collar. My NS encouraged me to carefully move and tilt and rotate my head as much as possible from day one. He believes that the hardware and stable support tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) actually help support your spine while you are fusing better than a collar. This kept my neck strong and flexible, as well as helped with the shoulder muscle spasms. I have already regained more ROM than I had before surgery.

    Good luck and cheers to stomach sleepers everywhere! <:P
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  • I had lumbar fusion and finally got sleep after lying on my stomach. I sleep so good now and I am glad to hear your ROM is so excellent. All surgeons are not equal and yours must be in tuned to your needs so good for you. I see your a Vet Tech.. I wish.. I have 4 large dogs and they are a handful and a blessing during this time. They are so human...they just know you need 'em to be careful and they are.. I love them, they saved me in the years before surgery. Thanks for your work...Cheers to good sleep!
  • No Thank GOD I had one of those Dr.'s who don't believe in collars after surgery. He's like yours. He believes I have enough hardware in my neck that it would be hard to damage the work he did. I wish I had read your post before I went to bed the other night. I ended up trying my old stomach sleeping position which lasted about 5 minutes before I decided that was not going to work. So tonight I'm going to try your method. Wish me luck!
    Oh I wonder if my cat would make a good substitute for the pillow since she insists on sleeping with me anyway. She's really fluffy and just firm enough. :D
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