1.5 years ago I had a pretty serious compression fracture of C6-C7, which has since developed spondylosis and annular tearing. (5 days ago I had bilateral facet injections from C6-T1, so I'm still holding out some modicum of hope that they will help. So far, the pain's only been worse.) I have been and still am dealing with almost constant and mostly localized pain (I realize of course that no on here is a stranger to pain, alas).
What I'm wondering is this: how do others with cervical spine injuries/pain do the sorts of mundane daily activities I used to take for granted? I'm not talking marathon running or anything crazy, but just simple things like sleeping or finding a comfortable position in which to read/watch TV/etc.
I can't sit for longer than 20 minutes or so without increasing pain, so I've been using a cobbled-together standing desk where I can use the computer. Still, even standing I can only last for up to an hour (on a good day). This seems like the perfect opportunity to give in and spend my days reading (at least as long as painkillers will allow, ugh) and watching TV, but even that's difficult, since any attempt to prop myself up on pillows is painful. Best is lying on my back, head on mostly deflated beach ball, but it's hard and annoying to hold a book or tablet directly above my face.
So, fellow cervical-sufferers: have you found a reading/TV watching position that works for you? Or do I just need to suck it up and develop some arm muscles for the directly-above-face option?
Similarly, I simply cannot find a position to sleep comfortably. Does anyone have any recommendations for pillows/positions/etc. that don't make the pain wake you after only a few hours, with no hope of getting back to sleep?
Finally, I'm dying to be able to do some exercise again (I'd always been extremely active pre-injury, but at this point all I can do are my PT exercises and some short walks. Any suggestions for exercises that don't ramp up pain? (Are there core exercises that don't put strain on the neck?) Aquatic therapy sounds wonderful but I doubt I can afford it.
Thank you all so much for your help and support!
compression fracture C6-C7 (7/11), developed spondylosis and possible annular tear(s);
facet injections C6-T1 (1/4/13)