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Lower back pain when laying down to sitting up that causes breathing problems
Anon_227695 posted:
Hi. My name is Robert and I am a military combat veteran. I have been told that I have degenerative disk disease when I was in the Army years ago, but have not experienced real bad back pain until about three months ago.

My current back pain begins when I am laying down and stand up. Usually at night. When I stand up after laying down, my back seems to spasm or tighten up so bad that the pain seems to knock the breath out of me, causing me to have to make shallow breaths which can last up to about 30 seconds to five minutes. The back pain when it happens as I explained will usually go away pretty quickly if I lean forward or sit down again after standing. Sitting, walking, and other movements do not cause this level of pain (very minimal) throughout the day.

I presented this problem to a doctor or nurse practicioner (cannot remember) at a Veterans Administration hospital and an x-ray was taken and was told to go to physical therapy and given pain meds. When I went to my PT appointment, I was told to do some stretching exercises. No comment was made about the x-ray results. I went back for a follow up appointment for the same issue after my initial PT appointment and was told to make another PT appointment, which is scheduled on November 1st.

I know that my posture may not be the best and I need to work on proper sitting posture as I do a lot of typing as I am a full-time graduate student which may be some of the cause. However, waiting over two months to see PT to learn new stretches seems pointless. I am wondering if there are other people who have experienced this type of back pain and if anyone has any suggestions to reduce these symptoms. Your comments/suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.
bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -

I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to you and all military people (both men and women) for protecting us every day; for putting your lives in danger so that we, the USA, can live free~~

now for your back, yes I have this everyday - and have just been diagnosed with Arthritis in my back - that along with scare tissue has been causing more pains in my back.

the results of the x-ray should have shown if there were any arthritis in your back - see if you can get a copy of the written report (for your files - always keep copies of every test result) this way you will know what is going on with your back.

being diagnosed with DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) years ago and not having anything done could be causing your pains too - this type of disease does not go away nor does it heal itself. the following website will give you lots of informative information relating to all types of back problems. DDD is listed and will give you information relating to it.

I know you are dealing with the VA and it can be like pulling teeth - but you should try and push to have an MRI done - this will go into greater detail of what's going on with your back.

as for sleeping at nite - here are some things that help - when sleeping on your side put a pillow between your knees - when sleeping on your back put pillows under your knees - this will help keep your spine straight while sleeping - also try taking ibuprofen - this will help with any swelling and/or pain -

waiting til November for your PT does seem extreme - you may want to get the copy of your x-ray and do some research or come back here with the results for assistance - we will be more than happy to try and help -

take care - Joy
Wyomingsoldier replied to bj1208's response:

Thank you for your comments and suggestions, I will try some of them and see if I can get an MRI done along with getting any reports from the x-ray. If a get, or I should say when, the report, I will post the results to see if I can get some more advice. Hopefully this week I can get some documentation. Thanks again Joy!

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