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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
LucidLight
 
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Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby LucidLight on Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:01 pm

Hi everyone, a few years ago I started waking up with really bad neck and upper back pain. There were days where I could not even turn my neck without a trip to the massage therapist. Also I started getting more and more frequent headaches, so I went to a neurologist. From there I got put in to physical therapy (2 rounds) to help with my posture and neck strength. What I never understood is how sleeping when my body is not holding up my head causing causing all this pain. Thinking it was all posture related I tried every type of pillow and sleeping position. Nothing really helped. My Neurologist said I should get a sleep study. Well I did not think I had sleep apnea. I was going to find out what the heck I was doing in my sleep every night to jack up my neck and back. Well I got diagnosed with mild sleep apnea. I think the longest apnea was over 30 secs. Well I was not completely surpised since my dad has sleep apnea, and had CPAP for years. Well I got my own CPAP now, and have had it for about 3 months. I don't have much trouble going to sleep, but I never go through the night without waking up and ripping it off. I think in 90 days I made it only once to the morning with it still on. Well I am still having alot of neck and back pain, and I am not sure if it is because I am not wearing the mask all night or that sleep apnea is not really the cause. The sleep doc seemed to believe that because I might be tensing up over and over struggling to breath is causing it. I tended to believe him, because it does not matter if I take muscle relaxants or not. One of the pain killers I took for Headaches, kept me from a deep sleep (makes me feel like I am on the verge of falling asleep all night long). The nights when I took the pain killers I woke up tired but I really was not sore. So have anyone else experinced knots and heavy soreness in the neck, shoulders, and back because of sleep apnea?

James
29 Years Old
5'11 165 Pounds

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Ms Piggy
 
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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby Ms Piggy on Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:17 pm

Sorry to hear of your problems, I can''t help you but you could see if you
do any better by trying a different type of ma sk, a long shot maybe,
but you never know with this malady. good luck.

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echo
 
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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby echo on Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:38 pm

Hi LucidLight,

Welcome to the forum! There was a recent discussion on this thread about sore back caused by CPAP treatment: Sore back with CPAP?, but goes on to talk about CPAP being helpful for chronic pain.

And there is plenty of evidence linking Fibromyalgia and OSA.

Since you haven't been able to use the CPAP the entire night, I would NOT yet make the conclusion that the pain is unrelated to OSA.

If you register and tell us what setup you're using, (mask, machine, pressure settings, etc), and any issues you are having (mask fit, leaks, dry mouth, mouth breathing, etc), we can try to help you pinpoint why you're not able to use the machine the whole night.

If indeed your therapy is under control (no leaks, good mask, correct pressure settings, good hose management system, low AHI), then you can always try pur-sleep (scents that you can use with the CPAP, developed by one of the forum's members, SleepGuy) to induce relaxation (and some report that it helps with the mask-removal problem).
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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby GumbyCT on Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:40 pm

How many pillows do you use?

Your posture (spinal alignment) could indeed cause the symptoms you are describing. Have someone look while you lay down in your normal sleeping position to see if your spine is straight. It is hard for us to judge ourselves.
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LucidLight
 
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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby LucidLight on Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:44 am

I have put in my machine info, and use a pressure setting of 10. I used to have a Swift LT mask, but the nose "pillows" kept loosing seal. So I got the a full nose mask instead. No seal problems, but like last night I had the humidifier set to below 1 and still get water build up in my mask (so that one last nights reason for yanking it off). I have tried every concievable pillow combination before I was even diagnosed. I got soft, hard, expensive, and memory foam posture pillows. I did have some surgery where I had to sleep at a 45 degree angle and it seemed that that helped, however I was also under alot of pain meds at the time, so I can't say 100% for sure the angle helped. After that I tried to built a pillow based 45 angle, but since I am a side sleeper I always destroyed it in my sleep. What is the other thread, I would be interesting in reading it. Anyone else have neck/back problems they believed may be caused by sleep apnea?

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echo
 
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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby echo on Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:20 pm

lucid light - if you go back to my previous post, click the words highlighted in blue , and that will take you to the other post.

For the water in the mask, you can try a hose cover (you can buy one from snugglehose), wrapping some socks or towels around the hose, keeping the hose under the blanket with you, or the aussie heated hose. The idea is to avoid condensation by warming up the air around the hose.
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feeling_better
 
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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby feeling_better on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:05 pm

LucidLight, Please search for the terms 'rain out' and 'swift lt' for help in reducing one of your problems.

As for back/neck pain, you already had it before you started on cpap. For some people, they started getting this when they started getting back/neck problems when they started cpap. So we can assume, cpap may aggravate the pain too. My guesses for this, based on my experience when I stared on cpap. 1. Cpap gives you more deep sleep with less awakenings and turnings and movements, so if you are prone to stiffening/pain, it gets worse! 2. Sometimes the mask leaks increase/decrease in some neck positions. You may be unknowingly holding your neck in a particular position to reduce leaks, and that position might be aggravating your pain.
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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby Kiralynx on Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:24 pm

So have anyone else experinced knots and heavy soreness in the neck, shoulders, and back because of sleep apnea?


Can't speak for the neck and shoulders. However, I have had hip pain which woke me several times every night. The pain doc I saw sent me for a sleep study because she said that chronic pain is often associated with apnea, and that when I was sleeping properly, the pain should reduce.

I was exceptionally doubtful, especially since both my sleep study and my titration were interrupted twice by hip pain so severe I could not sleep. (To the annoyance of the doctor who read the studies, and who thought I should have been given a sleeping pill. Sleeping pills only made this kind of hip pain worse.) It was this kind of hip pain which made it very difficult to rest.

To my astonishment, although my AHI and leak rate are both down significantly (but haven't yet gotten a flat leak line), my hip pain is, in fact, significantly diminished. I've cut my anti-inflammatories from 6 doses a day to two.

So yes, it works. Ain't perfect, but then, I haven't yet gotten all my parameters where I'd like them to be.

I grumble a lot about the mask, but I'd worry about going without it now.

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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby Guest on Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:13 pm

My back and neck pain was almost intolerable, I was even getting botox injections to stop the spasms that were causing tension headaches. Now the pain bad but not to the "I can't turn my head" level. I still can't make it through the night with out pulling it off. A lot of nights my nose may not be clear enough to even get enough air. I was using Afrin until I my nose was 100 closed off every night, and hat to quit cold turkey. I would just love to know if I finally was able to sleep a few full nights sleep with the mask on would my neck and back finally get better. Maybe I can just get pipes installed in my nose :)

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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby drycwong on Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:58 am

Dear LucidLight

I had significant sleep apnoea when I was >180 lb together with constant neck and back pain, so much so that I thought I was suffering from fibromyalgia rheumatica. I have largely recovered - CPAP is no longer mandatory to eliminate day time somnolence.

You are 156lb at 5'11, I am 5'5 at 152lb, therefore my BMI is greater than yours. Since you are a mere 29 yr old, you should be able to manage far more exercise than me at age 61 yr.

I speak from personal experience, and not as a physician (although I am one), on what I think is best for you, provided you have no predisposing factors that may prevent you from exercising or other physical disability. Presumably your doctor has cleared you of serious spinal disease such as cancerous deposits on the neck bones!

1. Weight-wise, you are Okay. No specific action on this front.
2. Intolerance to CPAP is a well recognised problem of this otherwise superb therapy involving no drugs. This is a personal preference which is probably exacerbated when you have so much pain from this, that or the other. Your persistent pain issue can not and should not be overcome by long term night sedation, risking later substance abuse.

Rx

I would suggest at least one hour of eliptical cycle training daily to train all 4 limbs with no impact on the joints, and only start purposeful stretching of the neck and back half way through the exerise session after your muscles have warmed up. The exercise machine does not need to add resistance for the initial few weeks. Don't waste your money on passive massages - be active and stay consistant at your exercise regime.

Splint your neck with a cervical spine (neck) support that fixes your head in a steady position to prevent bending the neck forwards (up when you are lying down). This support, comes in a few different sizes, is basically like a vicar's dog collar that rings around the neck but it is taller in that it is around 6 inches high. Note that if it is comfortable when you first put it on, it is too small to adequately stablise your head and neck. It must be stiff, and minimise head and neck movement throughout sleep.

Abandon what ever pillow you have and sleep on a firm, orthopaedic mattress.

Take sufficient analgesics for the first 10 days, together with adequate muscle relaxant before bed. Note muscle relaxants are nearly all addictive tranquillisers, therefore your doctor should limit your use of these "relaxants".

If you have significant day time somnolence which may cause you danger, e.g. falling asleep at the wheel whilst dring, then you might be better off to continue the CPAP machine for now.

It is entirely possible that you may resolve your present perdicament before Easter. I would be delighted to hear how you got on in a couple of months' time. The collar may be a little hot in the summer, therefore you should try this regime out over the current winter of the Northern Hemisphere.

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Jimmycrackhorn
 
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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby Jimmycrackhorn on Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:34 am

I wanted to bump this a little.

I have had back pain a lot. I notice a trend. It moves around. It comes and goes. When I am trying to treat my back, even indirectly, by doing things like taking an aspirin before bed (even for high blood pressure, not back pain) or laying down to meditate with a heating pad my pain gets WORSE.

I just had 2 masterful massages in the past month. My back pain got worse.

I haven't even gotten the mask yet, but am preparing (will tell you how in a second).

About last night; when I laid down to go to bed after about 30 minutes of a back massager and heating pad, my back and neck felt horrible. I was worried about not sleeping at all.

So, popped 4 ASPIRIN, took some magnesium, vitamin d, cod liver oil, calcium etc. Now these may or may not work - as a matter of fact, sometimes I can stack like that and still have back pain when I wake up later.

However, today I woke up pain free.

The thing I did different was talk to my brain before bed. This may sound crazy, new agey, silly blah blah blah, but there are Doctors that recommend this.

How many of you have heard of TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome)? I am wondering if what is happening with all this back pain is a RELEASE of pent up ANGER and Frustration - though we are finally getting treated, maybe subconsciously some are angry about it, or maybe angry about missed time.

Hear me out.

http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/The_Tension_ ... drome_Wiki

If you read a book by Dr Jon Sarno called: "Healing Back Pain" (of all things) he talks about this. To get a brief synopsis here is a little video of him on 20/20:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B2IE0o7diU

To be fair some of these people were suffering with CRIPPLING pain.

So I want to run an experiment for CPAP users. As I said, I am preparing. How? I read the book by Doctor Sarno (there is even an audio book version available) and now I am going to do this like my life depended on it:

http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Structured_E ... al_Program - This is a daily program for a few weeks with exercises to help cure back pain.

The alternative/companion program to this is:

http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/TMS_Recovery_Program

For those who just want to call this Quackery - apparently the US SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR AND PENSIONS COMMITTEE took him seriously enough to have a hearing about his ideas/methods.

Check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjG-8GE2Wf4

Right now after about a week of back pain, increasing each day, I am standing here after a night of great sleep - even though when I laid down my back was horrible. I had a serious, firm, talk with my brain saying, "Hey man. I am doing my best to get healthy. I have an appointment tomorrow at the sleep clinic and my mask is coming soon! But you need to meet me half way and work with me, not against me. If you have some pent up anger or emotion bring it up to me in my dreams or we can talk about it tomorrow, but right now I need some sleep. So GTFO with all this fake back pain!"

And I soon, the back pain was gone, and I am standing here now with no trace of it. Keep in mind you can blame the stack I took, but like I said, it wasn't working that well the previous days SO WHAT CHANGED??

Anyone who would like to try this with me, we can post our results here or even start another thread, but the reason I like this thread is because it's high on the google list (at least for me) when I search "back pain sleep apnea". That means other people will find this thread, and if we are getting positive results, we can post them here so others can find them later.

Anyway, comments, questions, flames ;) or anyone want to do this?

PS - if anyone wants to call bs - I please ask you to at least watch the 2 videos I posted in this thread IN THEIR ENTIRETY. I know I am not on the CPAP yet so that is why I am asking people who are to try this with me. I am trying to pre-empt knowing I have had terrible back pain "pre-mask" already in my life, so I am going to program my brain to be ready for when I do get on full time treatment.

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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby Julie on Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:47 am

Sorry, I think you're off base because you can't be recommending anything to people you know nothing about - and I include yourself in there. Have you not seen a doctor about your pain? How do you know it has anything to do with tension? What if you (far more likely) have e.g. spinal stenosis and/or arthritis as so many do when getting older? The first will react badly to heat and the second is not about tension. You must ask a doctor to look at you, get xrays and/or CT/MRI before self diagnosing and sending innocent forum members to those links!

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Re: Can sleep apnea cause neck and back pain?

Postby Jimmycrackhorn on Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:48 am

Julie wrote:Sorry, I think you're off base because you can't be recommending anything to people you know nothing about - and I include yourself in there. Have you not seen a doctor about your pain? How do you know it has anything to do with tension? What if you (far more likely) have e.g. spinal stenosis and/or arthritis as so many do when getting older? The first will react badly to heat and the second is not about tension. You must ask a doctor to look at you, get xrays and/or CT/MRI before self diagnosing and sending innocent forum members to those links!


I know I'm new and you have 7k posts, but I'm pretty sure that you didn't actually follow this part of the article.

PS - if anyone wants to call bs - I please ask you to at least watch the 2 videos I posted in this thread IN THEIR ENTIRETY. I know I am not on the CPAP yet so that is why I am asking people who are to try this with me. I am trying to pre-empt knowing I have had terrible back pain "pre-mask" already in my life, so I am going to program my brain to be ready for when I do get on full time treatment.



I know you care, otherwise you wouldn't have 7k posts. I am also a senior member on a couple other(non related) forums so I get it.

But 2 things.

1. Actually watch the videos like I suggested BEFORE just poo-pooing what I am saying. Actually it's not even me saying it. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people saying it. Some of these people had debilitating conditions like fybromyalgia, bulging disks, couldn't walk, etc. Saying, "It's not about tension" shows me you haven't actually watched the videos. So does this: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:47 am - One video is around 25 minutes and the other is 20 minutes. So replying 15 minutes after my post doesn't give you enough time... :P

2. At the beginning of Dr Sarno' s book, he Specifically suggests that people seek a medical Doctor's advice BEFORE trying his treatment. I'm not telling anyone at all to do anything. I'm giving the people who have tried, like I have (apparently you didn't consider that) to go to the Doctor, an OPTION. There are lots of people on this forum (in this and other threads) complaining about back pain, and if you watch the videos he does talk about a possible link - that the back wasn't/isn't getting enough oxygen. That's the thing that made me bring this up, because it is totally treatable IF that is the case.

I am here to try to help myself and other's too. I know I don't have the post count you do, and you think, "How dare this NOOB write an article here!! I'll put him in his place!" But do your OWN research and let people do theirs! :) I have the same goal you do - to help myself and others live a better, healthier life. :D

If you still feel the need to shut me down, I'm going to let it go. But really think about what you are doing, before letting your ego get the best of you to, "Knock down that new guy!!" Are you really thinking with benevolence of everyone reading? If so, do a little research on it. Then we can discuss the issue!

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