pain worse at night?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 6/20/2011 11:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi my dear family. My back pain seems to get worse at night. I was wondering if this happens to anyone else? I know that's probably a silly question, but you don't know until you ask, right?

My pain is usually about a 5-6 during the day, but come about 7-8 in the evening it revs up and doesn't want to go back down. I always have to take my oxycodone ( which is 5mg and doesn't do much) along with Bayer Back and Body, Tylenol Arthritis, or my husband rubs BenGay or BioFreeze on my back. Sometimes I try it without any of the add ons and the oxycodone hardly does anything.

about three months ago, I went in to see my pcp (that prescribes my pain meds).
She examined me and it really hurt. I asked if she could increase my meds, and she said if she did it now, I might regret it later.

I'm wondering if a muscle relaxer might help me. Could those of you that use them give me some advice or how they work for you? I am wondering about them, but I've never used one. I really don't know how to go about asking my doctor about putting me on one.

I have read about the Flexeril making you sweat and your face turning red, I do that enough as we don't have an AC.

Luckily my Fentanyl patch hasn't went out of whack. It only gets in the 80s here though, and I'm not able to work outside on flowers or anything, so I've been ok.

I do have some flowers and some herbs out on our balcony, but they're really easy to take care of. I have a tomato plant that I bought and I have to get it in a pot. It's grown since I got it about a month ago.

Well, this is getting pretty long. I better go for now. I hope you're all having a low pain night.

lots of love and lots of soft hugs
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 6/21/2011 12:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loretta....

Well, since I'm up for that very reason (pain)... and it's 12:06am here... my answer would be "yes", my pain usually flares at night.... :)  I'm sitting here w/ 3 lidocaine patches all over my back.
I guess there are lots of varying reasons for the additional pain.  For me, I think it's just the impact of everything I've done during the day... Also, even though I'm trying to rest - I'm laying still and more in tune w/ my body - and I think just tuned-in more to the pain.  Finally, I'm usually exhausted - and I think that leads to feeling pain more, too.
Just from what I know about your back - I would definitely encourage you to ask your doctor about using a muscle relaxer.  I would be lost w/out mine; it's just as important as my pain meds.  I've been on every muscle relaxer out there.... It's really about finding the one that works best for you, w/ as few side effects.  Flexeril, while it worked some, left me way too tired in the mornings.  Robaxin didn't do anything for me.  Zanaflex did weird things w/ my blood pressure.  Baclofen worked ok.  But the best for me and the incredible spasms I get in my back is Soma.  I just use it at night and I have no side effects on it... and it works really well.

Those are just my experiences.... but - point being - I think you might really benefit from a muscle relaxer, Loretta.  Forgive me for forgetting, but do you have fibro, too?  The muscle relaxer really helps my fibro symptoms, too.
Glad your fentanyl patch is continuing to work... that's good news.  Actually, great news. 
Well, I'm going to try to sleep.... and I hope you are getting some rest, too!! 
Hugs, Tina

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 6/21/2011 1:13 AM (GMT -7)   

I am up for the same reason....Pain. I agree with Tina that i think it depends how much hobbling i do during the day and then I pay for it at night. It is 4:10 am here and I took my meds and now I wait for them to work.

Tell your doc that the current med isnt working on you adequately and that you were wondering if a muscle relaxater would help. Let us know how you made out.

Soft Hugs

crushed lower knee and vertical fx of yibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected legcontinously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/need metal removed in July/wait 6 months for healing/then toatal knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take opana er

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 6/21/2011 2:50 AM (GMT -7) of 3 please...LOL.

The two worst times for me are first thing in the morning and then at night.

The night time increase is due, IMHO, to being tired from the days activities. The morning is due to being inactive for too long.

Don't know about the rest of you but for me it is a balancing act between moving and resting. Too much of one and my pain increases.

As far as the flexeril goes I have been taking it at night for the past few months. Not because of my back pain but due to getting really bad leg cramps at night. I refuse to take any muscle relaxer during the day as it tends to "weaken" my back muscles allowing for more compression on my bad discs. I haven't had any problems with flushing, sweats, etc from it.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 6/21/2011 5:41 AM (GMT -7)   

I am sorry that your pain keeps you up at night. I do not have the same type of problem that you have, my pain is due to pelvic adhesions. It does keep me awake some nights. Like Jim I find that it has to do with activity. My pain increases as my activity level increases, so the evening into the night is the worst time of day for me. If I don't rest, then it carries into the next day as well.

When I talked to my doctor, they prescribed an antidepressant that helps sleep. I needed the antidepressant anyway and I gave it a try.

Are you able to talk to your doctor plainly and ask for his/her opinion on a medication with good results? Are you one of the lucky ones with a good relationship with your doctor? If so, just being the conversation and talk to your doctor about your pain increasing at night.

I hope this gets better for you soon. Know you are not alone when you are awake at night.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, arthritis, kidney stones, depression, 9 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions. Fentanyl patch, Vicodin, remeron, trazodone, dicyclomine, Miralax, Colace, Multivitamin.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4907
   Posted 6/21/2011 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Flexeril only turns your face red if you are mixing it with a serotonin increasing drug like tramadol, and not even then for a lot of people.  I get it (serotonin syndrome) because I am particularly sensitive.  It's worth a try at least starting at a small dose.
It might be possible to get SS from Flexeril alone, but you'd have to be even more sensitive than me, and you'd probably have to be taking a high dose.  You can look it up and read the side effects.  It's a really good muscle relaxer.  I get good relief with it if I am not taking tramadol. 
There are lots of other muscle relaxers that work well for some people.  I just haven't found any that have worked for me, except diazepam which my pain doc doesn't want me to take.
Antidepressants can help with sleep, but you have to watch for side effects with them too.  I like Ambien to get me to sleep, but only a low dose or I get muscle twitches the next day.  Melatonin helps too, but probably shouldn't be used long term or you could stop making your own.
I get worse pain at night too, especially shoulder impingement and back pain.  I'm always up every couple of hours trying to figure out what to take next, because I don't tolerate much of anything.

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 6/21/2011 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
        Hello Loretta!
           Yep!...I'm one of those unlucky morning and evening sufferers as well! shakehead
     I so agree with Jim...on this....and will add that, my med cycle (Oxycontin) starts both in the mornings and the late untill I recieve my dose...I too!...seem to suffer a little more at those times.
    Are you, or have you been doing some sort of PT in home? I really am a firm believer in this....and that you need to keep those muscles active....espically if you are home bound without a lot of activity.
    Sorry you're hurting so bad....hang in there kiddo!
    SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 6/21/2011 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with what some people have said here!

My pains worse at night because i'm usually so tired by the end of the day and because lying in bed you think about it and notice it so much!

Sorry yours is so bad, hope you can get some relief! I try play meditation music when I can sleep from it, sometimes helps a bit :)
15 years old,
Chronic stomach pain with no diagnosis yet and lots of other things.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 6/21/2011 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loretta...I can totally empathize...the early morning and late evening are the worse for me...As others have said...if you've been busy throughout the day the pain just starts creeping up little by little...

My PM always talks about staying 'ahead' of the pain..instead of waiting until it gets so actually is harder to calm it back down...

How many of the 5mg Oxycodone do you get to take for BT through the day?

I also agree that my muscle relaxer is a crucial part of the mix for me...I switch them around every year or so to not build up a tolerance...

I am using Flexeril right now...or they now have a new medicine Amrix...which is a 24 hour version of the same medicine in Flexeril which is Cyclobenzaprine....My PM will have samples when the drug rep comes by since I don't have any insurance and it's way too expensive to pay out of pocket...

But the nice part is that a 15mg Amrix will slowly release the medicine throughout the day and not cause the same drowsiness as Flexeril does at times...

Two others that work well that I have used, but don't cause as much fatigue are Robaxin or Skelaxin...

As others have mentioned Soma, Baclofen, or Zanaflex...

It really is about trial and error and seeing how they work for you..

** The one thing I am very careful about is that I don't drive when I take a muscle relaxer as I don't use them everyday...and I feel that I am just not as 'sharp' in my that's the whole point of the I have never wanted to take a chance to get into an accident...

So...I take them in the afternoon and they definitely help with the muscle pain and relax me for the evening...I also do some light stretching/yoga at night...(Rodney Yee is gorgeous to look at and his voice is dreamy!! LOL as he has a DVD of AM and PM yoga)....

I would also just adivse when you take them and watching the added mix with your narcotic medicine...and not throwing in other OTC's or a sleep medicine all at the same time...I talked with my Pharmacist to ask the timing of this...he said that if I take the muscle relaxer at least 4 to 5 hours before I take my Ambien...I don't ever want to not wake up!!!...

I hope you can talk with your Dr. to add something into the mix...I am a big proponent of finding as many modalities to help with our pain so we don't rely just on our narcotics and can keep the tolerance low as most of us are in it for the long haul!...

Sending you some big and gentle hugs ((( )))
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15180
   Posted 6/21/2011 3:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loretta, I think many of us hurt more in the evening and night after we have been up all day trying to
get things done. When I first get up is really rough but works itself out, but by evening I am done. Stick a fork in me and turn me over I am done by 5:00pm every day. If your pain persists I would keep after the dr about it. What mcg of Fentanyl does the dr have you on?

I am on Baclofen, my dr increased my dose recently and that has made a huge difference. This is my first experience with it. It does make me a little on the sleepy side but I just push past it. Another muscle relaxer I really liked and responded well to was Zanaflex. Muscle spasms can really deal a person a lot of pain and misery. I don't do Flexeril, it makes me very sick at my stomach not to mention a horrible groggy feeling, I really get a hangover from it. I have been on some others but these two have been the best so far. I am really surprised your dr does not have you on one already.

Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 6/21/2011 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the replies everyone.

As far as the oxycodone goes, I only get one per day. My dr cut it down to one, and I don't know why. The last time I got them filled there was only 30 of them. She did have me on one three times a day and then one every eight hours, and now one a day. Of course she's my pcp. The pm dr had me on one three times a day when she cut me loose for my pcp to take over prescribing them for me.

I am on 50 mcg of Fentanyl. A strange thing happened with that. I am on Medicaid and the pharmacist told my dr that my insurance wanted me on Duragesic, which is the name brand of Fentanyl, so I have been using the Duragesic since June 30 when I got them filled. I thought that they would want me on the cheaper one because of cost, but no. Weird, I know.

The pain management dr. didn't put me on a muscle relaxer, so I guess she hasn't done it. I don't know why. I feel like I'm getting a lot of angry muscles or something, because my back doesn't only hurt in the middle where my spine is but also all across especially where the compression fracture is.

I need to make an appointment with the neurosugeon that I saw so he can interpret my MRIs that I had done, so I can find out if anything has changed in my thoracic spine, or if anything is going on in my lumbar spine.

I did fall on an icy sidewalk the year after I had the major fall and hit my lower back on the ice, so there's no telling what could be going on there. Hopefully nothing, but I do have pain down there, but not as bad as my middle back.

This is getting awful long, so I better go now. I think I will call my dr tomorrow and ask her about a muscle relaxer. I hope you all are having a low pain night.

love and lots of soft hugs
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

SE Sis
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 6/22/2011 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I use Flexeril and it really helps me. I have had  no side effects accept for some sleepiness. redface    I think you should try it.  Blessings to you.
SE Sis
S1, L4-5, L3-4 Fusions, Rods & Screws inserted, bone chipped out for room for nerves. (May 10, 2010)
Right Hip Surgery to fix damage from Physical Therapy for my back. (2006)
Anxiety/Panic Attacks (started 2005)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 6/22/2011 11:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you SE sis. I am planning to call my doctor tomorrow (actually later today). I'm going to ask her if she will call in a muscle relaxer. I hope you are having a low pain night.

love and hugs
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/2/2013 3:50 AM (GMT -7)   
To my fellow back pain night owls. I have a theory about back pain being so bad at night. During the day I try to keep my mind as busy as possible and this seems to get me through most of the day or at least the pain level is much lower. But when I go to bed, my mind is occupied on my much more severe back pain. If I get up and read or play computer games, etc. I can at least hang on until the very ineffective pain meds finally kick in and maybe I can sleep for a while.
about muscle relaxers: I can't take them because they cause tinitis that seems like Niagra Falls in my ears/head.
Dx: a little arthritis in hip, osteoporosis, recent broken hip and could only use walker for 8 mo, could not put any weight on rt hip/leg;Greatly exacerbating lower back pain. Back pain stems from injury when I was 18, I'm now 73. Surgery--Disc fusion 1986, very little help. Stenosis in lower spine. Affected areas L3-S1. Fighting chronic pain continually. Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation in medial branches,decreased pain by about 70-75% for 18 mo to 22 mo each treatment. Now have pacemaker and cannot have Radio Frequency. Current pain meds:Norco 5/325 and 10/325. I add a little Ibuprofin as a booster to make meds work faster.
Any advice or remarks from anyone out there?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6706
   Posted 9/2/2013 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Needsleep and welcome to HW. Yes many of us have sleep problems and if you would please re-post this on a thread that isn't so old, introduce yourself and your theory you would likely get a lot more responses.

Thank you.
" Don't give up God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.

Moderator Chronic Pain

Disabled since 1998 on SSD/lumbar spine issues, knee problems.
Chronic pain meds
(Methadone, lyrica,lexapro)
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