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[CPAP] New user. Middle back pain. HELP HELP
I have just recently started using CPAP and after the first couple of nights started waking up bloated and terrible back pain. I have to get up and move around for it to stop. I have stopped using the machine and the pain stops. It feels like my back and stomache are having contractions.
I went to my specialist who said that for some reason I am taking air into my
stomache instead of my lungs and the pain is being diverted to my back.

Has any one else had this and been able to come up with a solution. I have been told because my apnea is so bad 125 times an hour that I could lose my liscense. :
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Welcome to the forum
The bloating is called Aerophagia, air get trapped in the stomach which causes pain and gas.
Sleeping with your head aligned with your body can help and you can try elevating the head of the bed.
Try to set CFlex at 3 so you get maximum pressure relief when exhaling.
The other thing ask your doctor to adjust the pressure down so you can get used to the pressure
and as you start to feel better the pressure can be adjusted up gradually

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You've already gotten an answer to the aerophagia. The only thing I can add to Zonk's post is that many people on this forum have said that it tends to fade over time as you continue your CPAP therapy.

I have the same problem with back pain. If you search the internet, you won't find this as a side effect on any of the "medical" sites, but you'll find a lot of posts from people on the various forums. In my case, the pain is muscular, not skeletal. I don't know why this happens to us and my only guesses are:
1. My wife says I used to flop around like a fish, now I stay in one position and only turn a few times a night.
2. The mask head gear may be making us keep our heads at a weird angle. I haven't tried any of the xPAP pillows for sale. I'll let others comment on that.
3. The weird equipment we're now wearing every night is just keeping us tense as we sleep.
4. CPAP aliens are beating us with a baseball bats while we sleep.

I really don't know and haven't found any good explanation. One guy did postulate that the pain was caused by the release of toxins that had built up over the years as we slept poorly. Don't buy that one!

I started doing flexibility exercises (okay, basically yoga) about three hours before bed time. This helped A BUNCH and I can really tell if I neglect to do them. The chiropractor helped, but the best thing I did was a get a new bed. It's a "snooze digit" (veiled commercial reference), very pricey but it really has helped.

I understand waking up after only four hours sleep in enough pain that you can't go back to sleep. All I can tell you is that I still felt more rested with four hours of CPAP sleep then nine hours without it. It has gotten better over the months, but I still have my bad nights, and I don't think I've gone over 7 1/2 hours sleep since I started therapy about a year ago.

Keep posting here. Let us know how you're doing.

Sleep Well!
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Sheree, Glad you are giving CPAP a try. As everyone is saying, it is aerophagia. Our lead physician says it is caused by too much pressure getting into the stomach, however, I had a patient who needed a pressure of 5 (very low) and they complained of it too. Sometimes it is a sensitivity issue as well. I would probably talk to your doctor since it is causing such severe pain which may cause you not to use your machine as often as you should. Ask your doctor about trying BiPAP which may help with the higher pressure and may prevent the air from getting into your stomach. An AutoPAP may be helpful as well.
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Hi Sheree, First, WELCOME! to rhe forum.! I'm sure sorry that you are getting off to such a rough start, but, not using your machine is not going to help. Maybe if you raised the head of your bed, that would help with the bloating and thus get rid of your back pain. Just keep trying, don't give up on your CPAP therapy, keep checking back into the forum and PLEASE keep us posted on your progress. BTW, I just bought a new bed recently and the owner of the store where I bought it suggested to me that if I had any back problems, I needed to consider a matriss called Hard-As-A-Rock. You can put that into a searchengine to find out more about it, just a thought. Best of luck to you.
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The pain is called referred pain. When you eat ice cream and your head hurts? That's referred pain.

Anyway, yes, there's a lot you can try to help with the air thing (I cannot spell that word).

Try raising the head of the bed by putting 2x4s (screwed together) under the feet of the headboard. Start with two.

And wear a tinfoil hat to keep the bat wielding aliens away. Probably cover your CPAP with tinfoil too.
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Breathe deeply and count to zen.


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Try a chin strap. That could help stop most of the aerophagia that could be causing your bloated feeling and back pain.

Welcome to the Forum!
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I have to echo BabyDoc, and the aerophagia problem is caused by swallowing air instead of all or most of the air intering thru your nose. This is a very common situation, esp; when you are just starting out on the CPAP. Over time, as you become more comfortable with the mask on your face, you will breath more readily through your nose and not so much through your mouth.
Long story short.. An inexpensive solution, and used by many, many "hoseheads" is using a >>chin strap<<... It usually does a great job of holding your mouth closed..
Yesterday is history; Tomorrow is a mystery; Today is a gift; Thats why its called "The Present".
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Thank you. I am amazed at all the responses.
I have had my machine presssure lowered yesterday so hoping that will make a different.
My readings show I'm not opening my mouth so they said that a chin strap won't help.

Didn't use machine last night wanted to give everything a rest. Hopefully tonight all will go well.

I am also going to try and sleep with my head elevated.

I have noticed that since using the machine that my daily headaches have reduced I stop going to the toilet all night and have more energy.

I hope so much that this can be sorted.

Thank you again.
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(08-30-2012, 06:58 PM)Sheree Wrote: I have noticed that since using the machine that my daily headaches have reduced I stop going to the toilet all night and have more energy.
Me too..The first thing noticed No more morning headaches or getting up at night to pee.

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