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New to forum and looking for advice on mattress

Hi all,

I am new to the forum and looking for some advice. I have a bad back with L4/L5 disc degeneration and sleep on my back. My wife had shoulder surgery, which did not heal well, sleeps on her side, and now has pain from her sciatica nerve. We have a plush queen size bed but are not happy with it at all. We have even put a feather type topper on it with no help. We even tried a 4 inch memory foam topper and also that did not help.

We were thinking about getting 2 twin beds, one that would suit her and one for my back problems but do not know if that would work either.

At this point I am welcome to suggestions for what type of mattress and/or firmness might work so we can get a good night's sleep.



  • sido1948ssido1948 Posts: 1
    edited 06/04/2013 - 10:27 AM
    i would have thought the firmer he better,i suffered from a bad lower back and bought a memory foam bed ,worst thing i ever done,they just don't support ,paid for a good firm mattress ,better sleep now,Colin
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I had sealy 1st and found it quite comfy until the springs jabbed me. We then got a pillow top sterns and foster, big mistake way tooo soft. then my back/leg worsened and I could only lay on my right side on the right side of the bed...my husband was sick of looking at the back of my head and I needed 20 pillows to prop. we couldn't decide what to do clearly I needed firm he likes it softer. we decided to get separate beds. Both sleep number beds his a long twin and mine a queen. I needed the room for less pillows and sleep at an 80 he sleeps at 45-55. clearly I need firm he doesn't. we never shared blankets anyway because neither one of us would sleep ;). I miss him but after more than 1/2 our lives together it was a sm thing to keep our sanity.
    take care
  • After many years and many trials, sleep number was the answer to ny prayers.

  • AustinpuseyAAustinpusey Posts: 4
    edited 06/30/2014 - 6:52 AM
    I heave been advised to get a firm mattress in order to avoid pains, however firm mattresses as you know are not suitable for side sleepers. It is a shame to have to sleep on twin beds only because you cannot find a mattress that suits both of your needs. Try having a look at a few models and their properties first before making this drastic change in your life. This site has a lot of information on different types of mattresses EDIT You could also try asking your doctor for advice or a sales person at a mattress store. I do hope you can find a suitable mattress and get well as soon as possible.

    Link removed, solicitation not permitted.Please read the Forum rules
    Post Edited by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team
  • but we have found that 2 single electric adjustable beds with the dormeo octaspring second generation mattress is about the best yet the single beds join together so it look like one big bed but with the advantage that we can alter the beds to our own preference .have a look on there web site .not cheap but worth every penny
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I'm a 64 year old female who used to be able to move crazily with the best of them. I was a violin/viola instructor who really got into my music physically. About 6 years ago my NS gently suggested hanging up my fiddles and my bows. He explained his reasoning in a very logical and sensitive manner (I had been playing since I was 10 years old) but he may as well have gotten me in the stomach with a sucker punch! I originally injured my back in 1977. I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter and managed to very gracefully fall down a flight of wet concrete steps/ Did I hear you say ouch? Fortunately, my daughter bounced like a beach ball but I managed to rupture L4/L5 when I landed with a great big splat! When my daughter was 4 months old an ortho and a NS did my first laminectomy. I made a fairly uneventful recovery and treated myself like a crystal fairy for the next 7 years. By that point i was getting awfully annoyed at not doing ANYTHING physical. That summer we were on vacation at a resort that featured hayrides and trail rides. My hubby and I opted to do the trail ride. A horsewoman I was not and on the return ride to the stable my horse decided he would rather gallop to his hay trough rather than trotting like a gentleman. Yes, I started to slip off his back while desperately trying to hold on to his mane. He gave one good buck and I went sailing over his head and landed flat on my back and my poor head, pinned in between his four hoofs. I guess I am very lucky to be around to narrate my tale. I had a second laminectomy in the same location. Remember, this was the late 1970s, before the advent of fusion or instrumentation. I had many hospitalizations for the pain for the next several years, including my first epidural where I am delighted to report that I gushed blood all over one of the nastiest physicians it has been my misfortune to meet.

    Fast forward to February, 2003. My HMO sent me to a different NS (different insurance, etc.) for my first cervical surgery. Ihate to say this, but I don't even know what he did to me. I was very naive at that time and didn't understand what the neck had to do with my legs for my neck wasn't hurting, just some moderate arm pain. That monster's indifference put me in a wheelchair and I'm still there 11-1/2 years later. The cervical surgery was Thursday morning and I was discharged the next evening, right after dinner. The NS's comment about wearing the cervical collar was literally, ""Take it or leave it, I don't care.' I should have run... By Sunday afternoon, less than 2 days from my discharge, I could not stand, walk, or move my legs in any manner, due to the howling pain I was in. My PCP readmitted me to the hospital for a week, followed up by 8 days in a SNF. What a joke that place was! I stopped being Terry-nice-kid to the monster from Hades. I DEMANDED a 2nd opinion frommy HMO and was sent out of network to a teaching medical center and a new NS. The new guy immediately diagnosed me as having DDD and spinal stenosiisi, both cervical and lumbar. I was scheduled for a repair to my cervical and while I was recovering from that, the new doc did a 3rd lami on L4/l5. By the time I got out of the hospital (about 2 weeks) I was encased in a cervical collar, a lumbar brace, and an AFO brace on each leg for drop foot AND my daughter was getting married in August. Argh!! I had to promise the new NS I would come see him the instant hubby and I got back from the wedding for the NS wanted to schedule yet ANOTHER lumbar surgery, but this time entering through my abdomen. That was simply the worst surgery I had ever had, up to this point, especially after being sent home. It's been 11 years and the scar has still not repatterned itself. I am short but I am not petite and the incision looks like the Colorado River gouging its way through the floor of the Grand Canyon. Hmm :( At any rate, up until May, 2013 I've had a total of 14 spinal surgeries, too many epidurals to count (none of which worked), PT, as nauseum.

    I lost my NS of 11 years due to health insurance change. Scream!!! I finally saw someone new after 5 months of neverending paperwork and the first thing he says to me is "I can't help you. There are no more places to operate that will help." So he sends me to a new pain management guy. He wants me to try a neurostimulator trial but every time I try calling his assistant I get her voicemail. Yay, 21st Century! As far as my pain meds go, I take methadone, gabapentin, tizanidine for spasms, and Cymbalta.

    So there you are, the sad tale of Terry, from Caiifornia. I almost forgot the biggies. In Aug of 2009 I had more fusion, etc, etc in that part of my spine which used to be called my neck. Every cervical disc except for C1 has been remodeled. The docs were 3 hours into the surgery when they discovered there was no room for the needed instrumentation. They called in the thoracic team, who proceeded to cut off a couple of inches of my left clavicle. Yep, I woke up in ICU, very unhappily connected to a ventilator for 2 days. And with my last surgery last year, I had 2 nurses babysitting me 24/7 so I wouldn't change position for 2 days because of a thecal tear.

    Hope I haven't bored you too much. Like I said, I'm awaiting the ok for a neurostimulator and am thrilled I have discovered a place where we can all commiserate in our pain and frustrations. It feels so good to have found a place where others look at you with "that" look, as in,"Oh no, she's going to fuss about her spine again!" Just wait until I can maybe walk again! Hee hee!! Hugs to everyone,

  • a place where people DON'T look at you with revulsion. My bad. Oh, and I'm also on Vicotin 7.5 for breakthrough pain, as well as Lidoderm patches, 3 at a time.

    Hoping to hear from someone soon.

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