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Elevating upper bodys reduce pain in sleep?

I've been sleeping ok on a firm mattress for 2 years. Then a few weeks ago started to wake up with severe back pain.
I experimented with different sleeping surface, pillows between knees, under the knees, etc. Then I saw pictures of adjustable beds, so I prop up my upper body with pillows, cushions, and it works! I think I will bite the bullet and buy a real adjustable bed.

Has anyone else have this experience? Is there an explanation why this helps? It is counter intuitive because propping up the upper body puts some weight on the spine whereas sleeping on a flat bed does not.

[herniated L5-S1]


    edited 11/26/2013 - 2:19 AM
    I bought a bed that can raise either or both the head and feet. It works for me. I also switched to a medium firm mattress. I read a lot on this subject. Statistics shows this helps many people. However, we all sleep differently and what works for me may not work for you. Picking a bed can be like religion, you will find many opinions.

    I don't think this is counter intuitive. Raising the feet with something under the knees changes angles that can help relax the spine so that it's natural curves are better supported. Raising the head also changes angles so that your back can be more relaxed. It is like leaning forward in a chair. For me a flat bed does not work. It causes great pain since it can cause pressure on the nerves in my back. The pressure is released when I lean forward in a chair, and a similar bend in bend helps me as well.
  • You may want to check with your insurance. Mine pays 100% of home medical equipment. So my doctor wrote an order for me to get a hospital bed. It is really the same thing as an adjustable bed. I purchased a four inch memory foam mattress topper and that made it really comfortable!
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