New to this forum, hope someone can help. I had been sleeping on a waterbed for the past 15 years. I had always kept it very full, and the mattress was a very low motion, and firm (as waterbeds go) with a lumbar support across the middle 1/3. I could always tell when I needed to add water, when my lower back began to sink in even a little bit, my back would begin consistently hurting for a few days, once I added water my back would improve within a day. I have a slightly herniated disc (either L4 or 5 can't remember exactly) plus I have Spondylolisthesis too.
Recently in August 2014 I had to move to an apartment building so I couldn't take the waterbed with me. Everyone told me to get a regular medium firm to firm mattress. I originally got a firm with a pillow top, big mistake, within a week my back was in bad shape from the pillow top sinking down. So I exchanged it for a regular Sealy Posturpedic (no pillowtop), and for about a week my back seemed okay, but I noticed after sleeping in it for a couple hours straight, the mattress would begin sagging where my buttocks and lower back are. Thinking this was normal, I gradually began feeling worse and worse. It was so gradual that eventually everything in my life had to stop because my back would almost constantly be in pain. The sagging was doing it, even if it wasn't enough for Sleepy's to determine it to be defective, it hurt to sleep in it. So I've been sleeping in my recliner for the past 3 weeks, not much better, but the lesser of the two evils I suppose.
I am now seeing both a chiropractor and beginning PT this week. My back is improving, but very slowly. I need to get a good night's sleep again, but I'm totally confused because there are so many mattress options out there, and I can't afford to buy ten mattresses until I find the best one. I'm wondering if any doctors or patients here could point me in the right direction. Having been so used to a waterbed all those years, I'm thinking maybe a firm mattress is not the best option for me, but the dilemma is that it can't be a mattress that's going to sink in just where my lower back is either.. So I guess I'm looking for something that is supportive enough to not sink in, but doesn't feel like I'm sleeping on something too hard or firm. Towards the end, when I got up out of that firm mattress, I was hearing a lot of cracking in my back, and I mean a LOT!
I'm in serious need of a good night's rest, I'm not getting that on the recliner with waking up 3-4 times per night. Any advice would be appreciated. I need to narrow down my mattress search very soon!