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Mattress Causing Pain...

Pianoman356PPianoman356 Posts: 4
edited 12/21/2014 - 5:14 AM in Sleep Problems

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!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Thanks Liz, I did do some reading on those pages and there was some very good tips. All in all I think everyone's comfort level is a little different, so it's not an easy decision. If I had originally been sleeping on a regular mattress instead of a waterbed all those years, I would have had an easier time deciding and choosing the best mattress for my back. I have to make a choice very soon, hopefully it will be a good one! Will keep you posted.
  • Pianoman356PPianoman356 Posts: 4
    edited 12/03/2014 - 7:59 PM
    I've been doing some looking around and went to try a few mattresses. It seems I may do better with a medium-firmness mattress. I thought the Serta iSeries Vantage Plush felt pretty good when I tried it in the store. Also tried a Simmons Beautyrest, but didn't feel quite as good as the Serta. They all have a lot of pros and cons. There's a really good website for comparing mattresses if you or anyone want to check it out (below).....funny name, but they have loads of consumer info and reviews. Almost every single mattress out there had at least some percentage of bad reviews, there was not one mattress that outperformed high above the rest, they all had flaws and downsides, so even with a lot of information available, it's still a difficult thing to weed through it all.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    edited 02/09/2015 - 2:04 AM
    over the years.
    The Foam, The 'Sleep Number type', Water beds (now that was a LONG time ago)
    They were all OK, but nothing that really made a big difference for my spine.

    Then about 3 years ago, we purchased an adjustable bed (similar to the type the use in hospitals). This made the difference
    We purchased a decent mattress to go on top, but have the adjustable features was the best part. Feet can go up, head can go up, whichever way you like it. It comes with a built in massage unit, so that an extra benefit.

    The only drawback was that we have a queen size bed. At the time, not sure if has changed, for queen beds, the adjustments are for the entire bed. For King size beds (really two separate beds) each person has their own control.

    For a little bit more money, the adjustable bed wins over any mattress (for me)..... You can try them out at many mattress stores.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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