My husband & I both have back problems. His, bad discs and surgery...mine, chronic back pain. We tried several mattresses but to no avail. Finally we tried a Restonic Senora Thermal Sensitive foam mattress. Cost $1324.95. After less than 1 yr. it sags,very uncomfortable. The store where we bought it will not talk to us and letters to the company go unanswered.
From: S. D. - Virginia, USA
Like everyone else here I am suffering from back issues. I have DDD from L-2 down. This is severe in L-5 and this disc is bulging as well. The advice that I would like to offer is this: I sell mattresses and have some knowledge on most all types out there. I have found that the memory foam adjustable beds work the best for me. You can raise your head and feet slightly which alleviates pressure on your back. These mattresses have no springs, which means no pressure points for you. My personal favorite is the Sealy True Form. This being said not everyone will like and all-foam mattress. When purchasing a spring mattress I have found that Sterns and Foster are the most supportive. If you prefer pocketed coil systems Simmons Beautyrest is the best. I am not writing this to promote any one company as I deal with several. One key to making sure you are getting the right mattress is to be sure that the company offers a comfort guarantee of at least 60 to 90 days. That way you have time to sleep on it & decide for yourself if it's right for you. The last thing I will suggest is that you purchase a set from a store that deals almost solely with mattresses. Their salespeople are trained on just mattresses & can usually provide better service, knowledge and support, before during & after your purchase. I really hope this helps someone.
From: Ann – Tennessee, USA
In This Article:
Choosing a Mattress for Back Support and Sleep Comfort - Patients' Advice: Part III
I purchased a memory foam bed under the brand Supple-pedic. It was a lot less than a "tempur-pedic" but the same concept. Ended up being the best $1300 (for a queen) I spent. The first morning I woke up with nothing still sleeping on my body, no aches and stiffness. I have DDD at L5/S1 and a host of other issues this has caused. Now granted, about a year and a half later, the middle did start to wear out - the foam wasn't springing back. I do have someone flip and rotate it for me, but the middle is the middle no matter what you do! I called the store where I purchased it and to my amazement there wasn't a hassle getting it replaced at all. The company is sending me a new one and they don't want the old one back. Please keep your paperwork and warranties for this very reason. When it starts to not feel "good" anymore, call then - as it will take about 4 weeks to get the new one. As for the old part - I think I will cut it up and make cushions for the Jeep and my chair at work!
From: Kim – Pennsylvania, USA
I suffer from many back problems; my husband had none. My Dad bought me the Tempurpedic for Christmas and at first I thought it seemed to be helping. Now 6 months later, my husband can not sleep in it because he wakes up with bad hip pain. Me, I feel like a cripple worse then before. Mattress gets soft over time (6 months short amount of time), so we are ditching the mattress and getting something else. I will never go with a soft mattress again. So much for infomercials.
From: Cher. B – New York, USA
We have a Select Comfort mattress and we HATE it. It causes me especially to have lower back pain.
From: Kay Mc. – West Virginia, USA
My husband was 7 years post-op for repair to L-4 and L-5 and wasn't much better off than before surgery until we purchased a Doctor's Choice brand (Furniture Row/Denver Mattress) queen set. Now he has minimal back/hip discomfort, and is getting a goods nights sleep. The set is now three years old and looks and sleeps the same as the day he bought it, absolutely no sagging anywhere - I would recommend "flipping" the mattress about every 3 months, not only over, but reverse the head to foot as well. The Doctor's Choice is reasonably priced, and is a high quality product.
From: dwp951 – Texas, USA
Purchased a queen mattress set from Coastal Bedding, their Ultima Mattress Queen Pillowtop and foundation. First night we both rolled to the middle and that's where you stay all night long. Even the dog rolls in the mix. Neither the furniture store nor the manufacturer would refund or replace the mattress, so we were out the $. Switched to a SIMMONS BEAUTYREST "Florence" PILLOWTOP to the tune of $1,100 and I have to tell you, it was worth each and every cent. Have nothing but good things to say. I have a spinal injury and this really helps me get a good night's rest. Unfortunately, it's like shoes people, not one size fits all. Through trial/error, you just have to find one that works for you. I will say based on construction alone, I would NOT purchase a Sealy/Serta...owned both and they're pretty much like the Coastal Ultima. Also, I stay away with anything with foam on the top. With normal and routine wear, you're eventually going to have valleys/peaks/gripes.
From: Annie – Mississippi, USA
I have suffered from serious chronic lower back pain for 15 yrs. It was first set on from moving too many friends and relatives around with too much generosity, pride in my strength & economic need. I don't because I can't help move people around any more. To this day I know I shouldn't lift heavy things, but sometimes the lawn needs to be mowed uphill, heavy things need to be lifted, stored, moved, and transported and there is no one around to help. And sometimes my kids simply need to be "flown" on broomsticks, bucked around on "broncos", and raced across the floor in laundry basket "racecars". The result is often the same -- severe shooting pain that persists for days -- sometimes with excruciating sciatic pain. The absolute ONLY things that relieve this pain for me are Advil & my Select Comfort Bed. Anyone who uses one & claims no relief is either suspect (perhaps a rival mattress salesperson?) or is not setting an optimal number for their condition. I find that the lower numbers under 60 work best for me. Take it to 100, lay on your back and gradually reduce the number in intervals of 5 until it is firm but gentle against the lower back. You must remain on your back through most of the night or use a pillow between your thighs for maximum effectiveness. Also try resting strictly on your back for 15 min before rising in the morning.
From: Dr. M
I have DDD and am waiting for a lumbar fusion of the L4-L5, and L5-S1 in my lower back. I had spent so many nights not sleeping, that depression set in also. I finally broke down and bought the Doctor's Choice mattress. It was the best thing I could have done. Before I made this important decision, I looked at several different mattresses. Now I sleep much better. Although no mattress will alleviate the pain, it sure helps to rest a little easier at night.
From: Sheila – Illinois, USA
I too suffer from back pains, primarily after a a night's sleep. First I tried a TempSoma Latex/Memory foam mattress and found that I awoke with even more aches than before. Realizing that it takes a while to adjust to a new mattress, I gave it a full month trial run. However no amount of time was ever going to make that thing better. Round 2 came and I tried a Serta with a 3-inch pillowtop. It was somewhat better but lacked support in the center. Consequently I found some all-new aches in trade for the "originals". I am now on my third and most expensive venture to date in the saga. I finally broke down and bought a memory foam mattress manufactured by Comforpedic. Apparently the parent company has been supplying to furniture- grade foam to many of the manufacturers for years. Recently they decided to manufacture and market their own mattress line and tapped some ex-Tempurpedic guys to engineer and market the line. 3 weeks later I am at last finding relief and satisfied, despite the fortune I spent on the Mystic model. Given the relief, I'd say it's worth it.
If you are looking for a good night's sleep, do not purchase a Sleep Number Bed. We purchased this bed to help my husband sleep as he requires a softer surface. I thought the bed would not matter to me, but since the substantial investment, I have been unable to sleep through the night. Now I have lower back pain and so does my husband. Isn't it ironic? We made a substantial investment to lose sleep and feel pain.
In addition, the service at Sleep Number is also lacking. When I shared that I was unable to sleep through the night, I was told by a service rep that "Millions of people sleep well on a Sleep #" That's right, not only do I call to share the bed causes back pain, but I am then told it must be me because millions of people sleep well. I truly am a glutton for punishment.
From: K in Valrico – Florida, USA
I have tried Sealy Posturpedic and it not only felt like sleeping on concrete but the end of the bed did not lay straight and gave me leg cramps. The best thing I have slept on is a couch and with a few pillows can be perfecto! The problem with beds are that they are flat and a waste of money. The body should be in a slight V shape and the legs should be up. You should also use a pillow that supports the neck better than the head but the body needs to be balanced to avoid too much pressure on the neck. Beds will not give you this. I have a waterbed now and it's much more workable. Stay away from foams and use good fluffy down pillows.
From: JoeM – Kentucky, USA
I purchased a Stearns & Foster mattress and found it to be the most unbelievably comfortable mattress. It is very pricy but well worth the price.
Don't waste your money (2-3K) on a Select Comfort/Sleep Number Bed. It really is no more than a very expensive air mattress, with an air compressor hooked up to it. It might be OK if you just want something to sleep on, and have barrels of money to burn, and you don't have what I'd call real back problems. I have had a totally messed up back now for over 12 years with many tests, surgeries, pain management injections, you name it, with little to no relief. We bought this high priced bed in hopes that it would help my sleeping, and reduce my back pain at night, as they advertise. I should have sent it back to them, but it seemed to help a little at first, but now after about 4 months it is doing no better than my former set-up, which was a whole lot less money. Anyhow stay away from this bed if you have real back problems that are chronic, because it won't help you.
My daughter bought me a 3-inch memory 5.0 density foam topper when I came home from the hospital and nursing home after major back surgery. I just put this on my old mattress and it has relieved pressure points. She found it on the internet.
Mine must be at least 3 inches thick. Maybe 4 inches would be better, although 3 inches seems to work for me. It also must be at least 5.0 density. There are a lot of cheap memory foam toppers. They do not work. She said that she just typed in memory foam topper, and she got lots of websites. Good luck.
It is impossible to make a mattress selection by laying on it for a couple of minutes in a furniture store. I purchased a King Koil memory foam - some nights it's comfortable, other nights it isn't. The one thing that's consistant is the heat. Hot, hot, hot! No matter how comfortable the mattress is, you can't sleep if the bed is hot, even if the temperature is in the 40's I must sleep with the windows open and a fan on if the temp goes above 50. I'm going back to a waterbed, where at least you can control the body heat.
From: J. Parker - Florida, USA
I purchased a Tempurpedic mattress 1 1/2 years ago. Initially, I was satisfied with the Tempurpedic mattress in comparison to the old inner spring. My wife's back pain went away. I have never had problems with back pain at night.
After 8-10 months, I gradually began to experience waking up with lower, then later middle back pain. For the past 3-4 weeks, I have woken up nearly every night with middle back pain. The mattress seems too have soften over time, offering reduced support and increased back pain for me.
I have tried changing sleeping positions, with little to no improvement. My wife has also began experiencing lower back pain again, but not sure if hers may be job related.
What a waste of $1700. Time to try something different.
We purchased a Tempurpedic over 5 years ago and I have not slept well one night in it. My husband loves it but every morning I have either lower back pain or neck pain. This does not happen when I sleep on other beds. Also, those who like cool beds, the Tempurpedic seems to store your body heat and keep it in all night.
From: T. Reyes – Puerto Rico
I have had lower back pain for the past two years. I tried everything to get rid of it, but nothing seemed to work. I switched my mattress from a Simmons Beautyrest to a Spring Air Back Supporter. After the first night, I woke up without any aches or pain. I wasn't stiff in the morning. I have had the mattress for 6 months now and have felt great. I only get back aches if I travel and stay in a hotel. I think Spring Air Back Supporter is sold in many places. I bought mine at JC Penney.
From: Robert Harris – Florida, USA
I've found over two years of experimenting, this comfortable bed for my chronic back pain. A basic Serta or Sealy mattress with some bounce to it, and the least padding possible. Enough support but not too firm. Add a 1+1/2" memory foam pad, top that with a high quality egg crate pad. I find them at a maritime upholsterer near the boat marinas. (These foam pads can be easily replaced as they start to sag.) Then hold it all together with a cotton bed pad with the elastic skirt. I bought many beds over a two year period...I found the beds which had too many stabilizers and were too firm offered too much resistance when turning over and were very hard on chronically sore muscles. That a bed that still had some movement to it was easier to deal with and the bouncing motion actually helps keep the lymph moving all night to keep pain down....20 years ago inner spring mattresses were designed better for bad backs in my opinion and many motels still have these comfortable beds which you can no longer buy! Someone here advised cutting into the bed to remove cheap manufacturer's padding and place your own quality padding atop springs..I will try that also. Don't give up folks. It's worth creating the right bed where you can finally sleep!
From: Sailor Lady - Pennsylvania, USA
I have tried no less than 4 different mattresses in the past 2 months trying to get some sleep and end my excruciating back pain. I have tried a latex foam mattress and it was way too soft. My back felt like it was tearing apart. I tried the Sleep Number bed, and it was awful. You can put it as firm or as soft as you want, but it does NOT reduce pressure points like advertised. I am now sleeping on an old innerspring mattress of my moms, and while it is not exactly comfortable, it is relatively tolerable. My back does NOT do well with too soft or too hard. I guess I will try the Tempurpedics next.
From: Julie - Alabama, USA
I bought the memory foam topper for my bed and found that my back hurt more than if I hadn't had it on my bed. Maybe it wasn't the correct density; it was really thin.
From: Marilyn Douglas - California, USA
We have had bad luck with innerspring mattresses, but have finally figured them out! Four sets over the past 10 years became saggy within months to a year or so, leaving body depressions that were uncomfortable, but less then the 1 1/2" warranty specification. To fix your mattress - use a utility knife to cut off the top (just above/along the piping), and remove. The exposed foam is the cheap stuff that you can buy anywhere. Replace the exposed foam above the springs, add a layer for the top you just cut off and remake the bed. An extra fitted sheet may help to hold everything together. Foam layers can now be adjusted and/or replaced as desired (some trial & error may be required). The springs in the mattress are usually not the problem, it's the cheap foam and batting they put on top that causes the sagging. Non-flip mattresses are good candidates for this, but regular ones work too. Some department stores sell a thicker 'cut' foam, plus the regular finger foam that can be combined.
From: Steve – California, USA
Please read Consumer Reports. They have people loving an expensive mattress set and just as many disliking the same ones. I found that 3 inches of memory foam on top of my old mattress worked just great. It is about $200 including shipping for a double bed. You just type in memory foam on the Google space that searches the web. It must have at least 5.0 density. Lower density does not work.
Every BODY is different. That's why there is variety in everything these days. We all like or need different things. Be it a softer bed for a side sleeper so you don't get pins and needles in your fingers or a harder (not firmer) bed for a stomach sleeper to keep from over arching the lower back. Something you have to remember is that firmness is on the inside of the mattress and hard or soft is on top of that firmness. If the bed sags more than 1.5", don't blame the pillowtop, blame the coils that don't support. Bottom line, get what works for YOU not the other people that tried whatever. From: Wesley - Pennsylvania, USA
I'm really glad that I took a chance and chose the Nimblepedic mattress over the Tempurpedic Mattress. I was pretty sure I was going to buy Tempurpedic until I saw both of them side by side at the Back Be Nimble showroom while traveling to Houston. Although they have a very similar feel, the Nimblepedic was more plush, and was definitely easier to get up out of bed from than Tempurpedic. Nimblepedic utilizes a special perimeter support for sitting on the edge of the bed. I noticed it because I usually have trouble getting out of bed due to my back pain condition. No regrets with this purchase and I'm now thinking of buying the Electropedic adjustable bed base to go with it. I purchased mine on their web site.
From: SBP - Salt Lake City, USA
I purchased a Serta box spring and mattress in 2001. In 2003 the mattress was replaced because of sagging. Now the mattress is sagging again. This time they refused to replace it claiming 1 and 1/2 inch is "normal body sag." Two people can't sleep in the bed because you roll to the middle. My friend has a Serta and is experiencing the same problem.
We bought an expensive adjustable bed with a pillow top. The pillow top is too soft and does not give enough support. We bought three inches of Memory Foam for another mattress. It is 5 pound density. It was $200 for a double bed. The Memory Foam is the best. There are no pressure points. I have metal rods and screws in my back, and my doctor wants me to have another operation. Buying a high density thick memory foam topper (mattress pad) works best, and it is not so expensive.
From: Dorothy M. – Minnesota, USA
I have DDD in lumbar spine with annular tears and herniation in L5-S1. I am waiting on an artificial disc replacement that the insurance company doesn't want to cover. We bought a Select Comfort bed (adjustable air mattress) that did not help. I woke up sore and stiff every morning. After a recent failed surgery, I was in so much pain I had to do something. We bought a 4-inch thick medium density foam topper for our current mattress from an on-line shop. Instead of thousands for a complete mattress it was hundreds. I have been out of work for so long it made complete sense.
I cannot tell you the relief I felt when I woke up the first morning and noticed a huge decrease in my pain. I just told my husband the other day what a difference it has made in my life. I know there are a lot of people in the same situation I am in, I hope this helps.
From: T McCarthy – Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
I have tried them all and have to say that the Select Comfort bed and mattress is the best if you can sleep in it every night. I used to travel and using any other bed just didn't work. So I recommend this bed and mattress to all who suffer chronic back pain.
From: T – Bradenton, Florida, USA
I suffer from lower back pain (sciatica) and used to work for a large bed supplier. TRUST ME - just go out and buy a pocket-sprung mattress - around 1000+ springs should do the job - and DON'T buy a pillow-top mattress. If you're in the UK, Reylon beds and mattresses are the best.
From: Simon - Warrington, Cheshire, United Kingdom
We have all seen the commercials on the Tempurpedic mattress but there is another mattress out there that is made exactly like the Tempurpedic but is sold on QVC (the shopping channel) - it's called Bodipedic. They have all the different types as the most widely advertised one and they are at a fraction of the cost, and I can testify they are every bit as good. We originally bought the mattress topper which was 3 inches thick. We then found out they had the mattress only (so you can use your own boxspring) and we saved over $1,000.00.
I think it's great to shop around and see what is out there and if I hadn't caught the show on Bodipedic, I would have never known it was made. In getting the Tempurpedic, you are paying for that name and for a well-known actress to tell you about it on TV. It's the best night’s sleep I've had in over 10 years, and I’m so happy we made that choice. My husband thinks it's the best, too, and we have tried every kind of bed and mattress that are made. I hope this will help some of you who cannot afford to pay the higher price - why pay it when there is another brand made exactly the same?
From: Dianne - Salida, Colorado, USA
I just wanted to drop you a quick note about our new Ultimate Sleep System air mattresses that we purchased online. First of all, my husband always used to wake up complaining of neck and back pain. Since we purchased our Series 6 Sapphire bed, he now wakes without any discomfort at all. I also wanted to tell you that our 12-year-old son, Jared, loves his new Ultimate Sleep System air mattress as well. He’s growing like a weed and now he’ll be able to adjust his bed to his growing body. The only complaint I have is that it’s a lot harder to get these two out of bed these days.
From: Jennifer B., Simi Valley, California, USA
After 24 years and two back fusion surgeries, I finally bought a king-size Sealy Pillow Top Mattress Set. I've only slept on it for 3 nights, however, it’s making me uncomfortable. I plan to give it back and buy a firmer mattress. It’s soft, but a little too soft. How are you supposed to pick a mattress out in a furniture store, when you are bouncing from bed to bed? It’s not easy.
From: T-T – Savannah, Georgia, USA
There are a lot of responses about Tempurpedic mattresses and toppers.I need a new mattress and am thinking about getting one of these, but I thought I would let you all know about my Tempurpedic Millennium Pillow.I was in and out of the doctor’s office with neck pain that interfered with my life to the point where I could barely take care of my three small children.I cried a lot over the pain.Before leaving the office one day, I asked about the pillow.It was $80 and I had never spent that much money on a pillow, but he told me if it didn't help me he would take it back...so I tried it.I haven't been back to the doctor whereas I was going about two times a week.Two visits to the doctor were about the same price as the pillow.Live and learn, right?My pillow goes with me every time I plan an out of town visit.If you have neck pain, try this pillow.Nothing can compare to a happy, healthy spine.
From: Erin – Missouri, USA
After suffering from sleepless nights, chronic back and neck pain since a pregnancy and C-section at age 40, I purchased a king Tempurpedic Mattress and foundation. It cost a lot, but has been worth every penny for the improvement to my sleep pattern and pain. I have now had it for four years, and feel I will never go back to a "traditional" mattress and box spring. I am a side sleeper and still use a pillow between my knees. But on my old mattress, upon awakening, whichever shoulder and hip had been on the mattress was sore and aching. I no longer wake up with aching pressure points.
For what it’s worth, my wife and I tried the Tempurpedic pillows, as our old pillows were about due for replacement (10 to 20 years old). I woke up with upper back pain and got up and got my old pillow. I returned the new Tempurpedic pillows, but my upper back still hurts every morning until I have been up and stretched for an hour or so. This has been going on for about 3 weeks now. My wife didn't care for her new pillow either, and we returned them both. And no, I don't normally have back trouble, except occasionally if I'm traveling and sleep on a mattress that doesn't agree with my back. The Tempurpedic pillows are not for everyone. I can't say about the mattress. It felt good lying down in the store.
From: Bart – Burlington, North Carolina, USA
I've suffered from cervical and clavicle pain for several years and, until recently, have found no way to relieve the pressure. My pain is there from when I wake until I go to bed - it's a vicious cycle! I've always slept on my side, but due to the pain I find myself tossing from one side to the other. I can only leave my neck in same position for a short period of time or else it feels strained or like a Charlie horse. Lying on my back with my neck centered is the most comfortable position, yet it has taken some getting used to.
I purchased the Sobakawa pillow and it is by far the best thing I've ever done for myself. Made of buckwheat seeds, the pillow provides the absolute best support without ever flattening! It molds to you in every position and hugs all curves. With this pillow I can sleep restfully on by back without my head nodding to one side. I recommend this pillow to anyone with back/neck pain. I use one pillow under my knees and place another one on top of my regular pillow (remember, it's made of buckwheat seeds so it isn't soft!) Putting it on top of my other pillow allows the Sobakawa pillow to do its job without feeling like I’m laying on a rock.
From: Joss – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
We had a water bed, the baffle type with 11 'columns' of water, about 8" in diameter each. As soon as I started sleeping on the bed, my occasional lower back pain disappeared. Then after about 10 years, the bed started leaking, so we bought a deluxe new inner-spring model, and the back pain started again. It is a Kingsdown System 2 water bed - don't waste your money. So now we're in the market for a new bed after less than a year. We’ll probably get a water or air-type mattress.
I have suffered with chronic back pain no less than 15 years, longer for serious bouts at a lesser degree. I had a spinal fusion 5 years ago at the L5-S1 level. I now have all discs from T-12 through S-1 and facet joints diseased in some of the same areas. We all know the drill.
I slept in a Franklin recliner chair for approximately 8 years. My surgeon recommended I get a Select Comfort mattress, which uses air to firm up or soften the mattress. My husband can have his side of the mattress at any level he wishes as well. I have been sleeping in my new bed for 3 years and find I sleep like a baby. My side of the mattress is on nearly the lowest firmness, much like a hammock, which cradles my body. With this type of bed, you cannot go wrong, as you can change the firmness frequently until you find what is right for you. This mattress took away my fear of buying a new mattress and then not being able to sleep on it.
Mornings are difficult. However, I get an excellent night’s sleep, which helps me cope during the day, as I am rested. Best wishes those who suffer as well.
From: Jayne – Minnesota, USA
I have moderate to severe pain when I lay down and always end up crying myself to sleep. But to wake up feeling better, I use a good body pillow. If it's placed between my legs just above my knee and extending past my toes (I sleep on my side) I can lay there for at least 6 hours. I can usually get through a couple hours of the morning with only mild pain. I have tried to sleep on several types of beds, chairs, even sleeping on the floor. Though I prefer to be with my husband, the couch seems to give me more rest. I also don't sleep well if I feel crowded or have heavy blankets on me. I also found a room that smells good (I use a little baby powder), is dark and quiet - this helps a lot. I know this isn't much, but I hope it helps someone!
From: Melissa - Missouri, USA
I've had lumbar degenerative disk disease - DDD -(L5-S1, L4-L5,) with herniation and annular tears, etc. I've tried numerous beds and have found the Tempurpedic mattress to be the absolute best I've slept on. I don't toss and turn and I have no aching pressure points from lying in one position too long. My husband and I don't wake each other up getting out of bed or turning over at night...the commercials are actually true. The bed gives excellent support and the best night’s sleep I've had!
Prior to my recent surgery, I could only sleep on my side, with a support pillow between my legs and a "hug" pillow, so my spine didn't twist forward when I slept. I can sleep in any position now (except on my stomach), but still use knee and hug pillows on my side.
From: Fresno, California, USA
I recently purchased a Tempurpedic bed from Tempurpedic. This was the best thing I could have ever done. I only paid a small amount out of pocket and they financed the rest. I pay $40 a month and every penny is worth it. This mattress has a memory; this means when you move in your bed it comes right back to its normal density. It is so very comfortable and worth every penny. I had spinal surgery on my right side in 2000. In fact, I had two, one in January and one in March. They did not work and I suffer terribly from spinal stenosis and sciatica. If that’s not bad enough I now have a lesion, tear, or degeneration of my L3. I’m going crazy from the pain but can still find a comfortable position on my bed and mattress because it molds to me then goes right back to its normal state. I highly recommend a Tempurpedic bed and mattress for your back comfort. Thank you!
From: Meri Baron – Santa Cruz, California, USA
I have hadchronic back pain for 5 years. We had a water bed for 17 years and it was getting harder and harder on my back and my husband was finding it more difficult to sleep on. We began looking and did a lot of research and we ended up with a Spectra foam mattress by White Dove. We both thought it would take an adjustment after sleeping on a waterbed for all these years, but we have both found the mattress to be a great investment and couldn't be happier with this kind of mattress. Myself, I had not lain on my back in all these years and I still can't sleep on my back but can lay on it on the bed now. I sleep best on my side with my head level. Although I'm still restless and have to turn frequently, I am not nearly as stiff and sore in the morning.
From: Linda – Mansfield, Ohio, USA
I have a medium firm mattress, and for my L4-L5 problems I put a pillow under my knees if I'm on my back, or between my knees if I'm lying on my side.
Another thing that has really helped is a pillow that my chiropractor suggested for under my head. This type of pillow is commonly called a "wave" pillow or cervical pillow. At one long edge, there's a very firm cylindrical core of a different type of foam, and at the other long edge, a medium firm core. These are covered by an inch or two of softer foam, which also forms the center of the pillow. The center is, therefore, thinner than the edges. (A picture would be worth a thousand words--I wish I knew what catalog she found it in.) I use the firmer edge under my neck when on my side, and the softer edge when on my back. Although most of my discomfort has been lower back, it's all one spine!
This arrangement helped me both before and after my fusion surgery.
From: Amy D – Madison, Wisconsin USA
Communicate with others about mattress, pillow, and sleep tips.
* Note: This page expresses the experiences and opinions of patients, not doctors. The Back-to-Back forum is provided because we think people often have very practical advice and insights to share that can benefit other patients who have similar back problems. This section has not been peer reviewed by our Medical Advisory Board, and is provided for your informational purposes only.
If you have questions about your specific condition or treatment approach, please go through this site to read peer-reviewed health information about spinal conditions, diagnosis and treatment options. The quickest way to locate information on the site is to use the “keyword search” located in the upper left hand corner of each page. Also, if you want to talk online with others who may be in a similar situation, please go to the Message Board.