Mattresses and back pain advice please?

Hi all, I’ve not been around for a bit, had a bad relapse & went off the radar :frowning: feeling better now tho apart from this uncomfortable heat phew! My question is a bit long winded I’m afraid but I really would appreciate any help I can get if you have the patience. My main relapse symptoms are loss of balance/co-ordination/vertigo to the point where often during a relapse I cannot walk very well if at all even with support from a pushchair (I have a young baby) which acts as a Zimmer lol. I have severe lower back pain constantly even between relapses BUT I went on a caravan holiday to Devon two weeks ago & ended up in a luxury lodge quite by accident which was lovely and my back pain decreased significantly during my stay. I can only put it down to the lovely soft mattress which I sunk into after a long day. I have a fairly hard orthopaedic mattress with a 2 inch memory foam topper on. I have tried it without the topper and the pain is much worse in the morning but I always thought hard mattresses were supposed to be better. What are other people’s experiences with back pain/mattresses. I’m currently taking Naproxen/Codeine/Paracetamol when I get up then at lunchtime, it does improve as the day goes on. Sorry for the waffle, but thanks if you’re still with me. Kate xx

Hello Kate The only help I can offer is what my OT told me. Which was to avoid orthopedic mattresses and memory foam toppers. The best mattress she said is the plain old sprung mattress. xx

Should have said, I can empathise with you on the back pain. I have cervical spondylosis and always have pain somewhere in my spine. Good luck :slight_smile:

I think it is a bit of a myth that hard mattresses are better.

I too have thought my mattress was causing me pain and so a month ago my husband surprised me with a new mattress and voila! I have less pain. I can’t tell you how grateful I was to him! Mine is a memory foam thing, very deep and feel like I am floating on air. Only downside is I think it makes me hotter which is never a good thing, is it guys? Lol Thank goodness for chillows eh? Claire x

Thank you for all the replies. I will definitely do some mattress research - it’s a pity you can’t try before you buy lol. Claire - what mattress have you got, also what are Chillows? Whatever they are I need them lol, this heat is killing me especially at night. Thanks, Kate xx

Oh my goodness!! I have an orthopedic mattress and memory foam topper because I was under the impression that it was the best thing for supporting your back. Now I realise why I still hurt so much!! Right, mattress shopping it is then. Thanks for your post… Wouldn’t have known otherwise. :slight_smile:

If buying memory foam I have found it is one of those products that is much cheaper to buy online and have delivered but there are a number of things to check to get the right quallity and firmness. Foam density should be a minimum of 4 ibs to last and up to 5.3 ibs if you are of large build or want more firmness, but this may be too firm. Also the thickness - the total matress thickness and the thickness of memory foam forming the top layer of the mattress. I think the one I bought for my son was 5 inches memory foam plus 5 inches of a denser base layer, making a 10inch thickness in total. It is amazingly compressed on arrival, but once unpacked it soon expands and hopefully it meets your requirements as you’d never be able to roll back up and recompress.

Google chillow pillow…would not be without mine, I have the original type that you put water into when it arrives but there are now another type which I have considered for going in the car with me.

I am saving for a full length matress one now :slight_smile:

Mattress wise, I would buy a Hypnos hotel one if I could afford it…the only time I ever sleep better is when I have a night in a travelodge, I contacted them to find out which matress they use and then found the doubles are £4000 … erm I wanted a matress not a whole new bedroom building !

Have you tried using a memroy foam mattress or mattress topper to reduce back pain?

I advise you to read an article on back pain, causes, and mattresses that will help to be cured at the

Hi Kate I used to work for a well known ‘bed specialist’ so I’ll attempt to try and give you some info on different mattress types which hopefully, if you don’t get bored to death, will help reduce some of the BS and sales waffle and help you make a more informed choice. To use a number system, all mattresses tend to go from a 1-soft, 2-medium / soft, 3-medium, 4-medium / firm, 5- firm. There are a lot of generic terms used in mattresses, mostly its sales waffle. Orthopaedic is one, it generally means its just a firm mattress. Trouble with too firm is that it will not give you the support that you need because there will be gaps where the mattress is so firm that parts of your body won’t actually touch it. Memory Foam is another classic, any foam can pretty much be classified as a ‘memory’ foam as it springs back to its original shape once you take weight off it. An ‘open coil’ mattress just means that all the springs are joined together as a continual piece of wire. They tend to be quite bouncy and softer for that reason. If you share an open sprung mattress with someone who is heavier than you then you’ll find that you’ll drift towards them in the middle of the night. This could be because you just can’t bear to be away from them but more often means that your mattress isn’t giving you the support you need and gravity is just doing its thing. Pocket Sprung means that all the springs throughout the mattress are independent to each other, they all come in their own little separate cotton sleeve. Generally speaking, the higher the spring count the better for giving support and preventing the ‘roll together’ that you get from an open coil. Some spring counts are a little misleading though as manufacturers will put several layers of mini springs on top of the main springs to give the impression that you’re getting thousands upon thousands of full sized springs…you’re not. Memory Foam - Massive price differentials in memory foam mattresses, you can buy them at a reasonable cost online all the way up to several thousand pounds for a Tempur. You do get a decent warranty with a Tempur but you pay the price. I know people who swear by them for moulding to your body and giving support and I know people who hate them for the same reason. Downside to any memory foam is that they can trap body heat. You’ll hear waffle about taking the heat away in some memory foam mattresses but this tends to be because they’re multi layered and have holes in them so that when you move it acts like a set of bellows. Latex seems to act in the same way but are hypo-allergenic, they do tend to get warm though. Gel Mattresses. Same principle as memory foam, some such as an I-Gel are pretty good at temperature regulation, again though, they tend to cost a lot more. Toppers - in general people tend to buy a topper because they’re disguising the fact that their mattress is no longer doing its job. There are a multitude of variations of the above, combinations of springs and memory foams or springs and gels. The best way is to get yourself to a bed showroom and don’t be afraid to try a load of different types. It can feel a bit embarrassing at first but that’s what they are there for. Personally I’d never recommend either a really soft or a really firm but it’s a matter of personal preference. Hopefully the above waffle will give you a little more idea about what’s what Si

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very useful, ta for typing all that!


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