What mattress for chronic lower back pain?
crikey – Member
The human body spent many thousands of years sleeping on the floor, or on a bit of heather, or sand, or bits of wood, or grass. Back problems are not solved by buying new mattresses.
Hmmm, when I lived at my parents my mattress was absolutely knackered and sagged – I suffered lower back pain at night. Once I met mrs STR and we bought a house resplendent with decent mattress the pain was gone.Posted 6 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
Hi Rich. Something you might try, in addition to a nice pocket-sprung mattress, is a tip given to me by Box at B.A.B. He said it’s common for regular cyclists to get lower back pain due to tight hamstrings. Apparently the tight hamstrings pull the lower back slightly out of shape, and over time it causes pain.
I’m not religious about it, but I am carefully stretching my hams after rides and in the shower and I would say my pain has reduced.Posted 6 years ago
I’m hoping the STW oracle can help me. Having had chronic pain on an irregular basis for the last 2 years I’m starting to think my overly soft mattress may be partly to blame. I’ve convinced my wife that landing on my head frequently whilst biking has nothing to do with it, so am seeking to maintain that illusion 🙂
Am only looking to spend a max of £300 which I know isn’t a huge amount. Should I go firm or extra firm? Insist on pocket sprung or is tuned open coil OK? Any recommendations at all, or anyone been in the same boat?
RichPosted 6 years ago
Cheers for all the helpful replies. I do plan to go and lie down on a few this week, but I did that before and bought a soft one as it felt comfy 🙄
Yossarian, can you get a referral from a GP for an ortho appointment? Mine seems keen to prescribe painkillers and a balance of exercise but nothing other than that. It might be my next move even if it’s privatebut I can’t afford both.
My wife is complaining of back pain since she’s been sleeping on her back (recent baby) so I think the mattress must be the first move. Funnily enough she also suggested me sleeping on the floor 😆 Don’t really see that as a permanent solution tbh.Posted 6 years ago
Why don’t you think that is a good way forward? What exercise do you do to support a healthy back, and do you have a desk job?
Painkillers are masking the pain and allowing me to do things I shouldn’t. Have stopped cycling for c. 6 months, back doing 1 gentle ride a week now. Have tried pilates and yoga plus a bit of stretching from physio. All made things worse. Swimming would be great but isn’t practical. Desk job but not desk bound IYKWIM.
Now, do you have any advice about mattresses 😉Posted 6 years agosolamandaMember
At the beginning of this year I bought a new bed with this mattress. It has been amazing for my back and very comfy to sleep on. Both myself and my girlfriend suffer from bad backs. I’ve got 4 damaged discs from fracturing my back a few years ago. While I’m told you should spend as much as you can this seemed like a good ‘value’ option to get a good bed and has proven significantly better than any bed I’ve slept on.
However do not underestimate the value of seeing a proper physio and following physio exercises daily for life!Posted 6 years agoTooTallMember
Now, do you have any advice about mattresses
Yes – if pilates and physio-instructed stretches really did make things worse, buying a mattress is the very least of your concerns. Riding a bike won’t strengthen your core / back and getting the core / back working again will hurt at first.Posted 6 years ago
Yes – if pilates and physio-instructed stretches really did make things worse, buying a mattress is the very least of your concerns. Riding a bike won’t strengthen your core / back and getting the core / back working again will hurt at first.
They did. I know, I know.
Now, do you have any advice about mattresses? 😉Posted 6 years agoTurnerGuyMember
We have a sealy posturepedic in the spare room and are sleeping on it atm – it is good but non-pocket sprung so you feel your partners movements (!). For a non-pocket sprung mattress through it has excellent edge firmness.
Try the floor as well for a while, takes a little while to get used to it.
Go and see a proper, registered and respected orthopaedic consultant FIRST.
I would try some core exercises and a remedial massager and/or go to any osteopath, preferably one that give a massage before manipulation (BSON rather than BSO).
My mother had some back pain and the respected orthopedic consultant recommended an op to remove a disc, or something equally drastic sounding. The op has a reasonable risk of failure associated with it!
Went to the osteo – pain fixed after a few goes at it.
If you don’t get anywhere then try the consultant.Posted 6 years agomaccruiskeenSubscriber
Just to add…. before you splash out on a new mattress (fnarr). Try monkeying about with your pillows first (fnarr). Add one for a bit, take one away for a bit. I used to get woken up early by back pain that would force me out of bed. Soon as was up and moving it would sort itself out. I messed about with pillow combination and going up from two to three made a massive differnce (on what was quite a soft matress)
Now that we’ve got a firmer mattress I only use two, but the mattress change now messes my GFs back up instead and she’s found that changing the number of pillows she uses is helping remedy thatPosted 6 years agojon1973Member
Back problems are not solved by buying new mattresses.
This is true. I went to see a physio who solved all my back problems by teaching me exercises etc. She said that my mattress would have very little impact on my problem. Posture at my desk at work, getting up to walk around every so often and the exercises did the trick.Posted 6 years agoMisterTSubscriber
a dodgy mattress will heighten the pain. As many above have said the cause of the pain typically is lack of core muscle strength.
stretching is not the answer. (but it will relieve some of the pain)
mattress is not the answer.(but it will relieve some of the pain)
the answer is to build core muscle strength… slowly and regularly.
typically for cyclists – the lower pack pain is caused by lower back muscles to spasm (often due to lack of strength or injury), which in turn pulls the rear of the pelvis up, resulting in the hamstrings tightening. and then traps the sciatic nerves running over the pelvis and down the leg.
hamstring stretching thus is not the answer. (although it helps a little)
core muscle strengthening for lower back, side to side stability and front strength is the answer – as it ensures the pelvis is stable and not pulled out of alignment.
Yet – If you want a good mattress – then imo – take the time to go to John Lewis’ and try them out there… make sure you speak to and listen to the guys who run the department (they are the few mattress sales people who are actually trained and know what they are talking about) – they will listen to you and size you up, and find you something worth spending your money on. spend about £800 to a grand, on a relatively firm yet comfortable mattress and you’ll be making the right investment.Posted 6 years agoFunkyDuncMember
A matress may only accentuate any back problems, not cause them!
I had back problems about a couple of years ago and I started blaiming my car seat. Saw a physio through work who was fantastic and said that most back pain these days is caused by people not being mobile enough and staying fixed in one position too long ie at work or driving long distances etc.
After doing recommended back stretches for 3 weeks or so the pain went and I have been ok since. Core strength helps but isnt the answer. The physio just said its imperative to keep moving and try and exercise.
The physio advice kind of conflicts with what Mister T says above, but I dont know, however they were from the NHS and trained NHS physios…
IMO go to your GP and ask for a referal to physio (which may prove difficult these days) or pay for a good Physio yourself. It could be reffered pain from some thing else wrong else where.
A firm bed is definately not the answer, latest research says just buy a bed you find comfortable and only use one pillow. Orthopaedic beds are a load of trollocs.Posted 6 years agoosteo1Member
Go and see and Osteopath and see what is going on underneath. If the physio has made it worse it means that the diagnosis was either wrong or the exercises inappropriate. An Osteopath will have a look at the whole body and decide if you conform to the classic bike hamstring shortening issue. Please don’t take general advice from people who haven’t looked at the body/problem, even though the advice is sound for them it may be the opposite to what you require. Good luck!Posted 6 years ago
Osteo1, do you mind if I email you? I don’t know a lot about Osteopaths and it could be the next step if it sounds better than the physio I’ve had.
Totally agree that core strength is central to the problem, but the mattress was making it worse IME. I’m certainly in less pain than at any time for the last 3 months, when I finished the last treatment.
Hopefully core exercises will be possible without leaving me in severe pain now. I’ve had plenty of excercises to do and seen two physios and a chiropractor. Do you get some kind of bonus when you complete the set if I go for an Osteopath?Posted 6 years agoallmountainventureMember
I had the same for years and put it down to lifting too much (used to work in removals) and getting older.
After a MTB accident that required physio i built stretching into my training and then got into yoga through that. Cant suggest it enough as a way to sort the aches and pains, prevent injury and just general feeling good.
These days as soon as I get lower back ache I know its my hamstrings that need a good ol’ stretch out.
Id also recommend a firm mattress and no pillow if you sleep on your front or back.
EDIT: +1 for core exersisesPosted 6 years agoBerm BanditMember
yossarian – Member
Go and see a proper, registered and respected orthopaedic consultant FIRST.
A very large plus 1!
Having palmed off a variety of back issues over the years with a combination of MTFU and anti inflamatories. The crunch came when I developed an allergy to the pills, and then soon after found that 10 minutes on my feet resulted in numb legs and literally no feeling from the waist down. After an MRI Scan it transpired that I had prolapsed disc problems which were then compacting the nerves to my legs. I had veiled this for years, and it was only when I was forced to deal with it that I found this out way too late for real solutions. However, what I do now know is had I dealt with it earlier, simple physiotherarpy would have made a profound difference very easily.
Pain is gods way of suggesting something is wrong. So don’t just palm it off. Get to the root cause. Incidentally it took visits to 3 seperate doctors to get taken seriously and get the MRI scan. Mostly I was getting told to MTFU and take these pills!!!Posted 6 years ago
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