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How do you know good spinal alignment (back hurts) 04 Dec 2013 06:01 #1

  • jmilanski
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Hi everyone,
I've got an 8" Latex International, natural talalay latex, 3-layer mattress (3" ILD 35-42 bottom, 3" ILD 25-29 middle, 2" ILD 14-19 top). It's got a 3" wool topper. The whole thing sits on a slatted platform bed.

I'm a 150 pound, skinny male, side-sleeper, and I'm finding my lower back hurting enough to wake me up at night.

Is this a sign that the mattress is too soft, or too hard? Is it a sign that my spine is out of alignment? How would I tell?
I'm considering replacing the 3" bottom ILD 35-42 layer with a 25-29 layer. Might this help?

Thanks!

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How do you know good spinal alignment (back hurts) 04 Dec 2013 12:17 #2

  • phoenix
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Hi jmilanski,

Is this a sign that the mattress is too soft, or too hard? Is it a sign that my spine is out of alignment? How would I tell?
I'm considering replacing the 3" bottom ILD 35-42 layer with a 25-29 layer. Might this help?


A back issue is normally from the spine being out of alignment over the course of the night and could come from a mattress that is either too soft or too firm. It's more common for back sleepers that it's caused by a mattress that is too soft (which lets the pelvis sink down too far) but for side sleepers it can also come from a mattress that is too firm and causes you to "twist" away from pressure which in turn puts the spine out of neutral rotational alignment.

Post #2 here has some information and links to other posts that can give you some insights into what may be happening in your case and the tutorial post here also has more information about testing mattresses more accurately and objectively for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences).

Is this a sign that the mattress is too soft, or too hard? Is it a sign that my spine is out of alignment? How would I tell?
I'm considering replacing the 3" bottom ILD 35-42 layer with a 25-29 layer. Might this help?


Back pain is generally a sign that you are out of alignment yes. If you replace the bottom layer with a softer layer then it would soften the support layer in the mattress and would help if the support layers were too firm but I would think this would have a lower probability of success ... especially if your mattress is too soft already.

It may be worth trying the mattress without the wool topper just to see what happens because any differences in your experience between two different combinations can provide a clue to what may be happening.

Phoenix
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How do you know good spinal alignment (back hurts) 04 Dec 2013 15:58 #3

  • Diane37
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I checked my alignment by carefully drawing dots, with a washable marker of course, on my spine while standing up. Then I put a mirror along the side of the bed and laid on my side with a pillow away from the mirror. I held a hand mirror and while trying to stay relaxed I could check the dots of my spine in the other mirror. I also had my husband check, which was much simpler... but I wanted to see for myself. When I made adjustments to my bed/mattress, I could see the change in my alignment dots. You have to be careful to stay relaxed while raising your mirror hand to get an accurate reading.

Diane

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