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Help! Memory foam mattress helps upper back pain but causes lower back problems 01 Apr 2016 06:11 #1

  • Dogbert
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I have been having upper back/ trigger point pain from an accident in December.. I moved to a new city last January and rented a hard bed. This turned out to kill my shoulders, even with a soft cotton topper. I got a memory foam 3" topper mid February.
Even though it felt amazing and I no longer wake up with shoulder pain, it seems to be causing major lower back pain, something I've never really had before!

So I'm looking for advice on what to do. I like the way the foam makes my shoulders feel but I can't stand the lower back pain. Is there a way to modify the topper with a support sheet or something like that so I won't have lower back issues? For reference, I'm 6' tall and about 160 lb, in decent shape except for the back problems.
Thanks for any help or advice!

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Last edit: by Dogbert.

Help! Memory foam mattress helps upper back pain but causes lower back problems 01 Apr 2016 10:11 #2

  • phoenix
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Dogbert,

If the only issue with a mattress is that it is too firm and there are no soft spots or sagging in the mattress then a good quality topper can certainly be an effective way to add some additional softness, "comfort" and pressure relief to your sleeping system but the only way to know for certain whether a specific mattress/topper(s) combination is a good "match" for you in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) is based on your own careful testing or personal experience on the combination. If you can't test the combination in person then there will always be always some risk and uncertainty involved in adding a topper because the specifics of the mattress itself along with your own body type, sleeping position, and preferences can affect which specific topper would be a suitable choice on any specific mattress.

There is more information about choosing an online topper in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to which along with a conversation with a reliable and knowledgeable supplier (that can provide you with good information about how their toppers compare to each other or to other toppers they are familiar with that are available on the market) can help you use your sleeping experience as a reference point and guideline to help you choose the type, thickness, and firmness for a topper that has the least possible risk and the best chance for success. It also includes a link to a list of some of the better online sources for toppers I'm aware of.

A good exchange/return policy can reduce the risk of an online topper purchase so if you aren't certain whether a topper will work well for you I would always make sure you are comfortable with the options you have available after a purchase just in case the topper you choose doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for because the the only way to know for certain whether a mattress/topper combination will be a good "match" for you will be based on your own careful testing on the combination or your own personal experience when you sleep on it.

From the sounds of it your cotton topper was too firm (which isn't uncommon because cotton tends to be firmer than softer foam materials) and your 3" memory foam topper is too thick/soft and is allowing your hips/pelvis to sink down into the mattress too far and putting your lower back/lumbar out of alignment. The most suitable topper for any particular person is generally the one that is "just enough" in terms of thickness and softness to relieve any pressure points but not more than that so that there is the least possible risk of exchanging a pressure issue for a lower back pain issue.

It may be worth trying a topper that is slightly thinner (say 2" instead of 3").

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status
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