I am a petite woman 5'2", 110 lbs. and my husband is a large man, not fat, 5'10", 210 lbs. We are young, early 30s. He is in perfect health, but I suffer from sciatica.
The pain travels around my hip and down my leg. No matter what mattress we try, the pain won't go away.
The Tempurpedic went back after making the pain worse, as did the Select Comfort bed and the Serta iSeries pillowtop mattress.
They all felt great, at first, but quickly started to became painful.
My old mattress was too firm, but I wish I had it back. After spending hours, last night, reading your incredibly helpful blog posts, I've decided to defer to you.
Your depth of knowledge and expertise is very impressive. I'm going to trust that what you recommend for me will be what I need.
To be honest, I have come to the realization that I just don't know what I'm doing, when it comes to this.
And after being so badly mislead by the salespeople at the stores, I don't trust that they know what they're doing, either.
Thanks in advance, Paulette
Hi Paulette...and thank you. We will get you and your husband all fixed up.
Near the base of your spine is the nerve center for the lower half of your body. To have sciatica, you must also have discs in that area that have worn.
The vertebrae are now pinching a nerve, which creates sciatica and the pain you described.
The best you can do to relieve the nerve from being pinched, is to maintain your spine's natural alignment.
A hard mattress, like the one you had, holds you up too high and doesn't give enough at the hip.
All foam and air mattresses, like the ones you bought, allow your hip to sink too far.
Either way, your body's natural alignment was thrown off...which then pinches the nerve that causes the sciatic pain you're feeling. An innerspring mattress is a must form you.
Of all the innerspring mattresses available, the Simmons Beautyrest, with individually pocketed coils that move independently from one another, does the best job of maintaining your spine's natural alignment. At your size, almost any Beautyrest will do. But, your mattress also has to support a large man.
Your best option is the Simmons Beautyrest Blach Desiree in luxury firm. This will provide contouring support you need, and be strong enough to hold a man the size of your husband.
At your size, the mattress itself will be a little too firm for comfort. Add to that mattress, a 2" soft Talalay latex mattress topper. Latex is the highest quality upholstery material available.
It will do more than just soften the surface of the mattress. It will hold you up and not allow you to sink...giving just enough with your hip and otherwise, provide a zero gravity feel.
Latex lasts for many years and is all natural. Because it is so resilient, it will absorb your husband's body weight, which will add years of life to the mattress.
Your husband will also enjoy the comfort it provides.
What's more, your sciatica pain will be relieved and you'll sleep deeply.
I suffer from severe sleep apnea, severe degenerative arthritis that generates pain in my shoulders, back, knees, neck, wrists and hands. I weigh 250 lbs.
I never get a good nights sleep. Both knees have been replaced, along with one hip and have had failed back surgery.
I am in constant pain even with 4 oxy's per day. Can you recommend a mattress for me?
Thank you, Richard
I can suggest items that will provide proper support and plenty of comfort and a decent number of years....none of which, will fix anything that is wrong with you....only ease your pain.
Starting with the support, a good choice is the Simmons Beautyrest Black Ava in luxury firm. The triple strand wire coil, (Cable coil), is strong enough to hold you.
The coils are individually pocketed and provide firm, yet contouring support, which will relive some of the pressure points.
Then you will add a 3" layer of soft Vytex Dunlop latex. This will do a number of things and is the key to this being a successful purchase for you.
Latex, an all natural product, is extremely comfortable and equally resilient. It will absorb much of your body weight, which in turn, will cause the mattress to last longer...keeping its shape better over the years.
The latex topper will surface comfort that is unmatched by any other type of material. Latex is and has been the best upholstery material you can buy for the last 100 years.
Together, they will provide for you, a sleep system that gives you all the support and comfort your body requires...and does so over a good many years.
My wife has M/S and sciatica and we are on our 4th bed shopping experience. She gets neck and back pains. she is a side sleeper.
We have tried sleep number, tempurpedic, and a bamboo memory foam. We are looking at a sealy memory gel bed.
Would you recommend this. We have an adjustable bed and the salesman told my wife to try to sleep in the zero gravity position at night.
Last night didn't work out well.
I weigh 215 and 6 foot in height she is 5 feet 7 and has a titanium rod rod in her hip after she broke her hip. any suggestions?
Memory foam is a temperature sensitive material. As it warms from your body's heat, it sinks. Usually, the underlying foam that supports it is stiff and hard.
Besides fighting that rod in her hip, it throws off the alignment of her spine, which isn't helping her sciatica any.
Memory foam is the absolute worst material ever invented for use in or as a mattress. Even your air mattress had that inside.
Have you noticed how hard it's sold...advertised...pushed by salespeople? You must have thought they had your best interest at heart. Why else would you continue to buy a product that doesn't work?!...and still considering buying it again. The answer to that is simple. You believed what you saw and heard and didn't know any better. After all, a mattress is a blind item.
All of that is about to change.
You and your wife, your neighbor and his wife, the butcher around the corner and the secretary at your office, all have one thing in common....the human body.
Everyone's body is the same and a little different. Fitting all the small differences is the challenge. However, the same rules apply to some degree. What every body needs is firm support and sleeping surface that allows for a greater depth of sleep.
I believe that all those memory foam sales people have promised that to you...and you can see how well that has worked for you.
The purpose of memory foam is to make the sale. It's comfortable enough, initially...but not worth a damn before too long.
So, getting what you need isn't difficult. There are tons of mattresses that will provide you firm support and a comfortable sleeping surface. What you have difficulty finding, is a mattress that will stay that way a respectable period of time.
In all facets of life, it is unreasonable to expect a different result from repeating the same behavior. If you like the way things are going, keep doing what you're doing. If not, you have to make a change.
In this case, the change is from memory foam to latex. Latex is natural rubber and has been the best material available for use in or as a mattress for the past 95 years. This isn't just an opinion. It's a proven, undisputed fact.
Your skeletal system needs firm support to maintain its alignment When you have back problems, you are more sensitive to the changes a mattress goes through as it wears. For you, a person without back problems, you are not affected by those changes. For your wife, the smallest changes can result in that nerve in her lower back being pinch by the vertebrae...sending that pain across her hip and down her leg. (Sciatica)
When the padding on top of the mattress sinks in, as your memory foam does, her hip hits the hard foam under it and the result is the pain from her hip problem.
There aren't a lot of choices for you on the showroom floor, when you're looking for this "right" mattress. The great majority of them won't do the job.
An individually pocketed coil unit provides contouring support...support designed to maintain the natural alignment of your spine. Your first purchase is a firm type of this kind of mattress. Your second purchase is a layer of soft latex. The latex will cushion the hip without sinking through. It will absorb much of your body weight, which will add extra years of life to the mattress...slowing its degree of wear. Latex is extremely resilient and very long lasting, besides being extraordinarily comfortable. The flexibility it provides will support your wife's rod without fighting it.
The starting model in the Simmons Beautyrest World Class line, the Annapolis Place in Luxury Firm is the mattress to get. A 2" soft latex topper is all the extra cushioning you'll need.
Here are links to those products. Delivery is free and there's no sales tax.
Also, That adjustable bed base isn't helpful for anything but sitting up to watch TV. When sleeping, it needs to be flat.
I need your help and advice on a mattress. I'm in need of a Queen size mattress set for myself I'm overweight at 230 lbs, 5' 9'' and mid 40's. I currently wake up, with aches and pains on my whole body, from my neck to my toes(neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees and ankles)! My medical issues include "hold on tight": Shoulder blade pain, very tight shoulders and neck (probably stress), arthritis pain & problems in my knee from prior basketball injuries, and back issues (slip disc issues) and sleep apnea. I currently sleep with a pillow between my legs for my and one either behind my back or under my stomach. I have been to so many mattress stores, and I'm just tired of going in and laying on mattresses for 15min. and really can't get comfortable on them. With all my issues, it has been suggested to me to get a foam mattress or a firm pillow top. I don't like the foam mattresses or soft mattresses I feel as if I'm going to sink and makes my back disc slip. I like firm, but the "mattress shops" say not to get a firm. What should I do? If you could help suggest the best mattress for me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance. Angie
A firm mattress is exactly what is required to support an overweight individual, especially one with back problems. The closest you came to good advice was the firm pillowtop....close, but no cigar. Pillowtops lose their shape quickly, making any pillowtop a poor choice for value and long term comfort.
Best solution for support and comfort is the Simmons Beautyrest Black Ava in luxury firm, topped with 2" of soft latex foam for long lasting comfort.
An adjustable bed base used to elevate the top half of your body will help with the sleep apnea...or, you could use the c-pap machine...or, a slight foam wedge between the mattress and boxspring is a whole lot cheaper than an adjustable bed base. If it's stress, massage for your neck and shoulders. The right pillow is helpful too.
Here are links to the mattress and latex topper...2" of Soft Talalay Latex is the most popular, and all you are likely to need.
Greetings Pete; I really need your help to find a new mattress to purchase. Last year I had back surgery in which all five of my lumbar vertebrae had the back portion of the bone cut out and removed. As a result I can only sleep on my side with a posture cushion (pillow) between my lower legs to help keep my spine in alignment. I only sleep for about two and a half hours at a time when cramping in my thighs causes me to get up and walk around before I can go back to bed. My pain medication causes dizziness so I have to sit on the edge of the bed for a while before I can stand up. I'm 5'7" and weigh 240 lbs. Could you please advise me on the best mattress that would help me. I appreciate your expertise and any advise that you can offer me. Thank you, M.
Before we get into the mattress part, I'd like to share something with you concerning your medication.
While it's nothing as dramatic as your surgery, I had fallen off a ladder, at about 10' and landed on my back...tearing many of the muscles. The pain was unlike anything I could have imagined.
At first, the pain meds were narcotics and made it difficult to function. During this time, I awoke one morning with a bad headache. I decided to take 3 extra strength Excedrin for the headache and planned to wait a little while before taking the meds for my back pain. Unexpectedly, 20 minutes later, the headache was gone and so was the pain in my back.
In another episode, when I had pulled my back out, I refused the narcotic meds and was given a dose of 1600 mgs of Motrin. That too, killed the pain.
I mention it, only because I know how difficult is is to live with some of the stronger pain meds that are commonly prescribed.
If we can align your spine without having to use a pillow to do it, you should be able to sleep longer without interruption. This will certainly make life a better, which in turn would speed up your healing process.
A mattress that provides firm contouring support will help with your alignment. It will have to be firm enough to support your weight. And while it will contour to you some, the firmness needed for support won't be comfortable enough for the deep and length night's sleep I know you're looking for.
To make you comfortable at the surface, relieve your pressure points and relax your muscle...all of which aid to promote a deeper night's sleep...you will need to add a layer of latex to the mattress.
The strongest mattress on the market, that provides contouring support, is the Simmons Beautyrest Black. The firmest of them is the Bray model.
With the degree of spinal damage, softness is not your friend. My normal latex topper recommendation is for soft Talalay latex. But, given your condition and size, you'll do better with a 2" layer of Dunlop latex. It'll give you a decent amount of surface comfort without being too soft.
(Due to a line change and an increase in business, Simmons is currently running 4 weeks or so for delivery, rather than the normal 2 weeks. They say this is a temporary situation and should be back to normal delivery times soon).
Here are links to both products. Delivery is free and there's no sales tax.
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