I just finished Acupuncture school, passed my boards, and enjoying relaxation after 5.5 years of hard work. I had gotten a new mattress after I finished school. I thought a firm mattress was going to be better for me. Because of my petite stature and my body’s preference for a softer bed, it got uncomfortable. Instead of buying a new mattress, I got a memory foam topper. It was nice. I enjoyed it and did not have any problems with the topper for almost 3-4 months. However, I started having insomnia, and my back was achy. It was a weird kind of ache, not sharp, and did not affect my mobility. No matter the sleep position I was in, I would still wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep. Mind you, I have never had trouble sleeping.
Then, I started having “sciatic” like symptoms but it was never sharp or burning. Instead, it was a cold sensation going down my leg. Then, the coldness started traveling up my back. I went to Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, and even the emergency room one night because I freaked out. The cold sensation went up to my neck and into the front of my head! Basically, it was all along the bladder channel according to Chinese medicine. Acupuncture helped and I would feel normal but it always came back. I even resorted to sleeping on my massage table with my face down. I still did not sleep very well or long, and those beds are firm too.
Finally, one night, I got so sick of my bed, I threw the memory foam topper off the bed. That night was the best sleep I had gotten in months! The next night, I was excited and tried the bed again without the memory foam topper. Alas, I could not sleep again. So, the third night, I switched beds. Guess what, from that day on, my weird back symptoms went away. I slept great. I never went back to sleeping in the firm bed or use the memory foam topper.
What I have learned after that experience when I talked to Chiropractors and other Acupuncturists…
• The memory foam topper caused me to torque my hips. I was trying to roll over in bed but was unable to. So, I would throw my hips to turn myself over.
• This seems to affect women more than men only because their musculature is not as strong as the men’s. Typically, women feel the effects first.
• The symptoms from something like this took almost 3months to come on. So, I did not equate the foam topper as the main cause of my issue.
• So, if you get treatment from a specialist regarding your pain…you find relief but it comes back quickly. Then, you may want to find the pattern of what it is you are doing after your treatments to re-aggravate your situation.
When patients come in and see me for low back pain, one of the first questions I ask them is how long have they had the pain? And, how old is their bed? I have helped a number of people just by asking those questions. When they replace the bed or change the bed, their pain subsides and they feel better.
I hope my story helps you find a solution to your back pain issues. Read my other blogs to learn more about pain management.
#LowBackPain #MemoryFoamMattress #Sciatica #Ergonomics