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Old 01-15-2011, 06:43 PM   #1
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Tempur Mattresses - do they help?

Hi Guys, this is my first post

I'm an active 47 year old

At the age of 13 whilst playing on a park suffered what I think was a slipped or ruptured disc at L5. Crawled home 2 miles on hands and knees felt like i'd broken my back in agony. Spent several days in bed drugged to the eyeballs by my GP. Eventually saw an old school orthopaedic consultant who over the next 10 years had several surgical corsets made for me and prescribed physiotherapy. The consultant said I had a crack in a facet joint and a bulging disc but wouldn't operate (as I came from a working class background without the money he would want). In any case I managed to recover between 'episodes'.

So from 13 - 23 I led an active sports life suffering 'setbacks' around thrice a year as described to the letter by so many sufferers on this forum...instant sharp debilitating pain like a hot poker being thrust into my spine and massive sciatica in my legs and butt. I guess I made things worse playing american football, rugby, lifting heavy weights in the gym and running like Forrest Gump...but I was young!

At the age of 25 and with a shiny new health insurance policy the same consultant finally ordered an MRI and arranged surgery within 4 weeks (The greedy ******* let me suffer for 12 years because I couldn't pay though)!

Post op I had a 6 inch scar on my lower back and the op site was burning with heat for almost 6 years. My sciatica went completely for around 5 years but I never really recovered from the surgery - it was the worst thing I ever did.

I've developed peptic ulcers with the years of drug use and now almost abstain from prescribed drug use only using when pain is at an 11 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being crippled - cannot stand up).

I have a fantastic Physio that I've used since the op and he does a fab re-mobilising therapy when I get my bi-anual 'events' which seems to work really well. I can crawl in on all fours and be touching my toes within an hour (although bruised to hell for the next 3 days).

I've resigned myself to a life of misery and pain. I'm usually on a 7 on my scale of 1-10 and can handle the pain...it reminds me I'm still alive! I thank God I can walk and work out, I use a personal trainer and work hard on core stability. I'm a part-time PADI dive instructor and providing I'm careful can lift pretty heavy kit.

OK so to the point...

I hate going to bed. When I lay too long flat on my back - I seize up, waking up crippled for the first 10 mins. I normally wake up 6 or 7 times every night in agony. My sweet, darling wife has massaged the bumps and nodules of gristle around the original op site every night for the past 25 years which seems to pinpoint the pain site and strangely gives me relief even though its painful???

I've been looking at Tempur mattresses and want to know if any of you guys have tried these? will I wake in agony if I'm not turning in my sleep as I do at present and will this immobility make things worse? or will it help because I am laid in an anatomically correct position?

My 'new' consultant said at age 47 my disc has hardened somewhat and that I'd never be pain free. Would love to know if any of you guys know otherwise too!

It's 2.35am so I'm going to try going back to bed now - goodnight all )

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Old 01-16-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: Tempur Mattresses - do they help?

Hi, and welcome to the forum. I wanted to tell you that I have a tempurpedic mattress and I swear by it. I'm the survivor (lol) of at least 7 lumbar surgeries, 4 of which are fusions and had a lot of restless nights prior to getting the tempur mattress. I just love it.

Let me say that I was advised NOT to sleep on my back and, in fact, I get a bad backache if I do so. Is it possible for you to go to sleep on either side? You might try that. If not, put a pillow under your knees which will take some of the pressure off your spine and see if that helps. You can put a pillow between your legs when sleeping on your side, and that helps as well.

Lots of people with back trouble swear by the sleep number beds, so you might want to test those as well. Be sure to lie on the mattresses for at least 10 minutes to get a better idea of how it will work for you. Also, I believe that both of these mattresses have a 90 day trial period, so check into that before you buy.

I don't quite know what your doctor is meaning when he says your discs have hardened by your age. Maybe someone else will know and can explain it to both of us!

Hope this is a bit helpful to you.

Carol

 
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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Re: Tempur Mattresses - do they help?

I have had 2 spinal injuries and have arthritis in all my joints now. I was getting so little sleep they even checked me for sleep apnea. I ran across an unbelievable sale on tempurpedic mattresses and thought it could not hurt. I had been sleeping on an "orthopedic", high dollar mattress before and was miserable in spite of it. I slept almost 6 straight hours my first night on the tempurpedic! WOW, what a great night's sleep...lol! I have had my mattress now for 5 years and love it. The only drawbacks in my experience are that if you don't rotate the mattress every couple of months or so you do get your what I call a nest where I sleep. Rotating firms the area up. I also find in the summer the material can make you feel warm, but I put a thick mattress cover over it and that has helped a lot. I have heard good things about the sleep number bed as Maltluver mentioned. Just try them and hopefully you will find a bed to give you some needed comfort and sleep! Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:24 AM   #4
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Re: Tempur Mattresses - do they help?

Guys just to update. Last week I took delivery of my new Tempur bed. It's cost me over £2000 (circa $3000 US?) but sadly has been a disaster. I have suffered from back ache since I was 12 and would try ANYTHING to relieve the pain hence the speculative investment.

Problem A: Way to soft period. It doesn't offer support as expected and has set me back years...in just 4 days I've gone from fully mobile to creeping about like an 80 year old (sorry if you're 80..in fact you're probably more mobile than me right now!)
Problem B: It like sleeping in an oven its so hot...and trust me in England at this time of year it's cold.
Problem C: Once I fall asleep, I'm finding myself remaining in the same position for many hours (and if that happens to be on my back it's causing the problems mentioned in A above) This is not good and I'm waking up in agony.
Problem D: It's almost impossible to move around without major effort - seriously, you need to be pretty fit and have great core muscles to turn over!
Problem E: This mattress is the best ever form of contraception... I'll let you work that one out for yourselves.

So in short (and I swear to God I have no commercial axe to grind here) I would not recommend. I've already ordered a new sprung mattress and will write this off as an expensive experiment.

 
Old 02-09-2011, 08:57 AM   #5
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Re: Tempur Mattresses - do they help?

I really do think it is time for you to see a spine specialist and have another MRI to see what is going on. If I were you, I wouldn't go back to the dr. who did your first surgery as it doesn't seem you were all that impressed with him; instead, you might try to find an orthopedic doctor who has a fellowship in treating the spine. It's time to find out what is going on and get the proper treatment.

I don't think any mattress is going to make things better at this point and can see no logical reason for the tempurpedic mattress to make things worse; more likely whatever is wrong with your back needs to be checked out. I'm not saying that you don't feel worse with the new mattress, only that you shouldn't be since you are getting good support now.

Please stay in touch with us and let us know how you are doing.

Carol
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cervical fusion...2 levels
medtronic pain pump implanted
Last surgery Oct, 2010, 3 levels

 
Old 02-09-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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Re: Tempur Mattresses - do they help?

So sorry the mattress did not work out for you and you regressed physically! Yes, it is warmer than a regular mattress and it tends to cradle you so you don't move a whole lot unless you mean to. The contraceptive comment made me almost spit out my coffee...LOL! I understand what you meant, and yes, you have to be a little more creative as you sink in with extra weight. You should be able to return the mattress as you have only had it a short while so you can at least get your money back. Good luck to you and I hope you get some relief soon.
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