September 29, 2008 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Is my bed broken? It's breaking my back and my bank.

I have a 4-year-old foam mattress, which I had on a sleeping platform for the first two years and now use on a wooden-slat Ikea bed. I dealt with any occasional "ooh, that's starting to sag in that spot" issues just by flipping the mattress, and that seemed to take care of it.

I got the foam mattress because of a wonky lower back; I've occasionally slept on other style mattresses since, and know that the foam is best for me. My back HAS gone out once since I got it, but that was when I was moving two years ago and overtaxing myself generally. Since then it's been fine -- until a month ago.

A month ago I started having a lot of lower back pain and stiffness when I woke up. It went away fairly quickly as I moved around - showering, getting ready for work -- so I knew I hadn't thrown it out again. But it's there every morning. I also have it if I lay down for a while to read or something; for some reason, the mere act of lying prone gave me back pain.

At first I chalked it up to an over-exuberant workout at the gym (started on ab and core work at about the same time), but cutting that back didn't help. Then I thought maybe my old mattress was shot and purchased a NEW foam mattress from Ikea four days ago, and now have the old mattress on the bottom and this new mattress on top, and a featherbed on top of that (the featherbed I got to fix still ANOTHER problem). I am still having the stiffness problem.

What the HELL is going on? Do I just need to give the new setup a bit more time? Should I hit up my massage therapist friend and see if she can get me into a normal state first and then see how it goes? Should I hit my own doctor up for a muscle relaxant for a few days? Should I ditch the featherbed? Should I have someone watch me to make sure I'm not weightlifting in my sleep?
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
You should ALWAYS hit up your massage therapist friend :)
I think you should get rid of the underneath old mattress altogether and try a week just on the new one or the new one plus feather topper.
The new mattress might be falling into the sagging scoop of the old mattress, giving you the same problems as before. If you put the new mattress on the flat, non-saggy slats, that might work.
Also, look at the slats themselves- are they warped or still flat?
posted by rmless at 8:17 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

You should ALWAYS hit up your massage therapist friend :)

*snerk* She's actually the current girlfriend of a former boyfriend, so while she's perfectly nice and we all get on well, I do usually have to get past the feeling that her giving me a massage is a plot straight out of a really bad porn film.

Also, look at the slats themselves- are they warped or still flat?

The slats look pretty good, although a couple times the plastic cording holding them in place has come loose (I've been able to fix it both times, though).

But going back to just one mattress would indeed be something to try....(and kind of a "oh, DUH" solution that I'm kicking myself for not having thought of).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:40 AM on September 29, 2008

You can get lower back pain from your bed. IF the mattress is all screwed up it will create lumps in different palces and cause the spine not to be straight when sleeping.

I suggest putting th new foam mattress itself ontop of the box spring. IF you put it ontop of the old foam matress it could create all sorts of bumps and things in the new one.
posted by majortom1981 at 12:23 PM on September 29, 2008

Follow-up before I hit "resolve" --

I think I have been healed. I didn't get a chance to ditch the old mattress yet, so it's still new foam on top of old foam -- but I think the secret was just waiting a few days for the new Ikea mattress to fully expand. I've been waking up with a lot less stiffness over the past few days; I was a little stiff this morning, but yesterday I'd finally gone back to the gym and really went hogwild with the ab and core stuff for the first time in a while, so I think it was just that. If it creeps back, I'll get rid of the older mattress and just have the newer one alone on the slats, but I think for the most part we've fixed this.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:57 AM on October 3, 2008

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