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KimT 11-12-2016 08:44 AM

Back pain and bed
Ok, I've reached the point of desperation. I have a queen size adjustable bed. The head and feet raise and lower. I have a rubber mattress and a non-toxic memory foam topper. Nothing is helping my back pain. Heat helps. Pain meds help. A good combination seems to be taking pain meds, putting the heating pad on high and reclining in my lift chair, constantly adjusting it.

I don't care how much I have to spend but I need a bed that provides more comfort. I will sell everything I own and mortgage my condo to get relief.

Can anybody recommend a bed? I can still move. I can still walk and would be walking better if not for the sprained right ankle. I am a back sleeper and use a pillow under my knees to give my back some support. I turn on my right side throughout the night and get up once or twice to go to the bathroom.

The latest thing to aggravate it was during the move when I was bending over a lot. It never got better and just keeps getting worse. Now, my hands are cramping.


chally 11-12-2016 09:24 AM

Re: Back pain and bed
I am there with ya Kim! I just got a high end totally adjustable tempurpedic @ a reduced price as a friend sells them.
My thinking was this is great no more lower back troubles!
Wrong! I have no idea why but my back hurts and I suspect it might come from not being able to shift in the night and I stay in one position for really long times. I am getting to the point of hating going to bed. If I don't get conked out w/ valuims to calm me down I then will try to wiggle around to get comfortable.
This is a pain in the a$$ ! Like being in a striaght jacket.
Argggggg! Let know if ya find relief. Love ya. Chally

KimT 11-12-2016 11:21 AM

Re: Back pain and bed
Chally, the Pro Bed would help you because your issue sounds like a primary mobility problem. You are a vet, right? They cost over $30,000 but I've heard that some vets got them approved when nothing else helps.

They shift you anywhere from constantly to every 4 hours and are recommended for ALS, MS, MD, and spinal chord injuries.

I'm thinking since I can still shift my weight, it is more of a mattress issue/topper issue than movement.

Maybe I'll win the lotto tonight. If I do, you and I will have this bed immediately.

GregK 11-12-2016 01:47 PM

Re: Back pain and bed
We gave up on our king tempurpedic and I now have a hospital bed with a "dolphin mattress".

I had been waking up in pain, no more.

Nuts 11-12-2016 03:23 PM

Re: Back pain and bed
The hospital bed with alternating air mattress helps Matt, but he's also multiple injections from the pain doc. If your back is giving you that much trouble, it's worth seeing if you can get relief from steroid injections. Matt's had them in his back, hip, and leg.

Dave K 11-12-2016 04:18 PM

Re: Back pain and bed
Our solution was to get a lateral rotation mattress. It has adjustable firmness and rotates the user at programmed intervals. The neuro prescribed it for pain management, and insurance covered it. We also purchased a spare on Craigslist for $1,500, so we have two of them--one operates with a blower, the other with a compressor. The latter is louder but rotates more smoothly.

lgelb 11-12-2016 06:35 PM

Re: Back pain and bed
Just a reminder that there are 2 bed functions that make a difference in pain:

1) What the frame can do. A head-and foot-can-raise bed is not enough for many PALS, because it's the small of the back that suffers a lot from the pressure caused by immobility. That suggests a bed where all the segments are moveable, so you can sleep with some overall "tilt." In using a urinal, that position is also helpful. A reverse Trendelenburg option at times can also aid breathing. You can do a search for hospital beds with this option, which I consider essential since it is one of the few ways PALS can get spinal traction.

2) What the mattress can do. Many here use turning mattresses/"low" or "alternating" air loss mattresses or Roho-type air cell overlays (these can be static, i.e. just sitting there, or moving air around, aka dynamic). In each of these, the idea is to minimize pressure points and maximize air circulation and blood flow to some degree. However, the more aggressively the mattresses pushes you around, the less you may like it. So try if possible, before you buy.

In our case, Larry's pre-existing spine problems and ALS-induced shoulder subluxations prevented him from lying anywhere but on his back, in a completely stable position, so we used a furniture foam-grade overlay (latex is another possibility) on top of a medical-grade foam mattress. And lots of DIY arm/elbow cushioning/neck bolsters. No air movement underneath. But in this case, the capabilities of the frame made all the difference, since repositioning was not possible apart from adjusting his arms. He generally slept several hours at a time without drugs.

Another consideration is whether the PALS is going to be repositioned on the mattress before transfers or at other times, in which case cushiness can be a liability. Larry slept with a slip sheet underneath the regular sheet, and was pivoted on the overlay each day. If you are sinking in, as might be the case with something like a memory foam mattress, you may be harder to dislodge and air circulation may be less.

Sinking is probably more an issue for larger PALS. There are also ways to layer overlays, mattress pad covers and a low voltage heating pad if/as desired to customize the "give" of the bed for the best tradeoff between comfort over a number of hours, and the ability to move/be moved. It is really trial and error. I guess that point is, the right bed can't do it alone, but it can go a long way.

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