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Back pain from latex mattress? 05 Sep 2013 10:02 #1

Hello all,

Just at a bit of a loss here. After a ton of research (months even) I went with Sleep EZ and purchased their 10000 series king size latex mattress.

At first things seemed good, both my girlfriend and I were fine with it. However as the months went on, I started getting severe back pain. At first I attributed it to other issues I was having with my legs/back that was the primary reason for getting a new mattress. Now though it looks like the mattress is likely part of the problem, as both my girlfriend and I are having significant back pain.

First off, I'm not a small individual. I'm 6'8" 305-310 lbs, girlfriend is 6'0 ~180lbs.

My layers are X-Firm, Firm, Medium, hers are Firm, Medium, Soft.

I've talked with the guys at Sleep EZ and they have tried to be as helpful as they can, but so far nothing has worked.

If i have medium on the top, I get severe lower back pain and cannot sleep on my side or stomach.
If I have Firm or Xtra Firm on top I get severe upper back pain, but can at least sleep on side/stomach with less immediate discomfort.

Girlfriend gets lower back pain no matter what the configuration. Soft on top is the only thing that works for her but Firm/medium/Soft still causes back pain, any combination (Med/Firm/Soft, Firm/Soft/Medium, etc..) are impossible for her to sleep.

Is it just we're a rare breed and just should give up on the latex mattress? Is there anything else we could try to make it any better? I'm at a loss as nothing works, and the next step is just purchasing a new non-latex mattress and getting rid of the less than 6 month old bed.

Any thoughts or comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I'm at my wits end.

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Back pain from latex mattress? 05 Sep 2013 14:43 #2

Sorry to hear about your issues. I can't advise you on your bed but I have seen many doctors and therapists recently due to a back injury and I can tell you they are universally opposed to stomach sleeping.

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Back pain from latex mattress? 05 Sep 2013 14:47 #3

I understand that, and understand why, I have been trying my utmost to attempt sleeping on my side/back but end up on my stomach more often than not. :(

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Back pain from latex mattress? 05 Sep 2013 15:01 #4

Hi halcyondaze,

At first things seemed good, both my girlfriend and I were fine with it. However as the months went on, I started getting severe back pain. At first I attributed it to other issues I was having with my legs/back that was the primary reason for getting a new mattress. Now though it looks like the mattress is likely part of the problem, as both my girlfriend and I are having significant back pain.

First off, I'm not a small individual. I'm 6'8" 305-310 lbs, girlfriend is 6'0 ~180lbs.

My layers are X-Firm, Firm, Medium, hers are Firm, Medium, Soft.


The first thing I would confirm is that what is under your mattress has no flex and provides even rigid support for your mattress including center support to the floor. What type of foundation and bedframe are you using and is it in good condition? You can check this by trying your mattress on the floor as well.

It would also be helpful to know if you have anything over your mattress and what it is (mattress protector or a mattress pad).

Your layers are within the range that would work well for most people of your height/weight so you may be outside the "averages" which works well for most people which means that a little detective work or trial and error may be needed to identify the underlying cause of your symptoms.

When you have "symptoms" on a mattress ... it generally has little to do with the material itself (in this case latex) and more to do with the suitability of the design or layer combination for your specific needs and preferences. All materials or mattress "categories" will have designs that work well for some people and not as well for others so the key is to track down the most likely reason why you are having the symptoms you re having.

Generally (but not always) lower back issues "point to" the pelvis sinking down too far which tilts the pelvis and can put the lumbar spine out of alignment. This is generally connected to the firmness of the support layers or the thickness/firmness of the comfort layers.

Upper back issues can point to a comfort layer that is too firm.

Stomach sleepers in particular need a thinner or firmer comfort layer so that the pelvis is "stopped" more quickly to prevent hyperextension of the lumbar spine. For those who sleep in a combination of positions then "just enough" thickness and softness of the comfort layers to relieve pressure in the most pressure prone position (side sleeping) is usually better for alignment for back and stomach sleeping.

For you .. a medium top layer would "act" softer because of your higher weight and would usually be an appropriate choice and for your girlfriend a softer comfort layer would generally be the most suitable choice ... although each person has their own preferences and circumstances as well depending on the specifics of their body type and sleeping style. The thickness of the top layer can be important as well because with thinner comfort layers your pelvis be "stopped" more quickly because there is less soft material in between your body and the firmer layers below it.

The most common adjustment on your side to increase the firmness of the comfort layers would be switching the X-Firm and the Firm layers so the X-Firm is directly under the medium layer. This would still give you the softness you would likely need for side sleeping and increase the underlying support you may need for back and stomach sleeping. The next most likely layering would be a firm on top, a firm under this and the extra firm on the bottom (you would need to 'borrow" a layer from the other side for this). This would give you the "next softest" comfort layer and firm support underneath it. You could also use F/XF/F to increase the support even more.

It's also important when you are trying to track down the layering that works best to describe the difference between each combination instead of just a "works or doesn't work" because the type and degree of any changes in your symptoms is also an important part of the feedback that can help point to a solution.

Since you can't change the thickness of your top layer ... then it may also be an idea to consider zoning and the suggestions in post #11 here may be helpful.

For your girlfriend it would also be helpful if you could describe the differences between each of the combinations she has tried and which ones were better and worse in terms of pressure relief and alignment and the specific differences in her symptoms between each combination. This will also provide some helpful indications of the direction she needs to go as well. The "clues" are always in the specifics of how each combination is different from the last and which one is better or worse for pressure relief and alignment rather than just "works or doesn't work".

It sounds to me like both of you may need to "lift up" your pelvis a little more (which is the typical cause of lower back issues) but it's also possible that you may need some extra support under the lumbar curve as well.

I'm also curious whether your symptoms were evident during the first 90 days during the exchange period. Normally these types of issues show up early and you would have plenty of time to re-arrange or exchange layers but if they only showed up later then this could also point to other issues behind your symptoms that may not be connected to your mattress (although there still may be adjustments you can make that can be helpful).

So overall it would be helpful if you could list the specifics of each layering you have tried and the specific symptoms you felt on each combination compared to the others so the differences between your experience on each combination can help track down the changes that may be most helpful.

As frustrating a it may be if your circumstances are more complex or "outside the norm" ... taking one step at a time, trying each combination for a few days at least to to rule out any anomalies in your experience on a combination that comes from the circumstances of the day, and with as much information as possible about the differences between each combination and the one before it, has the highest odds of success in identifying the underlying cause of your symptoms and what may help correct it.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Back pain from latex mattress? 08 Sep 2013 08:42 #5

First off, thanks for the reply.

We're currently using as our frame the Tatami Platform Bed from Tatamiroom which I found out about originally through here.
I will try to disassemble the bedframe and see if it makes a difference.

We have a mattress protector (EK Protector from SleepEZ), but no pad on top of the mattress. We have the Cotton/Wool Cover that came with the mattress from SleepEZ.

My girlfriend's issues I wish I could explain, I think she was weary of changing the mattress earlier due to just how much research I was doing and the fact I was having so many issues before getting the mattress and didn't want to "rock the boat", she started complaining about it after the 90 days, so it's entirely possible that it was happening beforehand.
From what I've noticed it's as follows. The only way she can even attempt to sleep in the bed now is Firm bottom, Medium middle, Soft Top, however she does not sleep soundly and ends up sleeping in another bed midway through the night due to lower back pain. Any other combination, she cannot get to sleep, and immediately experiences pain.

So far the best combination form me has been Firm bottom layer, Extra Firm middle layer, and medium top layer, but i still get
some pain in the spine below the shoulder blades waking up, as well as some mid back pain when attempting to get to sleep.
The other combinations i've tried (layers from bottom to top).

XF / F / M - Lower back pain, laying down and waking up

XF / M / F - Mid / Upper back pain waking up - Laying on back or stomach or side

M / F / XF - Mid / Upper back pain waking up - Laying on back or stomach or side

So what happened with my situation and the issues with the bed so late afterward is I've had significant leg and back pain since the beginning of the year. It was pinpointed to being due to my lower back in June, with multiple herniated discs pinching nerves to the leg. It was incredibly difficult to determine whether the bed was causing the back pain at first as I was still in the process of determining the issue with a multitude of doctors. Since the first epidural the constant leg / back pain subsided and I ended up noticing the pain when laying in the bed. The leg pain was so severe when I first got the mattress that any other pain was unnoticed.

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions , I do appreciate it.

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Back pain from latex mattress? 08 Sep 2013 14:51 #6

Hi halcyondaze,

We're currently using as our frame the Tatami Platform Bed from Tatamiroom which I found out about originally through here.
I will try to disassemble the bedframe and see if it makes a difference.


The Tatami platform bed has firm slats so I doubt this would be an issue.

My girlfriend's issues I wish I could explain, I think she was weary of changing the mattress earlier due to just how much research I was doing and the fact I was having so many issues before getting the mattress and didn't want to "rock the boat", she started complaining about it after the 90 days, so it's entirely possible that it was happening beforehand.
From what I've noticed it's as follows. The only way she can even attempt to sleep in the bed now is Firm bottom, Medium middle, Soft Top, however she does not sleep soundly and ends up sleeping in another bed midway through the night due to lower back pain. Any other combination, she cannot get to sleep, and immediately experiences pain.


Lower back issues generally indicate the need for firmer support layers and the "most logical" fix for this or at least the next step for testing would be switching around the firm and the X-Firm layers so the X-Firm was under the soft layer and "stopped" her pelvis/hips from sinking in a little bit more quickly. I didn't find which positions she sleeps in and that would also make a difference.

So far the best combination form me has been Firm bottom layer, Extra Firm middle layer, and medium top layer, but i still get
some pain in the spine below the shoulder blades waking up, as well as some mid back pain when attempting to get to sleep.
The other combinations i've tried (layers from bottom to top).


This would make sense to me because it would have the comfort on top you need and the maximum firmness underneath this for support/alignment.

While pain can "travel" from the cause to other areas of the body ... the most logical place to look for the source of any pain or discomfort is in the area of the pain itself. Since this is in the upper back and shoulder blade area it may indicate a pillow issue (a pillow that is too high for stomach sleeping can affect the upper body alignment).

It may also be worth putting a thin pillow under your upper pelvis lower abdomen when you are sleeping on your stomach because this can raise the pelvis and offset some of the risk of sleeping on your stomach.

One other layering that may be worth testing is using two of your layers (medium over firm) for a few nights to see what happens with your back.

Beyond this ... it may be worth exploring various forms of zoning (see post #11 here ).

The combination of your weight with pre-existing back issues and stomach sleeping is a very challenging combination and means that finding an ideal layering will likely be a significant challenge. It's also quite likely that the mattress itself may not be the biggest factor in the issues you are dealing with and that no mattress will completely resolve all your issues until the effect of all the other contributing factors are reduced as well. In other words ... "best possible" rather than "ideal" may be the most realistic expectation for the moment.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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Last edit: by Administrator TMU. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Back pain from latex mattress? 19 Jul 2017 18:39 #7

My partner has fibromyalgia and uses a full latex mattress. Now that ive slept in it im almost crippled with pain now.lower backpain. What fool would recommend a glorified foam mattress with zero support? Springs will provide support. Latex is rubbish.They make movie props out of latex and they degrade over time. The worst thing she ever did was buy a latex mattress. She still cant sleep properly a d has back and leg pains and I'm betting its this rubbish latex. Guys youre buying a foam mattress really when you need some sort of reverse support thst pushing back into a little not this latex dead weight rubbish. Oh my god latex mattresses are the absolute worst thing for back pains and anyone that says otherwise must own a latex mattress company or something. When i sleep on my spring support mattress at my house i have no pains whatsoever at all. If you use a latex mattress and you have pains then its the shitty latex mattress. Think about it for a moment. This latex has zero springs zero support. This firmness rubbish does nothing at all for your dead weight pushing into the latex. Nothi gs pushing back. Firmness wont fix it. Support from a totally different mattress will fix it. I swear. Were buying a new 1 tomorrow

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Back pain from latex mattress? 19 Jul 2017 21:57 #8

Hi Peacefusoul72,

While I’m sorry that sleeping on a latex mattress doesn’t agree with you or your partner, your generalized statements about latex itself being an unsupportive material are incredibly inaccurate and to turn your own emotions into fact doesn’t help anyone reading through your post, and instead exposes your own lack of knowledge about support characteristics of latex as it compares to other componentry, such as springs, which can also provide excellent support for many individuals. But this site is not a place for one to rant, especially when using profanity and approaching gibberish. You need to stay inside the rules of the forum and it would also be helpful if you could post more accurate and "educational" information that has some facts behind it rather than the type of "broad brush" opinions that are rarely if ever accurate, factual, or helpful.

I normally take the time to correct the inaccuracies of posts like yours, lest someone reading through the forum think that the statements you made might hold some truth, but in this case I find it unnecessary, as I don’t think any reasonable person reading your comments would find them accurate or worthy of consideration.

Phoenix
Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read The Mattress Shopping Tutorial.
Click here for TMU Discount Codes if purchasing from Our Trusted Members.
For any mattress questions Ask An Expert on our forum

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