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Best Bed for Bad Back?

Story from Sarah Key Patient;

You may recall I attended Back in a Week a few years ago after a few years of seeing Sarah Boag. I persevered with your exercises and back block morning and night. My back block has travelled around the world, up and down in my back pack on numerous long distance treks for years.

I credited you with giving me back my life. My back continued to niggle now and again but I could self manage...

Then in September 2014 I spent 3 weeks in Japan. I mainly went on self guided treks up in the hills and far away on my own - sleeping on futons on tatami mats with pillows feeling like blocks of concrete in people's homes/ryocans…

I recall about 10 days in I was lying in bed thinking how marvellous my back felt. I began to wonder how much my bed at home was contributing to my niggly back.

When I returned home I did not ever get into my bed again. I made myself a bed on my bedroom floor then thought about what to do. I didn't want to sleep on the floor forever but I wanted a hard surface.

After much ado I tossed out my old bed and bought a pocket coil mattress and a bed frame with slats.

It probably took several months to get used to the hard mattress. My children think I sleep on bricks. It's not quite like that hard but it is very firm.

My back has continued to be excellent. It's never been better. If I tweak my back which happens very rarely and usually doing something like putting my shoes on, it recovers extremely quickly (in an hour or so) and rarely requires a Nurofen. I am amazed beyond belief and even thought of telling you all this but thinking you would wonder if I was crazy!

The trip to Japan has changed my life again.

What do you think about this?

Kind regards


Sarah Key Response;

There's nothing better than a Futon

With acute back problems, the harder the sleeping surface, the better - and there's nothing better than a futon, or a thin foam mattress on the floor.

There's no doubt about it, too-soft sleeping surfaces are as much to blame for letting us down and perpetuating lower back pain as our Western penchant for sitting too much.

The bugbear with acute back pain is the erector spinae (ES) muscles going crazy with a mind of their own. ES are the long cable muscles running up and down either side of the spine. They are immensely powerful.

And this, combined with much reduced activation trigger at a lower threshold, means they keep flicking on when you don't need them and/or with little provocation and over-compressing (hurting) the spine.

If your bed is saggy, ES stay switched on all night and you awake painfully stiff, and even may be vaguely aware of nagging pain throughout your sleep.

A firm bed actually provides gentle decompression of the spinal base, allowing the compressed spinal segments to gently drop apart. It's one of the simplest, and oldest remedies.

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