Like many people, I have a bad back. I think it comes with the territory these days. We all sit hunched over desks and computers and then we come home and slump down on the couch. We don't stretch; we don't exercise and so we have bad backs. My sciatica used to be so bad that I'd miss a week of work a few times a year. Shooting pains down to my ankle, hurt to sit, or stand or lay down.

Two things I did have helped me and I want to share them with you. The first is so obvious I shouldn't have to say it: I lost some weight. I shed about 25 pounds and I feel worlds better. But what really helped my sciatica is change number 2 — I got a memory foam bed.

I did not think it would be such a dramatic difference but it was. It took about a week of sleeping on the new mattress before I started waking up feeling energized and ready to meet the world. I think it is the best $1,200 I ever spent. You probably just gasped at the dollar amount I named. Yes, it was expensive, but worth it.

I like a queen mattress. I like the size; it is big but not huge. So you have to spend a bit more if you are buying a larger mattress. Of course a full or twin is loads cheaper, just like with sheets. If you need to look at a cheaper alternative, a memory foam mattress pad is the way to go. You get the benefits of sleeping on a foam pad without the hefty price tag. A queen sized pad of memory foam will set you back at least a hundred dollars and for good quality, you might want to bump that up to $200.

How does it work and why is it so great for back pain? Memory foam is also called visco elastic foam and what that means is that the foam reacts to heat and weight. It becomes supple when heat is applied. And when weight is applied, the foam cells settle down and compress, instead of trying to spring back. The reason it is a god-send to bad back sufferers is the visco part. The foam reacts to your body temperature as you sleep and where you body is in contact with the mattress, the mattress conforms to your body. This relives pressure points. So you sleep in full support. Once NASA released memory foam into the commercial market, one of the first products was a mattress designed to eliminate bedsores.

So if you are waking up every morning in pain, you probably need a new mattress. Buying a memory foam mattress or topper should give you a great night's sleep, but don't take my word for it.

Source by Beth Lyons