For those with Joint Issues, A mattress question.

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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 7/21/2010 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
My CD affects my joints. Its always a different joint. Sometimes it will be my hip for a few days, then a shoulder or a knee will join the party, but usually only one or two at a time. Of course this makes sleeping fun, NOT. I wake up several times a night, and I am stiff and achy.

At the end of June, we got a new mattress. It felt great in the store. Pretty soft, but not too soft. We have a platform bed, so when it was delivered it was a bit stiffer, but still felt pretty good. Fast forward a few weeks and I am more achy and stiff every morning. The store we bought it from will let us return it ONCE within 60 days, which of course is running out this weekend. Now I'm wondering if I should go with a really soft mattress or a firmer one. There is no refund of money, so if I go cheaper, I have to just forfeit the difference.

My question is, what type of mattress do you all sleep on, soft or firm? what type do you think is the best for achy, stiff joints? Whatever I switch this mattress for I will be stuck with for the next 10 years. My husband can sleep on a floor or a pillow, so he doesn't care what I get, its all my decision.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

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Date Joined Mar 2009
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   Posted 7/21/2010 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
My matress is firm which was fine, but when I lost loads of weight it was a nightmare made my joints hurt especially my hips I had to buy one of those memory foam matress topper. I think when my matress needs replacing I will go with a softer one. Bev x
Diagnosed with crohns at 13 now 43
Still battling with Doc's to get me on maintenance Meds only taking
Lomotil, 20mg citalopram,VSL#3 at the moment.

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Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 7/21/2010 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Definitely firm for me! I had a bilevel spinal fusion a few years ago so I've had a bad back for several years. When this Crohn's nonsense started up a few years ago my joints went haywire, I'm constantly in pain, much worse than my back. Anyway, with I firm mattress I get far more support and don't need to shift around so much in bed. It's just a personal preference thing, it just depends on what works for you. Since we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, you owe it to yourself to get a quality, comfortable mattress. Doesn't sound like your new mattress is working though, maybe try different one while you can still exchange it.
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Date Joined May 2009
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   Posted 7/21/2010 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I put one of those egg crate foam pads on my mattress and it makes a big difference; so comfy...
Cimzia, Asacol

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Date Joined Jan 2009
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   Posted 7/21/2010 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I like them firm. But I have a Tempur bed and its one of the best things in my life :)
25 year old female from Iceland.
Diagnosed with : Endometriosis march 2007, Anxiety disorder august 2007, CD/UC they don't know witch October 2008, Autoimmune Hepatitis in July 2009
Medication - Humira, Asacol, Librax, Cipralex and Cerazette.

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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 7/21/2010 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I have an adjustable bed. I had thought about one of those sleep number beds for the exact reason you stated, so that way you can change the softness or stiffness, but there can be problems if you live in a moldy prone enviro.
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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 7/21/2010 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Tempur-pedic for sure.  I luv my bed.  Helps with all the joint pain to get a good nites rest.  And I can sleep for hours straight and not move one bit. 
Current meds:  Remicade
Tried:  Prednisone, sulfasalzine, lialda, antibiotics, imuran
29 yr old female w/ crohn's colitis and SEVERE leg pain

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
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   Posted 7/21/2010 8:12 PM (GMT -7)   
We bought a new bed a few years ago before my joint pain started. I wish we had gotten a softer one but with good back support. Maybe memory foam. we put those crates on top and that helps quite a bit. Some people really like those select comfort beds too. You really don't know until you sleep on the bed for a while though.
d 1/09 with colitis sigmoid colon with some diverticular disease as well
IBS, high BP, fibromyalgia, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
claritin, diovan, progesterone, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D, colazal, plaquenil, omeprazole for reflux, wellbutrin, 5 mg prednisone/day.
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel ASCA
Positive ANA, LOTS of joint pain followed by a recent set back with the colitis.

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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6117
   Posted 7/21/2010 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
rubber covered hospital bed... when i got my hospital bed 7-8 years ago it came with the flimsiest thing you ever seen for a matress. then i had my nurse get me one that is made for long term bed ridden patients. quite a differance. still rubber covered but with a matrees cover and sheet you cant tell. sure helps when the TPN leaks etc.. :0)

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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1823
   Posted 7/22/2010 3:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't laugh...........I still have a waterbed! My husband doesn't sleep in it any more but I won't give it up. The heat helps greatly and when I sleep in a regular bed my whole body hurts. So I guess I'm more of a soft mattress person.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 7/22/2010 5:20 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband has back problems (spinal stenosis) and his doctor recommended that we get an orthopaedic mattress, which just means it has a lot of coils/springs.  My husband wanted a sleep number or tempur pedic, but I didn't want to spend that much and the doctor actually said the higher spring count would be better for him.  I think it's firmer, but has the huge pillow top, so it's pretty soft to lay on, but is very supportive.  But, laying in one position for too long still hurts me, so I have to move around during the night.  I've slept on the couch and have the same problem, so I don't think a different mattress would help me. 

Crohn's Disease with Arthritis, Non-Erosive Reflux Disease, Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Depression/Anxiety 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 6518
   Posted 7/22/2010 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a sleep number . Its great. Also adjustable so I can lift the head or legs just a bit when needed. Had a tempur-pedic. They soften as they get warm so if you keep your room very cool you have to warm it up each time you roll over so it gets soft . I found it way too firm. Big plus is my wifes side adjusts seperate from my side on the sleep number. Now if they only had a setting to turn off my mind I could get some rest.
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 7/22/2010 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
The sleep number has been one of the best investments I have ever made. It is pricier than most but I figure if I'm going to spend 6 hours in it a day ( 1/4th of my life) it's worth it!

Currently taking: started Humira 07.13.10
Recently tried 6MP and developed pancreatitis
Allergic to mesalamines
Developed antibodies to Remicade after 1 year

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 7/22/2010 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I couldn't afford a full tempurpedic bed so I bought a topper off a shopping channel. Best 150.00 I ever spent. The foam supports me where I need it and lets me sink in where I am heavier. I wake up fully rested. I honestly beleive I move very little to at all at night as I wake up in the last position I remember being in.
Dx with crohns February 25, 2010. But suspect I had it since 2002 with very mild symptoms.
4 lialda a day.
3 entocort daily for the next few months
hyosamine for daytime
Bentyl for evening

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 7/22/2010 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a temperpedic-and love it.
However, the most comfortable bed I have ever had is a double hight air matress with a temperpedic type pad built into it.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/23/2010 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
We have an off-brand sleep number, not too expensive does the same things as the sleep number, just doesn't have the numbers. Recently added a 4" memory foam topper. Love it!
Dx Crohn's in 1998. Unable to tolerate most meds. Subtotal Colectomy last September. Currently on Humira and prednisone.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 7/23/2010 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Was the mattress on a platform bed in the store? A mattress sitting atop a box spring is going to feel different than on a platform bed.  
If not, then you might want to try a mattress on the store's platform beds. If they have no platform beds, you can ask them to put it on the floor and then lie on it and test it. (They might have mattresses in plastic in the back of the store - they could also just throw these down on the floor for you to test.)
Too firm or too soft are both probably going to leave you feeling achey. If you try your best and still end up with a lemon, you could try GDen's egg crate foam. My daughter seemed to do OK on the egg crate foam, atop the horrible mattresses at her college.
The following article about mattresses might help. First, she quotes a National Foundation for Spinal Health orthopedic surgeon, but then dismisses his suggestions because she finds out the foundation accepts money from mattress companies. However, his suggestions seem to make sense to me.  

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 7/23/2010 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I went back today and "felt" the one we bought. It is definitely softer in the store, even though the sales lady told me that their beds were set up to specifically simulate a platform bed. So I switched it for the one that we had been deciding between. We thought it was too soft before. I think when it is delivered it will be just right. And then everyone can call me Goldilocks!

The mattress we just got rid of had been too hard and we ended up putting a temper-pedic topper on it. After about 3 or 4 years it lost its magic so it was either buy a new topper or buy a new mattress. I was afraid to go with an all temper-pedic one because the topper didn't last all that long and I spent about $400 on it.

Hopefully this works, if not I know what I'll be getting for my birthday and my Christmas present! Another temper-pedic topper.

Thanks for all the advice.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

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