About a year ago, I used to wake up every morning feeling stiff and achy with numbness and prickly sensations in my legs and toes. After months of discomfort, I finally decided to do something about it. I realized the culprit is my ageing mattress, which had sagged around the lumbar area and caused my spinal discs to compress and irritate my sciatic nerves.
According to conventional wisdom, I should get a new mattress; however, I did not want to send my old mattress to the landfill, knowing how wasteful and environmentally harmful it is. I opted for an alternative solution, which is to get a new mattress topper and put it on top of my existing mattress. Unfortunately, my sciatica pain only marginally improved.
I looked for other solutions and found one commonly recommended by chiropractors, which is to place a small pillow under the lower back. This does help, but not quite enough. After trying various materials of different density, firmness, size, and thickness, I decided to use solid wood boards, which provide the most support. I designed a canvas cover to hold three panels of boards so that they can flex with the body and also fold up for easy travelling.
I got a prototype made by my production team and placed it under my mattress topper. I noticed a significant improvement right away after just one night of sleep. After a week, the numbness and tingling sensations in my leg and feet went away completely.
I got more prototypes made and gave them to family and friends to try. Everyone loves them. It turns out that we all can benefit from more support in the lumbar area because that's where our bodies weigh the most and thus sink the deepest into our mattresses.
I named my invention "Lumbar Jack
" because it elevates the lumbar region. I want to share my experience to help those who suffer from morning aches as I did and to stop people from replacing their mattresses every 7-10 years, per "sleep experts" such as Better Sleep Council
Millions of mattresses end up in the landfill each year. Even with recycling, mattress disposals require enormous resources. Unlike an appliance or a computer, a mattress can last a lifetime. Although a new mattress provides more comfort than an old one, it will still sag around the lumbar region. The real cause for backache is not the mattress but the uneven weight distribution of our bodies. Therefore, the only lasting solution is not replacing the whole mattress, but to add support to the existing mattress where our bodies weigh the most - the back and hip area.
With the Lumbar Jack
, your back will feel great, and you will never need to buy a new mattress ever again.
Bei Linda Tang
February 7, 2020