So, one of my default lines when somebody asks me why I sleep in a hammock is, "Because my back hasn't gone out since I started". I can't use that line anymore. But, I'm actually kind of happy about it.
I got old on Friday; turned 40. I know, not much left to get excited about except senior discounts at the movies and cheap coffee at McDonalds. As an early birthday present the fates sent me a wacked back. I've been laid-up in my hammock since Thursday and VERY heavily sedated on painkillers and muscle relaxants. I can sort of walk today, sort of.
Here's why I'm happy. Since I was 14 and tried to move a gym wall with my head and spine (diving for a basketball that was headed OB; I made the save BTW), I've had back problems. At least once a year, usually twice, my back would go out. When I say "go out", I don't mean sore. I mean I can't move until it decides to let me. Played HS & College football like that, even spent 2 years on a crew (rowing) team. Kind of got used to being an invalid for a couple of weeks every year.
When I was examining hammocks for my AT hike, I discovered after sleeping in one for 3 nights I didn't feel any pain in the mornings, which was a standard at the time. I made the switch to a full-time hanger immediately and until last week, never had another big issue with my back. It has gotten sore a few times and felt like it was on the edge of going out, but never did it cross that line.
So, all in all, hammocks have helped me live for 3 years and 3 months without my back failing. I will happily accept severe pain every three years in lieu of bi-annually. Just wanted to throw this out there to provide something a bit better than anecdotal evidence that hammocks are beneficial to back problems.