In addition, the Victorians tended to think that back pain was not caused or cured by the sort of mattress you had, but by the kidneys. So they turned to all sorts of pills and potions to try and purify, regulate and generally tone up their kidneys.
Dr. John Sargent's Backache Pills, shown on the right as advertised in 1871, also linked backache to problems of the kidneys and of the bladder. This ad tells us that back pain "is caused by chronic inflammation of the kidneys" and that like Dr. Hobbs, Dr. Sargent's remedy for back pain was in essence a diuretic. They were sugar-coated, just like Dr. Sargent's Anti-Dyspeptic and Liver Pills, which would cure you of a number of other ailments including bilious attacks, jaundice and "Sick Head-ache."
Swain's Back-Ache and Kidney Pills were available in the 1890s and early 1900s. Swain's ads urged the reader to "Expel the Poison and Make Life a Joy" and not only clear up the kidneys but to combat "weariness and sleeplessness."
Whether any of these pills and potions would have helped your back pain while trying to sleep on a horsehair mattress is another matter. I'm just glad I live in an age where you can address back pain with modern high tech mattresses.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all the the points and views are my own.