When your back hurts, it affects everything you do. The National Institutes of Health interviewed patients to find out how their chronic pain impacted life and work, and almost all patients said their pain disrupted their relationships with spouses or partners. Many said pain interfered with their children, other family members and friends. Nearly all said chronic pain affected their work. They said they appreciated the support of family and friends, but had concerns about causing them worry and feared the financial problems that might result if they lost their job due to pain. If you experience chronic back pain, your mattress might be to blame.
The Connection Between Back Pain and Your Mattress
Back pain is usually caused by repeated strain from your job, an injury, sleeping on the wrong type of surface, or a mix of the three. Back pain doesn’t discriminate by age either. For people under 45, it’s the leading cause of disability.
Your muscles and ligaments work hard to support you all day, and your spine provides the structure that helps you sit and walk upright. When you sleep, your body is meant to completely rest and recover from the day’s activities. A good mattress provides support.
Over time, mattresses wear out. The foam and coils become compressed by repeated use and no longer provide the support your body needs. Instead, your muscles experience strain and your spine is forced out of alignment. Most mattresses only last about eight years, after which they should be replaced.
How to Know if Your Mattress Is to Blame
When you think of that relaxed Saturday-morning feeling you may believe that your mattress feels like heaven. Just because your bed feels comfortable doesn’t mean it’s good for your back. Even if you love your mattress, it might be disturbing your sleep and contorting your spine. Watch for these signs that it’s time to shop for a replacement.
- You wake up several times during the night and you aren’t sure why.
- You have a hard time getting comfortable so you can fall asleep.
- When you lie in some positions, you feel your aches, pains or feelings of pressure increase.
- When you lie down, it feels like your bed is so soft it swallows you.
- Your back pain improves once you get up and move around.
You should always see your healthcare professional, so he or she can evaluate chronic pain. Once you evaluate the possibility of an injury, you can focus on finding a mattress replacement. Even if an injury was the original cause of your pain, your mattress could be making it worse or keeping it from healing. If you’re not sure how your current mattress impacts your upper or lower back pain, complete an online sleep evaluation.
Back Pain and Sleep Posture
Before you try to find the best bed for back pain, evaluate the way you sleep. Your mother told you to sit and stand up straight because good posture keeps your body in proper alignment. Posture also matters when you sleep. Good sleep posture decreases skeletal strain and minimizes back pain.
Your spine should be in a neutral position no matter whether you sleep on your back, stomach or side. The best way to sleep is on your back, because it distributes weight evenly and allows all parts of your body to be properly aligned. Place a pillow in the hollow between your neck and mattress to provide support.
If you sleep on your side, notice the line from your hips to your knees. If there’s a slope from the top hip down, your sleep posture causes your spine to twist and pulls other parts of your body out of alignment. Place a pillow between your knees to create a straight line instead. Alternate sides so you don’t always put pressure on just one shoulder. Choose a pillow for your head that keeps your head and neck in a neutral position throughout the night.
If you sleep on your stomach, it’s the worst position for your back. Next time you lie down, notice the tension when your neck twists to one side and the twisting you create with your knees. Transition to sleeping on your back or your side instead.
Choosing the Best Mattress for Back Pain
A new mattress might be all it takes to help you get a good night’s sleep and recover from the pain you’ve been feeling for so long. Mattresses that support your spine will relieve back pain from sleeping.
Some studies indicate a firm bed is the best bed for reducing back pain, but sometimes the stiff springs and supportive materials that make it firm can feel like pressure against hips, shoulders and other joints. Many sleepers find medium-firm beds provide adequate support along with the softness they prefer.
When you’re searching for the best mattress for lower back pain, look for a unit that keeps the heaviest part of your body from sinking out of alignment. Most people are heaviest in the hips and stomach, so that’s the first part of the mattress to start to sag. When you try out a mattress, choose one that allows you to remain in a position where your spine is neutral, but also feels comfortable enough to rest.
Experience the Best Bed for Back Pain with IntelliBed
Intellibed mattresses combine both comfort and support making them the best mattress for back pain. Our steel innersprings work together to keep your skeletal system in healthy alignment no matter what position you choose. However, you won’t feel the springs because they’re covered with a Gel Matrix cushioning layer. This medical-grade cushioning was patented by Intellibed and offers three times the support of foam, but it’s much softer. It provides your body with just the right blend of comfort and support all night long.
Intellibed makes three types of mattress, all of which contain Gel Matrix. Our medical-grade mattress was designed to eliminate back pain and is approved by Surgeon and Sleep Specialist Robert Troell. Prevent both upper and lower back pain and experience night after night of restful sleep.