How Can a Mattress Affect Back Pain?
Back pain can be debilitating, but it's common among adults. There are many reasons why adults experience back pain, and a good mattress may help alleviate discomfort.
Back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting adults. In fact, about 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes.
Back pain may be caused by:
- Natural spine degeneration
Sprains and strains, possibly caused by twisting or lifting improperly or overstretching
Herniated or ruptured discs
Compression, inflammation or injury to a spinal nerve root
Narrowing of the spinal column
If you're sleep deprived, you may be exacerbating back pain. Chronic sleep loss can weaken your tolerance for pain.
Beds are often considered a culprit for back pain. However, mattresses are just one aspect of an environment that affects back pain. If you're living with back pain, buying a new bed may not cure your back pain. But some mattresses are better than others at supporting your spine.
How a Mattress Can Relieve Back Pain
Choosing the right bed can help alleviate back pain. The best mattress for back pain is one that keeps your spine aligned and relieves your body's pressure points.
Mattresses are not one size fits all, so finding the right one to alleviate your back pain means you'll need to consider how you sleep and what feels comfortable to you. It's important to look at different factors that can influence how well a mattress meets your needs:
Firmness. The firmness of a mattress can affect how well it alleviates back pain. If it's is too firm, it will lack support for pressure points. Mattresses that are too soft allow the body to sink down, causing misalignment in the spine. Typically, a medium-firm mattress is best for most people and sleeping positions.
Support. A mattress that supports the natural curve of the spine can reduce stiffness and pain. This alignment relieves pressure on the body's hips and shoulders, which are major pressure points.
Durability. Your mattress needs to stand up to use night after night. If it starts to give out or sag, you won't be able to get spinal support. Look for a quality mattress that you can expect to last for several years.
Other Sleep Factors That Influence Back Pain
Back pain is often caused by actions that occur when you're not sleeping, such as working at a desk, overextending yourself, or an injury. But how you sleep can affect back pain as well. Consider these other sleep factors that may cause or alleviate your back pain.
Your pillow. Your pillow plays a role in spinal alignment because it supports your neck. Make sure you're not sleeping on too many pillows, and look for one that can offer the support you need.
Your sleep position. Certain sleep positions can add pressure to your body and lead to pain. Sleeping on your stomach is generally not a good idea, as it flattens your spine and strains your back muscles and neck. Sleeping on your back or side is a much better choice. If you're a back sleeper, use a pillow under your knees to support your spine's natural curve. Side sleepers can put a pillow between their knees to relieve back strain.