Do you experience persistent back pain? Could your aging mattress be exacerbating your discomfort? You’re not alone in this struggle. Frequently, mattresses are pinpointed as culprits behind backaches, yet many of us neglect to invest in suitable replacements. This oversight often leads to chronic back pain that persists over time. Despite the accessibility of mattresses designed to alleviate pain, we often make misguided purchases influenced by low costs and enticing advertisements. To break this cycle, consider our guidance on selecting the optimal mattress to alleviate and prevent back pain.
How Do You Develop Chronic Back Pain?
Before delving into tips for selecting the ideal mattress for your back, it’s crucial to understand why this effort is essential. Surprisingly, you spend nearly one-third of your life sleeping. Failing to uphold the proper spine mechanics during this time can result in insufficient support for crucial areas, ultimately contributing significantly to back pain.
Let us delve a bit deeper into the basics of spinal anatomy. Your spine is a robust support structure that shields your spinal cord, holds your head up, helps your entire body stay erect, and makes it flexible. It has three sections, including the ‘C’-shaped cervical spine (7 vertebrae), the reverse ‘C’-shaped thoracic spine (12 vertebrae), and the ‘C’-shaped lumbar spine (5 vertebrae). These three gentle curves are essential for supporting your head, upper body, and lower back. Hence, you need to maintain these curves while standing and sleeping.
If you do not support your spinal curves, you develop stress on your backbones and back muscles. Without proper attention, it increases over time and leads to chronic back pain.
How Does Your Mattress Affect Your Back?
Every time you let your body, especially your spine, stay in the same position without a break (for over 20 minutes), you ‘mold’ yourself to that position slightly. Likewise, if you spend 7-9 hours sleeping in the wrong position every night, you are ruining your spine completely. And it mostly happens due to the bad mattress. So here comes the importance of choosing a good mattress. It will help your back maintain the appropriate position throughout the night and ease your back pain effectively. (1)
Tips To Pick The Best Mattress For Countering Back Pain
The best mattress for countering back pain should be neither hard nor soft. But if you pick one that is affordable and ‘looks’ comfortable, you will repent. So, here is all that you need to consider while purchasing a new mattress for your achy back. (2)
1. Memory Foam Mattresses
Although it is difficult to recommend a particular type of mattress for back pain, memory foam mattresses are far better than others (spring, air, water, etc.). Being made of a temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material, they react to the body temperature and reduce pressure points effectively. At first, a memory foam mattress feels very hard and cold but absorbs your body heat as soon as you lie down on it and starts providing enough support to the correct areas by conforming to the body shape. It also keeps you warm and supported by holding warm air close to your body during winter.
An approproate pillow helps in making the most of a good mattress. Keep one under your knees or between your legs while lying on your back or your side respectively.
2. Water Or Air Mattresses
If you do not have enough options for memory foam mattresses, opt for water or air mattresses, as they also offer excellent back support. Unlike old models, modern-day waterbeds and airbeds are filled with capsules that prevent one side from moving up when you sit down on the other side. As a result, these beds are handy if your sleeping partner has different needs. Depending on the back support required, one side of such beds can be made softer or firmer.
3. Medium-Firm Mattresses
Mattresses come in different textures and have varying firmness levels. Most people mistake choosing soft or extra soft mattresses to improve their lower back problems. However, studies by the Kovacs Foundation showed that patients who used medium-firm mattresses were more likely to improve lower back pain.
4. Return Policy
It would be best to look for a brand that offers a 60-day to 120-day return policy on purchasing their mattress. Generally, it takes 2-3 weeks for your back to adjust to a new mattress. If the product comes with a convenient return policy, you can easily use it, try it out, and return it without any hassle if it does not improve your existing back pain or aggravates it. You will probably not receive a 100% refund for this, but this is much better than suffering from a backache every night.
Also Read – Indulge In Sprouts For A Trimmer Waistline!
When Should You Change Your Mattress?
Lastly, learn when to replace your old mattress with a new pain-relieving one. Whether you have an underlying spinal dysfunction or not, you must remember these rules of thumb:
- The quality of your mattress determines its lifespan. But you must evaluate its condition every 6-7 years, especially if you wake up with a backache daily.
- Your spine undergoes degenerative changes as you age. The support provided by your old mattress may not be sufficient for it over time. So, keep trying new mattresses every few years.
Finally, a word of caution. If nothing seems to help your back pain, please contact a doctor immediately. The constant pain may indicate a hidden medical condition; in that case, you should get it checked by a medical professional as quickly as possible.
Are you enduring back pain? Your aging mattress might be aggravating it. Despite accessible pain-relieving mattresses, misguided purchases influenced by low prices persist. Understand the importance of spinal mechanics during sleep, spending one-third of your life in bed. Failing to maintain proper spine mechanics contributes significantly to back pain. Optimal mattresses provide better support, like memory foam, water, or air mattresses. Choose medium-firm mattresses, and consider a return policy. Evaluate your mattress every 6-7 years, especially if you wake up with backaches, and view medical consultation if pain persists.