Are you suffering from chronic back pain? Is your old mattress making your suffering even worse? Well, you are not the only one. Our mattresses are often considered the root cause of our backaches, and most of us fail to replace them with the right ones. This makes back pain chronic, and we suffer throughout our lives. Though finding pain-relieving mattresses is relatively easy, we purchase the wrong mattresses after being swayed by low prices and captivating advertisements. To prevent this from happening, you have to look at our tips for choosing the best mattress to counter back pain.
How Do You Develop Chronic Back Pain?
Before exploring the tips to pick the most suitable mattress for your back, it is essential to know why you should put so much of your effort into it. You may be surprised to see that you spend almost one-third of your life sleeping. If you do not maintain the proper mechanics of your spine throughout this time, you will fail to provide adequate support to all crucial areas across it, thereby encouraging back pain to a large extent.
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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 3 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, respectively. Hence, you need to maintain these curves while standing and sleeping.
If you do not provide the right amount of support to your spinal curves, you end up developing 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 more than around 20 minutes), you ‘mold’ yourself to that specific position slightly. Likewise, if you spend 7-9 hours in the wrong position every night during sleeping, you are ruining your spine completely. And it mostly happens due to the wrong 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.
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Tips To Pick The Best Mattress For Countering Back Pain
The best mattress for countering back pain should be neither too hard nor too soft. But if you pick one that comes affordable and ‘looks’ comfortable, you will repent for sure. So, here is all that you need to consider while purchasing a new mattress for your achy back.
1. Memory Foam Mattresses
Although it is difficult to recommend a particular type of mattress for back pain, memory foam mattresses are known to be 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 great 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 particularly useful if your sleeping partner has different needs. Depending on the back support required, one side of such beds can also be made softer or firmer than the other.
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
You should always look for a brand that offers a 60-day to 120-day return policy on purchasing their mattress. Generally, it takes about 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 still, this is much better than suffering from a backache every night.
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When Should You Change Your Mattress?
Last but not least, 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 backache every day.
- 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 get in touch with a doctor immediately. The constant pain may indicate a hidden medical condition, and in that case, you should get it checked by a medical professional as quickly as possible.