There was a time when the common thinking for a mattress suitable for dealing with back pain was firmer is better. This isn’t always the case and it is not a claim supported by research. Picking the right mattress to deal with back problems, lower back pain, or neck strain can be challenging. Choosing what feels the most comfortable is important. But just because a mattress feels good in the showroom, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be the right fit for you or your back health.
Here are some helpful tips that may be very useful in figuring out what mattress you want to invest in when suffering from back pain.
Keep Your Spine Straight And Well Aligned
Back support is key, but finding what will best provide it to you is not always easy. Your spine has many ligaments and many joints that use them. These ligaments need to relax, stretch, and recover while you sleep. If your mattress isn’t the right firmness in the right places for your back, this can create a strain on these ligaments and not allow them to be relaxed or recover from the day’s usage. If the ligaments remain tight and stiff, it can even aggravate muscles in your back that are trying to compensate for this tension. Finding that Goldilocks zone of not too firm and not too soft is different for everybody and there are many factors to consider. The right mattress for you should support your natural healthy posture and help keep your spine in an optimum positioning for tension relief, muscle support, and recovery.
Your Body Type Is Important
There is no golden rule to finding the right mattress for your back. Ultimately, your personal preference and comfort should be the deciding factor. Your body specifics can be important in informing your decision of what may feel best for you and give you the most supportive sleep environment to keep your back healthy and pain-free.
Your body composition is very important. More weight on top or bottom-heavy? 5’2 or 6’6? Narrow hips or wider hips? Your body type informs the density, firmness, and support that will best suit you.
Positioning And Neck Support Are Key
Even with a quality mattress, how you sleep is a necessary thing to think about. Side sleepers may need to consider a bit of extra softness to reduce pressure on the shoulder and hip. Back sleepers need a certain level of firmness, but also need to allow their spines to contour some to their sleep surface. Stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to keep from sagging. Neck support is also worth considering. Finding the right pillow for your sleep positioning preference can go a long way to reducing both neck and back strain.
The Benefits of Medium-Firm Mattresses
Firmness and support should not be confused. Studies of firmness relating to support in mattresses are still fresh, and as discussed, body specificity is important to what level of firmness will work best for you. However, recent studies have suggested that optimum support is provided by a medium-firm mattress and results show a trend towards significant back pain relief. A mattress that is over-firm can result in strain and pressure points that result in increased back pain in some cases. Comfort is key to reduce muscle strain, as well as having adequate support to keep a well-aligned spine and to relieve tension. A medium-firmness allows for a good balance of both. Finding the right ratio can be a matter of research and test driving for personal preference. However, the days of firmer being better for a sore back has passed.
Memory foam has the ability to contour to the spine and may be worth considering, instead of traditional spring mattresses. There are also higher-end mattresses that are specifically designed to aid in specific contouring of the spine, though these are often very expensive. The level of back pain you experience could be worth the investment. It is important to note that more expensive does not always mean better, nor does it correlate to back pain relief.
Take Notes And Test Drive Thoroughly
Consider your choice carefully. The test process may take some time. Feeling good in the showroom may not indicate what a few weeks of sleep will feel like. Many companies now offer money-back guarantees and 30 to 100 day test periods. Take advantage of this, if offered, to take the time to feel how your body reacts to a new mattress. Have you ever stayed at a hotel or overnight in a guest room while visiting family and friends, and woken up having had the best night’s sleep of your life? Take notes. Look into the mattress composition, build, and even manufacturer. Nothing beats the first-hand experience.
Recent research has suggested new approaches to mattresses treating back pain. Information supporting medium firm-mattresses and new technologies in mattress construction has come a long way to providing the right support for sufferers of back pain. Most considerations in choosing the right mattress for back support and pain relief are variable, and taking the time to consider your own specific needs and to explore different options can help lead to the pain relief and comfort you’ve been looking for. With some time and patience, the right mattress for your back can be found and the relief it brings can change everything. Also, sometimes seeing a chiropractor in Atlanta is necessary.