We feel your (back) pain and think it’s time you fixed it!
Achy back? We’ve all suffered through one at least once. Maybe you’ve lived with yours for so long that you’ve learned to ignore the pain. It always seems to be the same reasons too. You slept in a weird position, sat at a computer for 9 hours or all that yard work from the weekend finally caught up to you. But what if it isn’t all those things?
What if your mattress is responsible for your bad back?
If you suffer from back pain, injury or an autoimmune disorder, a good night’s sleep can be more powerful and longer lasting than muscle relaxants. But if your old and sagging mattress is standing between you and the best sleep possible, your back may be the victim. Muscles, ligaments, tendons and disks can only fully rest and work towards a healthier you when you’re sleeping. And then you’re caught in an unending loop of sleepless nights and pain-filled mornings.
Choosing the best mattress for your bad back
If you suffer from back pain, starting the search for a new mattress can be frustrating. What if you make the wrong choice? The good news is that there is a mattress out there that can ease your back pain.
Sleep comfort is a very personal experience, which explains why there are so different types of mattresses on the market. What feels good to you may not feel good to your best friend or the sales person – and that’s okay.
Knowing what to look for can help you choose the best mattress for you and your back.
- Support matters. Your new mattress should support the heaviest parts of your body where your natural curves are located (your head, shoulders and hips). The best mattress will support your spine at all points while allowing it to maintain its natural “S” curve. Hint: you’ll know it’s a supportive mattress if you can lie comfortably on your back without tensing your muscles.
- Size matters. According to experts, we all move 40-60 times when sleeping each night. If you sleep with a partner, you may need more space to allow for all that rocking and rolling. King size mattresses offer sprawlers an opportunity to move freely throughout the night without disturbing their partner. Hint: lay on the mattress with your partner and stretch your arms out. If you feel cramped when you’re awake, it will be worse when you’re sleeping
- Comfort matters. How firm or how soft should your mattress be? This is where things can get tricky. Our personal comfort choices vary so dramatically that there’s no one size (or comfort) that fits all when it comes to mattresses. Hint: when you travel, pay attention to the firmness of the mattress and how you feel throughout the day. Compare that to how you feel at home and you’ll know if you need to go firmer or softer.
Choosing the right mattress based on your natural sleep posture is important too. Your new mattress needs to be firm enough to provide spinal support but soft enough to contour your body. Simple, right?
- Firm mattress for your bad back? A mattress that’s too firm can cause the parts of your body in direct contact with your mattress to feel an increased and uncomfortable amount of pressure and discomfort – such as your shoulders, back and hips. On the flip side, the other parts of your body not in direct contact with your mattress can lack the proper support and produce pushing against your spine. Ouch!
- Plush mattress for your bad back? If a mattress is too soft, your spine be adequately supported throughout the night. You may feel like you’re sinking into the mattress, making it harder to roll over in the middle in the night. Who wants to wake up just to roll over? This stuck feeling can lead to sensations of numbness, tingling and aching.
- Too hard? Too soft? Well, Goldilocks, what’s just right for you? When it comes to buying a new mattress for your bad back, a medium firm support mattress will help relieve pressure points, while supporting your muscles and bone structure. A mattress that offers both support and comfort, with today’s newest combination of mattress technology is a hybrid mattress. With latex and memory foam to comfort and cradle the contours of your body and innersprings to support and provide pressure point relief, a hybrid mattress can be the best choice for you and your bad back.
- Will an adjustable base help my bad back? Many people with chronic medical conditions and debilitating back problems support their mattress with an adjustable base. The ability to adjust move the head and foot of the bed independently allows you to choose a variety of sleep positions throughout the night, reducing pressure and pain on muscles, joints and bones.
If you have back problems our best advice is get yourself to a mattress store and try before you buy. While support can become scientific (not to mention confusing) at times, comfort will always be subjective. Spending time on different mattresses in the store is the best way to find what fits you.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- 17 super-useful sleep hacks
- Should you make your bed in the morning?
- Sleep masks and earplugs and why they’re good for your sleep