Learn how to find the best mattress for a bad back.
Are you trying to find a good mattress for back pain? One of the hardest medical conditions to cure and treat are those relating to chronic back pain, and it’s something that affects millions of people around the world every day.
Over and over, you find people searching the ends of the world for the best mattress for a bad back in order to get a little relief. Mainly because, along with debated chiropractic treatments, having a comfortable place to get great sleep seems to aid the most when it comes to preventing and reducing back pain.
While identifying the single best or most perfect mattress remains a hotly contested topic, opinion polls and sleep professionals have indicated that specific types are better than others when it comes to pain management and support.
What Does Chronic Back Pain Have to Do With Mattresses?
It has been reported that the majority of back pain is caused by either an injury, occupational strain, the daily stresses of sleeping on a hard or uneven surface, or a combination of the above. Even amongst younger people, it’s is a big problem, being the top cause of disability in people under 45 years old.
While a lot prevention efforts focus on daytime habits, while a person sleeps many things go on in their bodies that are related to their backs. For instance, while sleeping, pressure is gradually released from the vertebrae. This is because the person is lying; not standing, therefore the upper portion of the body is not applying pressure to the spinal cord.
Under these conditions, when a person initially awakes, they can be up to one inch taller compared to their height at the end of the night. As they progress through the day, pressure returns with gravity and with things like poor posture, which compress the spine throughout the day.
Your spine and the muscle supporting it rest while you sleep at night. As you settle into a horizontal sleep position, proper alignment and support is essential to reducing and avoiding soreness over the several hours you’re in bed.
There is also a pain and sleep paradox of sorts. Pain can certainly make it harder to get comfortable and enjoy a great night’s sleep, while at the same time, getting poor sleep can increase the severity and perception of pain. Choosing a comfortable bed thus yields several important benefits: easing current soreness and pains, reducing pain severity, facilitating better rest, and preventing new aches.
Is the Best Mattress for Back Pain Soft, Medium, or Firm?
Maybe it’s neither or a combination of two? It has long since been believed that a firm bed was the best choice for people who suffer from back pain, however, a study conducted in Spain in 2009 on 313 adult individuals, revealed that the sleepers generally reported less pain on a medium-firm bed versus a firm bed.
In a general sense, medium-firm mattresses are the most recommended, especially for back sleepers.
This has been a long debate between orthopedic doctors and chiropractors. Orthopedic doctors recommend firm mattresses, while chiropractors recommend medium-firm mattresses. The study revealed that the majority of chiropractors were probably right. Since then, other studies have supported their conclusion.
In a general sense, medium-firm mattresses are the most recommended, especially for back sleepers. People with preexisting conditions sometimes require a moderately firm sleeping surface in order to heal properly from strains, and other injuries. Side sleepers might prefer options more in medium ranges to better cushion hips and shoulder.
Can a Mattress Topper Help?
An additional point to highlight is that many chiropractors believe that if the sleeper does not own a memory foam bed or if their current bed is too firm the best thing to do is to lay a 1 ½- 2 ½ inch thick memory foam padding on the sleep surface. Make sure the mattress isn’t sagging yet or your pain may not be alleviated with a topper.
While a mattress pad aides comfort and can help with support to some degree, it does not give the sleeper the deep advantages a memory foam or latex mattress does. All foam beds offer more pressure less support, mold/dust mite resistance, and longevity. The breath ability and comfort advantages of memory foam make it an overall good choice for pain, and it’s most likely to be comfortable to the largest percent of the population.
A whole mattress is tall enough to allow the sleeper's body to sink in the proper distances in the right spots. A 1 ½ -2 ½ inch topper can only do so much.
Quality memory foam or latex foams are hypoallergenic, meaning they are less likely to cause allergic reactions in people. Also, all natural models of latex and low-VOC memory foams can drastically reduce chemical exposure, which is important for those with sensitivities.