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Back Pain Is a Beast: How to Find the Best Mattress for Back Pain

posted by Chris Valentine

No one should ever have to wake up with back pain, and your mattress could be the cause. Click here for tips on how to find the best mattress for back pain to improve you health.

Every year, millions of Americans struggle with back pain. In fact, 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to back pain. One of the most common causes, though, is sleeping on an old or improper mattress.

Has it been a while since you got a new mattress? Do you think your mattress is the wrong type of your needs? 

If so, it might be time to spring for a new one. Read on to learn some tips that will help you find the best mattress for back pain.

Is Your Mattress Responsible for Your Back Pain?

How can you know if your mattress is the cause of your back pain? If you need help deciding whether or not a new mattress will help reduce your pain, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is your pain the worst first thing in the morning after you wake up?
  • Does your pain go away when you sleep in a different bed (while you’re on vacation, for example)?
  • Is your mattress more than five years old?
  • Are there sagging spots or lumps in your mattress?

If you answered, “yes” to at least one of these questions, your mattress is likely contributing to, if not causing, your back pain.

How to Choose the Best Mattress for Back Pain

As you can see, there are a lot of ways in which your mattress can contribute to your back pain. There are so many different mattresses on the market, though. How do you decide which one is right for you? 

Here are some guidelines to help you sort through the different mattresses and make the right choice to minimize your back pain:

Keep Your Spine Aligned

The best mattress is one that keeps the spine properly aligned. Remember, your posture matters just as much when you’re asleep as when you’re awake. 

What does proper spinal alignment look like? The key is to focus on the following three curves of the spine:

  • The C-shaped curve of the cervical spine (in the neck)
  • A reverse C-shaped curve of the thoracic spine (in the middle of the upper back)
  • The C-shaped curve of the lumbar spine (in the lower back)

If any of these curves are not maintained while you’re sleeping, you’ll likely wake up with pain in the neck or back.

If your mattress is too firm or too soft, your neck and back won’t be supported properly and you’ll have a hard time maintaining the ideal alignment of the spine.

Choose Medium-Firm

If you’re not sure which level of firmness to choose for your mattress, a medium-firm mattress is a pretty safe option to choose.

Medium-firm mattresses are, for most people, the most forgiving option. They will help you maintain proper spinal alignment and minimize your discomfort and potential for back pain.

Take a Long Test-Drive

You can’t get a good idea of whether a specific mattress is right for you if you’re only lying on it for a few minutes in a showroom while a salesperson hovers over you. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, and you can’t really determine the benefits of a mattress unless you sleep on it for a few nights.

These days, lots of businesses offer extended test drives to help you decide whether or not a mattress is a good fit for you. Consider buying from one of these companies. Some of them even let you test a mattress for several months before you make a decision!

Don’t Get Hung Up on Price

It’s easy to think that it’s best to buy the most expensive mattress on the market.

It’s true that there are plenty of expensive mattresses that are of very high quality and will help to reduce your back pain. At the same time, though, there are lots of less expensive mattresses that work just as well, if not better. 

If you can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on a mattress, don’t worry. You can still find a good option without breaking the bank.

That being said, it’s best not to go too cheap with a mattress, either. You’re going to be sleeping on this thing every night for the next several years, after all.

Choose the Right Material

There are a few different types of material that can be good options for a mattress.

If you struggle with back pain, memory foam can feel very nice on your back. You might also want to consider a latex mattress or an orthopedic innerspring mattress.

Memory foam mattresses provide plenty of support and help to relieve pressure points. This, in turn, minimizes pain.

Latex mattresses are very springy and allow for natural support and body contouring.

Innerspring mattresses are made up of thousands of individual springs, each of which is pocketed inside the fabric. These mattresses offer full-body support.

Consider Pillows and Sleep Positions

While your mattress can definitely play a huge role in your back pain, remember that your pillows matter, too. Look for pillows that are a good height and don’t force your neck into an unnatural position. 

Monitor your sleep position, too.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach (this can force your neck into a bad position) and put too much pressure on the spine. Try to sleep on your back or side (possibly with a pillow between your knees to keep the hips aligned) to minimize your discomfort.

Need Help Managing Back Pain?

A new mattress can go a long way when it comes to managing back pain.

Now that you know how to choose the best mattress for back pain, it’s time to start shopping for the best one for you and your needs!

Do you need more help keeping your back pain? If so, we have lots of articles on our site that can be helpful.

Start by checking out this article on chiropractic care.

It will help you decide whether or not it will be a good complementary therapy when paired with your new mattress.

 

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