The Best Mattress for Back Pain and What Else Can Help
If you wake up stiff with a sore back, you may have a bad mattress. Don’t take back pain lying down. Take a proactive part in relieving pain and discomfort.
If your mattress is too old, too soft, or too hard, it could cause back pain that starts when you wake up and spans the whole day. To prevent pain, you can start by choosing a mattress that is best for avoiding back pain, then you should consider other, natural ways for easing and even preventing back pain.
Waking up in pain can affect how you feel, act, and work for the rest of the day. So finding a mattress that doesn’t hurt your back is important to your overall quality of life. If you feel that your mattress is causing you pain, it may be time to buy a new one — and you’ll most certainly want the perfect mattress to prevent back pain.
Unfortunately, we can’t really name one mattress as the best brand. There is no best mattress. However, there is a best mattress for you. And here’s how you find it.
What Is the Perfect Firmness For a Mattress?
We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. However, oftentimes when choosing a mattress, we look for initial comfort and even price, rather than finding the ideal mattress for our personal needs.
Many mattress companies claim to have the perfect mattress, but the problem with that mindset is that there isn’t one perfect type of mattress that is best for everyone in the world. In fact, a study from 2011 showed that when given seven beds of varying firmness, people all chose different beds as “the best.”
Doctors used to recommend hard mattresses for people suffering from back pain; however, more studies now show that medium firm mattresses are the best for comfort, quality of sleep, and spinal alignment. In fact, one report from 2014 revealed that hard mattresses were the least effective in treating lower back pain.
Unfortunately, terms like “hard” and “medium firm” are subjective, so what one person — or company — defines as “medium firm” may not be the same for another mattress or another person.
The fact that there exists beds like the Sleep Number Bed, which allows the ability to change the firmness of the mattress, shows that the ideal sleeping surface is highly subjective. In fact, in some of the brand’s mattresses, the firmness on each side of the bed can be changed based on that individual’s wants or needs. So one person can have a firm sleeping surface, while the other person might have their side set to soft, yet both individuals sleep comfortably side-by-side.
When it comes down to the best mattress, it can be said that it shouldn’t be too soft and it shouldn’t be too firm.
What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Mattress?
While it’s easy to say that a mattress shouldn’t be too soft or too firm, that’s still really vague. Plus, people still have individual needs when it comes to choosing a mattress to help with back pain. In the end, you’ll need to find a bed that meets your own preferences and provides you with long-term comfort.
When it comes time to buy a new mattress, take the following considerations into account:
- Check the return policy. You want the ability to actually test the mattress beyond lying on it for a few minutes in the showroom. In fact, you’ll want more than just a night on your new mattress to see if it truly does help with your back pain.
Try a new bed for at least a month to see if it’s suitable for your sleeping needs. Some studies have shown that new mattresses have a placebo effect of improved sleep, which wears off after a time. If you come to realize that the bed is too firm or too soft, simply return it.
- Keep your body temperature in mind. You’ll want a mattress with breathable material so that you don’t become overheated at night. Keeping cool is important for a restful sleep. You can bundle up with covers and even use heating blankets if you get cold, but if your mattress is making you hot, there’s not much you can do to cool down.
The Sleep Foundation rated the top cooling mattresses available and found the Helix Midnight Luxe mattress to keep “exceptionally cool for a pillow-top hybrid.” Those that tested the mattress found the cover breathable and the medium firm feel prevented them from sinking too much, retaining surface airflow. Plus, the coils allow for greater circulation to keep the mattress from trapping in too much heat.
- Consider how you sleep. How you sleep will determine the best firmness to prevent back pain and soreness. Your preferred sleeping position will affect how your weight is distributed across your body and joints. For instance, side sleepers need a slightly softer mattress to prevent pain points in their hip and shoulder, which sink into the mattress.
Some Casper mattresses, including the original foam mattress, are divided into three ergonomic zones to help keep the spine aligned. Side sleepers will rest comfortably as their shoulders sink into the foam and their hips are cradled for ideal alignment. Your back muscles will be able to rest throughout the night without having to fully support your body’s weight.
In fact, the American Chiropractic Association endorses the Casper Wave mattress because of its Hyper-Targeted Support™ that promotes spinal alignment.
What Else Can Be Done For Back Pain?
Studies have shown that the ideal mattress for back pain relief varies from brand to brand and from person to person. However, the firmness that appears to be best for comfort and a pain-free night of sleep is one that is medium firm.
Of course, firmness is subjective, and you should always consider your own ideas of comfort when purchasing a new mattress.
Before buying a new mattress, though, consider other options for alleviating morning back pain. It’s possible that your spine is out of alignment to begin with, so no mattress will help with the discomfort you are feeling.
Consider chiropractic care for your back pain. This healthcare profession offers non-surgical solutions for disorders of the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. They treat pain and other issues through the use of spinal manipulation and similar manual therapies.
Studies have shown that patients with chronic back pain, particularly in the lower back, respond well to chiropractic treatment. Typically, after the initial spinal alignment, patients may receive regular maintenance manipulations.
Before you spend the money on a new mattress, contact your chiropractor to see if your sore back can be permanently relieved with spinal manipulation. Schedule an appointment online or call us today.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.