Tips on how to prevent or relieve back pain
Image credit: Keenan Constance on Unsplash
Do you suffer from back pain? If you do, you are not alone. Back pain affects eight in ten of us at some time during our lives, and it can be agonising. There are many things that can help, which include exercises and lower back stretches. However, one of the most important things to consider is the mattress on your bed.
Can a mattress cause back pain?
There are a variety of reasons why a mattress can contribute to back pain. If your mattress is nearing the end of its life, it might not be able to support your body properly and may sag in place making your spinal alignment uneven, which in turn, can put more strain on your back muscles and cause back pain.
The same can be true if your mattress isn’t best suited to your body shape and weight. If your mattress is too firm, your joints may become stiff and sore as they have nothing to sink into. Or if your mattress is too soft, this could cause an unhealthy sleeping position and put further pressure on your back. This means you should try to find the mattress that suits you the best.
Here are a few signs that indicate your mattress could be the cause of your back pain.
The mattress is more than 7 years old
Over the years, the materials within your mattress will deteriorate and no longer offer the correct level of support for your back.
The mattress dips or sags
Sleeping on a lumpy mattress is not only uncomfortable but it also contributes towards incorrect body weight distribution across the surface of the mattress. This causes pressure point build-up and soreness.
Springs can be felt through the mattress
Feeling springs while you sleep is a sign that the mattress comfort layers have worn out and are no longer providing the support you need.
If any of those points apply to your mattress, it’s time for a new one because it is important that your mattress provides the right level of support for you, encourages a healthy sleeping posture and ensures correct spinal alignment.
What to look for in a mattress
Contrary to popular belief that a very firm Orthopedic mattresses is best for people with lower back pain, recent surveys have shown that people who use an extremely firm mattress may have much poorer sleep. But the opposite can also true, a mattress that’s too soft won’t help very much with alignment.
What type of mattress is best for back pain?
The best mattress for a bad back will either relieve existing back pain or, ideally, prevent it from developing in the first place. It will be both supportive and comfortable and keep your spine in a straight line.
Memory foam is one of the most popular fillings as it moulds to the shape of your body, cushioning your lower back, hips and shoulders and allowing your muscles, discs and joints to relax. However, many types of memory foam are not breathable, but there are more specialist versions such as Airflow Memory Foam that dissipate moisture and heat away from the body and the more open cells prevent humidity from building up.
So if you are looking to get a new mattress try choosing a firm or medium-firm mattress made with good-quality memory foam. We have three models in our range of memory foam mattresses offering a choice of comfort and support. And we also make them to fit all standard UK beds, as well as EU/IKEA bed sizes. But if you have an innerspring mattress you can improve it by adding a memory foam mattress topper without having to splash out on a completely new bed.
What sleep position is best for lower back pain?
Your posture is just as important when you’re lying down as when you’re sitting and standing. The more you twist your spine, the stiffer and more painful it will feel.
If you can, sleep on your side with your knees partially bent towards you to balance your body. Put one pillow under your neck and another between your knees for comfort.
If you sleep on your back, place a pillow or two behind your knees and another beneath your lower back to ensure it gets enough support. If you sleep on your front you should put a pillow under your hips.
It is best to use pillows with pressure-relieving qualities to keep your neck and back nice and healthy. Memory foam and latex pillows are best as they mould to the shape of your body and can give you tailored support exactly where you need it most.
So remember to avoid back pain, prevention is better than the cure, so invest in a good-quality memory foam mattress and you are on your way to getting a really good night’s sleep.
If you’d like some advice on memory foam mattresses and memory foam toppers, do get in touch. Contact us online or call us on 01293 871744 and our friendly team will be happy to help.