100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. That's almost three times more than those who suffer from diabetes. That's over 16 times more than those with coronary heart diseases.
A reason behind this huge number of chronic pain sufferers is because it comes in various forms. For instance, there are many the different types of musculoskeletal disorders. These bone and joint conditions affect about one in two U.S. adults. These are partly to blame for the high number of neck and back pain sufferers.
What a lot of people aren't aware of is that a bad mattress can also cause pains and aches. On the contrary, the right mattress for back pain not only helps reduce pain, but also helps prevent it.
Now the question is, what exactly makes for this kind of mattress? Keep reading, as we'll answer this and more related questions in this post!
The Truth about Mattresses and Back Pains
In 2016, almost two-thirds of American adults reported having back and neck pains. Many of these cases resulted from heavy lifting or repetitive movements at work. Some were also caused by lack of ergonomic furniture, while others were due to lack of good posture.
What many failed to consider are their sleeping activities. To be more precise, where exactly they sleep on.
Consider the fact that us humans spend a third of our lives lying down. That means the type and quality of mattress we sleep on can affect our spine health. So, to answer your question, "can a mattress cause back pain?", the answer is yes, it can.
Signs that Your Mattress is the Culprit behind Your Pain and Suffering
Lower back pain first thing in the morning is the first sign you need to look into replacing your mattress. This is especially true for pain that goes away with 15 to 30 minutes of stretching exercises, or as the day progresses.
Another sign your mattress has become more of a harm is when it already interferes with your sleep. For instance, you've noticed increased tossing and turning or not being able to fall back asleep during the night. That's a strong sign your mattress is already in need of replacement.
Interfering with a good night's sleep can lead to other serious health issues.
Even if you don't feel that much pain now, it's important to heed these early signs and replace your mattress before it causes long-term damage.
What's the Best Mattress for Back Pain Then?
For the longest time, people thought that the firmer the mattress, the better for a bad back. Recent studies are finding extremely firm mattresses could be causing spine pain. One study found that medium-firm mattresses were much better than very hard ones for your back and neck.
A systematic review of available mattress studies also supports this claim. The analysis found that medium-firm mattresses helped increases sleep comfort and quality. The reviewers also felt these mattresses promoted better spinal alignment.
Several other studies have similar findings. With Science to back it up, we can say that a medium-firm mattress may be the best mattress for lower back pain. Or any form of back pain for that matter.
The bottom line is that the right mattress firmness helps keep your spine aligned. Too firm, and it'll push your buttons (or your pressure points) and lead to misalignment. Too soft or squishy, and you'll sink into the mattress, resulting in poor sleep posture.
Factoring in Personal Preferences and Sleeping Positions
Keep in mind your personal preferences still matter though. Don't forget to factor in your sleeping habits (AKA your usual sleeping position).
In general, medium-firm mattresses are still the best for both front and back sleepers. It has the right level of firmness to support their bodies, whether the front or the back side. As for those who sleep on their side, this type of mattress also offers enough cushioning support.
Note, however, that what's firm for your friend may not be too firm for you. This means that the right firmness is still partly personal preference.
Testing Out Your Options
By now, you're likely wondering how you can figure out which mattress is the best for you. That makes sense since they're too pricey to buy several for a trial and error test.
One good way to test it out for free is to sleep on a friend's or a family member's extra bed. If you wake up without any pain then you may want to consider getting one of the same mattresses for yourself. The same trick applies to when you have to stay in a hotel.
There are also mattress manufacturers now offering money-back guarantees. Some of them offer full refunds within one to three months if you're not satisfied with the product.
Other Back Pain-Relieving Strategies You Should Know About
A mattress for lower back pain can change your world, or at least improve your overall health. But that doesn't mean you should rely on it alone to help you manage your back pain.
A key to preventing back pains is knowing what causes them.
Don't forget that how you sit can also cause pains in different parts of your body. After all, you may be spending as many as 13 hours a day seated. If you add poor posture to that, neck, shoulder, and back pains are soon to follow.
Say Goodbye to Night after Night of Back Pains
Don't let serious aches and popping joints take away the joy (and health benefits) of sleep. Find yourself the best mattress for back pain as early as now. Add to this other pain-easing techniques, and you can say hello to great sleep every night.
Want more facts and tips on dealing with back pain? Feel free to read our other blog posts or contact our friendly team today!