Choosing the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain

We all come in different weights, shapes and sizes, but have one thing in common; we spend more than a third of our lives in bed. For sufferers of back pain sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or even worsen back pain. Lack of support from a mattress reinforces poor sleeping posture and places stress and strain on muscles and joints, all of which can contribute to low back pain. A mattress that provides both comfort and support help to reduce low back pain, allowing the structures in the spine to rest and rejuvenate during the night.

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With a huge variety of mattresses on the market, choosing the right one can be a mine field. We have put together these practical guidelines designed to help sufferers of low back pain choose the best mattress for both back support and sleep comfort.

Should I choose a hard or soft mattress?

The best mattress is a supportive one. A good mattress should provide support for the natural curves and alignment of the spine. The right amount of back support helps to avoid developing back soreness in the morning.

• Sleeping on a mattress that is too firm can cause increased pressure on joints, and increase the strain on the area.
• Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft can mean that you sag into it, meaning that the spine is not supported.
• A medium-firm mattress may be more comfortable as it allows the shoulder and hips to sink in slightly, allowing for a neutral spine. A topper can be placed on top of a firm mattress, to allow extra ‘give’ in the mattress.

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How do I know which is the right mattress for me?

• If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard).
• Try before you buy! Lie on the mattress before you purchase, this will give you a better idea of how supportive it feels.

See What’s the Best Position to Sleep in When you Have Back Pain? for more information on correct sleep posture.

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What about my partner?

• It is important that you shop for a new mattress together, as your respective ideal mattress tensions could be very different. A 16 stone person may not get the same support as a 9 stone person sleeping in the same bed.
• If yours and your partners’ mattress needs are very different, consider buying a bed from a range that allows two single mattresses to be zipped together.

How do I know when I need to buy a new mattress?

• If you can feel the springs through the mattress.
• If the mattress sags visibly, or is no longer comfortable. Putting boards under a mattress to keep it from sagging in the middle is only a short term fix.
• If the bed is older than 10 years old it’s time for a new one, as beds wear out and lose support over time.

Have a good night sleep everyone!

Find our ‘Contact us’ page by clicking here, or alternatively call us on 01244 880186 for further advice or information about treatment.

 

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