Is Your Mattress to Blame for Back Pain?

Say good night to your old mattress, and sweet dreams to chronic back pain.

Are You Waking with Back Pain?

Regardless of the time of day, your body is always working. A good night’s sleep is intended to repair the wear and tear placed on your body during its daily routine. However, sleeping on the wrong mattress can not only disrupt your sleep cycle, but cause chronic pain to the neck and back.

According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections*. If you find yourself waking with chronic back pain, take a moment to analyze your mattress.

Is Your Mattress to Blame?

If you’re uncertain whether a faulty mattress could be to blame for chronic back pain, evaluate the following factors:

You find yourself waking sporadically throughout the night. This doesn’t mean for a drink of water or trip to the bathroom. Individuals suffering from spinal discomfort from their mattress will frequently awaken without any apparent cause.

Certain positions cause increased pressure on parts of your body. Back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers alike: if you find that various sleeping positions are causing hypersensitivity in your back and neck, you’re not just a picky sleeper. Regardless of personal preference, switching up your typical sleeping position should not result in back pain.

A proper mattress should cradle the pressure points of the spine. If you find yourself tossing and turning due to discomfort in various sleeping positions, chances are it’s your mattress, not you.

Back pain is present upon waking, but fades within the first 15 to 30 minutes of the day. With mattress related back pain, you will often find yourself jumping to stretch in the morning.

An incorrect or too-old mattress will wreak havoc on the pressure points of the spine, and can even alter proper spinal alignment. Once the body is upright and the muscles begin to stretch, you will feel an immediate difference in the spine.

What to Look For in the Perfect Mattress

Realistically, there is no specific brand or type of mattress that will perform better than another. A “perfect” mattress is a matter of personal preference, however, there are a few qualities that should be checked off before settling on a new mattress.

Most importantly, a mattress must be supportive of your entire body when it is in a neutral position with proper spinal alignment. A too-firm or too-soft mattress can give be incredibly unforgiving on the spine. An ideal mattress should not be too firm, or it will place too much stress on the main pressure points of the spine will you sleep. Likewise, it should not be too soft, or it will leave the pressure points unsupported. This lack of support creates spinal curvature, which results in a very painful morning. Search for the “happy medium.”

In general, experts advise that a mattress should be repurchased every 8 to 10 years. Even a mattress that once fit your spine’s “happy medium” can lose density and sag overtime, and fail to support the spine.

Consult with Your Chiropractor

If you find that you wake with chronic back pain, consult with a qualified chiropractor. Begin with a wellness adjustment prior to mattress shopping to relieve existing pain and get you back on track to enjoying a good night’s sleep.

Likewise, inquire which sleeping positions will best benefit your pressure points, and if your chiropractor has any recommendations for mattresses. In addition to being an expert on spine health, your chiropractor has most likely dealt with many other patients who suffered from mattress-induced back pain.

Say good night to your old mattress, and sweet dreams to chronic back pain.




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