What’s the Best Mattress for a Bad Back?
Learn how to find the best mattress for a bad back.
One of the hardest medical conditions to cure or diagnose are those relating to back pain. Over and over, you find people searching the ends of the world for the best mattress for a bad back. Mainly because, along with debated chiropractic treatments, having a good mattress seems to aid the most when it comes to back pain. While the best mattress remains a hotly contested topic, opinion polls and sleep professionals have indicated that specific types take precedence when it comes to pain management and support.
What Does Back Pain Have to With Mattresses?
It has been reported that the majority of back pain is caused by either an injury, or the daily stresses of sleeping on a hard or uneven surface. Believe it or not, while a person sleeps many things go on in their bodies that are related to their backs. For instance, while sleeping, pressure is gradually released from the vertebrae. This is because the person is lying; not standing, therefore the upper portion of the body is not applying pressure to the spinal cord.
Under these conditions, when a person initially awakes, they will be approximately one inch taller than they normally are. As they progress through the day, pressure returns and the individual will shrink back to their regular height.
Which Type is the Best Mattress for a Bad Back?
However, sleeping on a lumpy, unsupportive or too-firm surface manipulates the spinal cord’s posture. The best mattress for a bad back has been proven to be a memory foam mattress or a latex mattress. These mattresses conform to the sleeper’s body shape to allow for the wider parts of their body, like the hips and shoulders, to sink in while the thinner portions, such as the waist and neck just lay; thus causing the spinal cord to adjust correctly and align itself straight.
This straight alignment relives the pressures commonly associated with most back pains. Now the best mattress for a bad back will be individually based on each person’s situation and preferences; however, in a general sense, the Medium /Firm mattresses are the most recommended. Most backs with preexisting conditions require a moderately firm sleeping surface in order to heal properly from strains, and other injuries.
What makes memory foam the best mattress for a bad back?
Traditional spring mattresses are flat, plank-like. These mattresses cause the sleeper to lay uneven, whether they are side or back sleepers. Plank-like surfaces, when it comes to a back sleeper, force the person’s back to arch and the inner knee to be unsupported. This prevents the lower back from decompressing and causes a hosts of strains and pains.
Why is this? Let’s take a mental picture and envision this sleeping situation. The buttocks and the upper shoulders are the parts of the body that protrude the most; the heel of the foot does as well. While lying on the back, the buttocks touch the mattress, the shoulders do, and the heels dig in. However the lower back is arched, inner knee barely has a supported surface and the head falls backward.
This type of circumstance simply causes strain on the muscles and tension. It also discombobulates the alignment of the spinal cord. This is why the best mattress for a bad back tends to be a medium /firm memory foam, or latex mattress.
Is the Best Mattress for Back Pain Soft, Medium, or Firm?
It has long since been believed that a firm mattress was the best choice for people who suffer from back pain, however, a study conducted in Spain in 2009 on 313 individuals, revealed that the best mattress for back pain is actually a medium firm. This has been a long debate between orthopedic doctors and chiropractors for years. Orthopedic doctors recommend firm spring, latex, or memory foam mattresses, while chiropractors recommend medium /firm mattresses. The study revealed that the majority of chiropractors were right.
Can a Mattress Topper Help?
An additional point to highlight, is that most chiropractors believe that if the sleeper does not own a memory foam mattress, the best thing to do is to lay a 1 ½- 2 ½ inch thick padding of memory foam on a spring mattress (as long as it is in good condition).
But while a mattress pad aides comfort, it does not give the sleeper the deep advantages a memory foam or latex mattress does like truly pressureless support, mold/dust mite resistance, and longevity. The breathability and health advantages of memory foam mattresses make it an overall choice as the best mattress for a bad back and health in general. Traditionally, a quality memory foam or latex mattress is hypoallergenic, especially all natural models the drastically reduce chemical exposure.
In conclusion, a medium firm memory foam mattress assists vertebrae alignment, reduces muscle tension and aids the body’s natural processes, making it the best mattress for a bad back, injured back, or sore back.
November 26, 2013 by Sleep Junkie
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