How Can You Tell If Your Mattress Is Causing Back Pain
If youre experiencing back pain, youre probably wondering how you can tell if its your mattress or something else. The truth is that a new mattress may help your back pain, even if your current mattress isnt necessarily the cause.
If your mattress is old or worn out, consider replacing it with a more comfortable, newer mattress that supports your body. If your mattress is new, though, there are ways to tell if your mattress is causing your back pain.
New Mattresses Take Time To Break In
Just like a good pair of shoes, a new mattress has a break-in period. Components like springs and foams can be stiff at first but will soften up and conform to your body over time. It’s a sign, in fact, that the mattress is doing its job.
If your new mattress feels too firm at the beginning, consider using a mattress topper until it’s broken in.
The right pillows can also help alleviate pain during the break-in periodand help keep back pain in check well after youve broken in your new mattress.
- If you’re a back sleeper: Place a small pillow beneath your knees to support your lower back and minimize back pain while you’re sleeping.
- If you’re a side sleeper: Hold a body pillow while you sleep to support your upper arm and upper knee. This will keep your spine straight while you snooze.
- If you’re a stomach sleeper: Change your sleep position! Really. If you can’t train yourself to sleep on your back or side, try placing a relatively flat pillow under your stomach to slightly elevate your pelvis and take the pressure off your lower back.
A regular stretching routine can help ease back pain caused by a new mattress too.
We tend to do a lot of reaching forward while sitting all day, so reach your head back, put your hands on the small of your lower back, and arch your back. You can also pull your knees into your chest before you get out of bed.
Why Does My Back Hurt When I Get In Bed
If youre experiencing pain when youre getting into bed, dont ignore it.
Back pain is a symptom of an underlying problem. And when you feel those dull aches and sharp pains, its your bodys way of telling you, Something needs to change!
For many, back pain is just something they live with daily. They think that theyre stuck with it.
But in fact, back pain across the US has actually gotten worse over the years, according to The Lancet.
Graph of back pain across the United States
According to the study, the disability-adjusted life-years from back pain have risen substantially across all age groups.
This may be due to longer work hours, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and more office work.
Simply put, if youre experiencing back pain in bed, its because theres an underlying problem that you need to deal with.
It could be poor posture, stress, or even a medical condition.
Also Check: Advil Vs Ibuprofen For Back Pain
What Can Cause Back Pain Aside From Your Memory Foam Mattress
Now, the first piece of advice I want to share with you is:
Dont rush to conclusions. Dont be in a hurry to ditch your mattress and invest in a new one if you wake up with back pain. The thing is, it can be caused by many other factors. So, before you move on to searching for one of the best mattresses for back pain, lets eliminate other potential issues and make sure that your mattress is the villain here.
So, here are the most common potential causes of back pain:
- sprains and strains , especially if you tend to overwork your back
- arthritis and its variations
Does It Matter If Its A Turn Or Non
The main cause of sagging is simple wear and repetitive pressure being placed on both the springs and fillings. The great thing about a turnable mattress is that every few months, you can simply flip your mattress to sleep on the other side, thus spreading the wear and allowing your mattress to keep its shape for longer.
Don’t Miss: How Does A Diuretic Help Back Pain
How Can I Make My Back Stop Hurting In Bed
There are a few things you can do to help treat your back pain in bed.
First, you can consult with a physician.
They may use high-end procedures like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or EMGs to determine why youre experiencing back pain in bed.
However, not all back pain merits seeing a doctor.
Generally, youll want to make an appointment with your physician only if your back pain.
- Feels especially severe or radiates to other parts of your body.
- It quickly gets worse over time.
- It started with a specific injury.
- Is showing signs of infection like fever or swelling.
- It may be causing weakness, numbness, or tingling in your lower body.
If that doesnt sound like you, though, there are a few things you can do at home to help treat your back pain.
Finding The Best Mattress
The best way to get rid of the problems caused by an old, worn-out mattress is simple: Replace it with a new one. But with so many options to choose from, how are you supposed to know which sleep surface is the best one for you? Heres a quick breakdown of the basics:
- Innerspring mattresses: This is your family of standard coil spring mattress, some of which come with comfortable topper materials like pillow or latex. They tend to range in firmness, though experts say that people who suffer from lower back pain might do better with a firmer surface. Note that innerspring mattresses must be used with box springs, which can trap bed bugs and dust mites.
- Memory foam mattresses: These mattresses, which are growing in popularity, are made from layers of plush foam that respond to body weight and temperature. Since they mold to the shape of your body, memory foam mattresses are known for reducing pressure points and relieving pain.
- Latex mattresses: Made from natural or synthetic rubber, these also offer firmness and support. That can make them a good choice for those with back pain, however, some people complain that latex mattresses are too firm.
Dont forget about your budget! The average mattress price runs from about $800-$1200 for a high-quality queen size. Watch out for luxury beds that are marked up simply because of features that dont actually help with sleep. And dont fall for a cheap mattress eitehr
Don’t Miss: Does Motrin Help With Back Pain
What Type Of Mattress Is Best For Lower Back Pain
If youre dealing with lower back pain, the right mattress can make a big difference.
A mattress that doesnt hold up our body will cause pain in the lower back, explains Dr. Lynelle McSweeney, a chiropractor in Reno, Nevada. We need support to keep our joints from going into a stress point, which puts pressure on nerves and strains the muscles.
In general, hybrid or innerspring mattresses will offer more support than all-foam options, which may be too soft.
The manufacturers firmness rating can also help you zero in on a supportive option. These ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. Medium-firm mattresses, which have a rating of 7 to 8, are typically recommended for lower back pain.
Keep in mind that the firmness of a mattress will depend on a few different factors, including your preferred sleeping position, your body size and weight, and whether you share your bed with a partner or pet. Personal preference plays a role too.
There is no single right mattress for everyone, but there are certain considerations when youre dealing with lower back pain:
Make a point of checking reviews so you can see what previous purchasers have to say about any mattresses youre considering.
Comfort is highly individual, so take advantage of the free in-home trials that manufacturers offer to find a mattress that balances enough support for your lower back with overall comfort. Check the return policy and warranty, too.
Which Type Of Mattress Is Best For Back Pain
The right mattress depends on a lot of factors. If youre a side sleeper, you might need a different type of mattress than a back sleeper. The best advice is to go mattress shopping and find out for yourself! Try a firm mattress, a very firm mattress, latex mattresses, and a memory foam mattress among all the other choices. Be sure to try them in your regular sleep position. If you’re having doubts, trust that you’ll know a bad mattress from a good mattress, and you’ll finally find the perfect mattress. If you’re short on time, a medium-firm density hybrid mattress is generally a safe bet.
Recommended Reading: Ibuprofen For Back Pain Dosage
Dont Sleep On A Mattress Thats Too Soft Or Too Hard
Goldilocks was onto something when she picked Baby Bears just right bed.
A mattress thats too soft will cause your back or hips to sag and your spine to fall out of alignment, which can lead to significant pain. A mattress thats too firm will put too much pressure on your joints, especially if you sleep on your side or your back.
Thats why if you want to reduce your back pain in bed, you need a mattress that offers support but that also contours to your body to provide pressure relief and relieve pain.
That being said, theres no one-size-fits-all-best mattress for back pain. Plus, there are plenty of different materials to choose from. So be sure youre investing in a mattress made from suitable materials for your unique needs.
Why Do Mattresses Cause Back Pain
Most people sleep at least seven or eight hours every night. Thats about one-third of your life, and the hours quickly add up. If your mattress causes discomfort, theres probably a reason.
Maybe your mattress doesnt support your spine. This can gradually cause your spine to shift, creating disc issues or general aches and pains. Without proper support, your muscles may be forced to work much harder than they should, trying to hold your spine in proper alignment throughout the night.
When you think about it, your mattress is probably the most important piece of furniture in your home. You spend much more time using your bed than you probably realize.
Don’t Miss: Advil Or Ibuprofen For Back Pain
Two Ways To Tell If Your Mattress Is Causing You Back Pain
1. You feel pain when you wake up
Back pain can be caused by a variety of other factors, including stress. However, if you notice that you feel the ache after waking up from bed, your mattress is the cause. Going to bed each night should be the opportunity to revitalize, not an avenue to cause your body more stress. Monitor when you have your back pains, and youll be able to tell if your mattress causes it or not.
2. You find yourself tossing in bed more than sleeping.
Is your mattress the reason why you are not getting enough sleep? Do you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, spending more time awake than asleep? Naturally, your body is expected to hug the chance to relax after a tiring day. However, when you can fall asleep everywhere except in your bed, then your mattress might be the problem. Feeling increased ache when you lie in your bed so much that you cannot sleep means your mattress isnt helping your body.
How Long Do Mattresses Last
On average, most mattresses last about 7 to 10 years. However, many factors can influence the durability and lifespan of a mattress.
The quality and materials of a mattress significantly impact how it performs. Mattresses made with denser foams, natural latex, thicker coils, or higher coil counts are better equipped to accommodate the weight of the sleeper and rebound back to their original shape time after time. By contrast, lower-quality foams and coils may break down sooner.
Certain types of mattresses may last longer than others. Natural latex is durable and tends to hold up the longest. Low-quality innerspring mattresses often start sagging after a few years, and foam mattresses may soften and develop permanent body indentations. Hybrid mattress manufacturers often attempt to circumvent these problems by using higher-quality comfort layers and supporting them with sturdier coils.
How much pressure the mattress supports also influences its lifespan. Single sleepers and individuals who weigh less than 130 pounds exert less pressure on the mattress, and may find their mattresses last longer. Likewise, a mattress that is used nightly sustains more pressure than a guest room bed. While a low-density polyfoam model may provide a perfectly comfortable option for a mattress intended for occasional use, your everyday bed should be made with sturdier materials that can hold up to consistent wear.
Recommended Reading: Is Aleve Good For Back Pain
Additional Sleeping Accessories For Sleepers With Back Pain
Besides a mattress, other accessories can play a part in making your bed conducive to quality, pain-free sleep. Upgrading your pillows and your bed base can be done as a lower-cost way of improving your sleeping surface, or you can purchase these along with a new mattress as part of a complete overhaul.
Pillows play an important role in preventing and reducing back and neck pain. Pillows that provide proper support to the neck can improve spinal alignment because the spine extends into the neck . In addition to supporting the head, pillows can be strategically placed to provide cushioning and comfort to other parts of the body.
Numerous factors affect which pillow can best help any individual fight neck and back pain. The amount of loft of your pillow should fit your personal preference and body shape. The right loft level is also largely determined by the firmness of your mattress and your sleeping position, as outlined in the following tables.
|Medium Firm Firm||High|
To reduce back pain, pillows can be used to support other parts of the body besides just the head and neck.
Bed Platforms and Bases
The base of the bed can contribute to a supportive overall sleeping surface for people with back pain.
Some people opt for an adjustable bed, which allows for the upper and lower body to be raised at various angles. Many adjustable bed frames also include a heat or massage feature that can be a nice bonus for back pain sufferers.
Can My Mattress Sagging Cause Back Pain
Back pain can be a issue not only from a physical health point of view but it also affects your sleep which can then have an affect on your mental health.
The NHS and Mayo clinic have laid out causes, cures and preventions of the symptoms of back pain. Both agree that it is vitally important to visit a doctor in case the pain occurs for more than a few weeks without getting better or is servere in nature. However, if your back pain isnt a medical issue, can a mattress cause back pain?
Don’t Miss: Aleve Lower Back Pain
Need More Help With Back Pain
These free resources will help you get on the right track to ridding yourself of back pain!
- Find a mattress to relieve you of back pain with Mattress Match
- Learn about all the options with our Mattress Buying Guide
- Experience the REM sleep deserve with our Better Sleep Guide
- Go from Zs to As in college with this sleep guide for students
- Want to conquer sleep deprivation? Check out our sleeping disorders guide
How To Select A Good Mattress For Your Back
Though different people have different features that theyd prefer their mattress to have. Still, a mattress should neither be too firm nor too soft.
The ideal mattress is somewhere in between. When your bed is more delicate than it should be, it can make your spine to fall out of alignment. Too soft beds also make you sink into the bed and make you sleep in a terrible posture.
Thus, you wake up feeling body pains. When its too firm, it causes joint pressure in your hips which also lead to pain in your back. On the other hand, an ideal mattress should make you feel so utterly relaxed and comfortable that sleeping on it feels like floating in the air. However, the best things dont often come cheap.
Therefore, if what you want is a mattress that will give you sweet dreams and quality sleep, then you have to be ready to invest a good amount of money into it.
A bed is not just any piece of furniture. Your mattress is your key to good health and productive days. When you think about it, quality mattresses are well worth the investments.
The fact that youll be spending around 7-9 hours on it each night is another reason to not go frugal. No matter how expensive a qualitative bed may seem, always keep in mind that its an investment into your health and life.
Don’t Miss: Back Pain Cleveland Clinic
What Can I Do For Back Pain
Buying a new mattress is a starting point in curing a mattress induced back pain. However, you can also schedule daily stretching routines. You could stretch a few time after waking up and before you go to bed to make your spine more flexible.
You should also learn how to sleep in the correct posture. It is recommended that you sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs. The pillow will help support your hips and lower back.
While shopping for a new mattress, make sure to spend time testing it. No matter how silly this may feel, keep in mind that its a necessary step to help you choose the right mattress.