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Can My Mattress Cause Upper Back Pain

Its Difficult To Switch Positions

Can A BAD Mattress Cause Lower Back Pain?

If you find it difficult to switch positions say from your back to your side, or even sitting up in the bed then your mattress may be too soft for you.

This can impact your sleep quality because not being able to move around in the night easily can result in back pain from being in the same position too long and also cause you to wake up.

Here Is What You Should Look For In A Good Pillow

  • In-built neck support can only be achieved with moulded or ergonomically designed pillows. The support should contour to the shape of your head and neck, increasing surface area, reducing pressure and providing support that is impossible with traditional pillows.
  • Foam Construction foam pillows have been shown in studies to reduce neck pain. Foam is much better at pressure relief and providing support than typical pillow materials such as polyester or feathers. If you are currently sleeping on a down or feather pillow, you should switch to another type of pillow immediately, as they are the worst type of pillow for people with back problems.

Quick Tip: If you decide to switch pillows, allow your bodys sleeping posture time to reset and adapt. Many become accustomed to bad pillows, which can cause temporary discomfort when getting a new type of pillow. In general, you should give your pillow approximately one month before you decide if it is right for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

At Sleep Foundation, weve personally tested hundreds of mattress models to bring you the top picks listed above. Our expert team includes product testers that represent a wide range of body types, sleep positions, and comfort preferences. After thorough hands-on testing, we consider these selections to be the best of the bunch.

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How A Bad Mattress Can Cause Back Pain

A lesser known cause for back pain is having a bad mattress. Although common causes such as an injury, bad posture, or poor eating habits are the leading cause of back pain – a bad mattress can actually worsen the pain! The combination of a pre-existing pain + a bad mattress is a recipe for disaster and heres why.

Which Type Of Mattress Is Best For Back Pain

Best Mattress For Back Pain &  Relief (2021)

A key step in choosing a mattress is deciding which mattress type is most likely to work for you. Virtually all mattresses on the market today can be broken into five types based on their construction and materials.

Within each category, you can find consistent features however, we know there can be notable variation from one brand or model to the next. Some types allow for a greater diversity of designs, which leads to a wider variation in the expected feel and performance of any specific mattress.

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Myth: Always Sit Up Straight

Slouching is bad. But sitting up too straight and still for long periods can also be a strain on your back. Take breaks a few times a day: Lean back in your chair with your feet on the floor and let your back curve slightly. Even better: Try standing for part of the day, perhaps while youre on the phone or reading.

Ways Your Old Mattress Is Causing Back Pain

Article medically reviewed and fact-checked by Dr. Dimitar Marinov .

If youve recently developed back pain then you might be wondering if your old mattress is whats causing your back to ache.

But can an old mattress really cause you back pain?

A mattress thats more than 5-7 years old can cause back pain especially if the mattress exhibits visible sagging, body impressions, or indentations greater than 1.5-2 inches in depth. If your back pain is worse in the morning and tapers off gradually then your old mattress could be the cause.

The rest of this article explains in detail how an old mattress can cause you to experience back pain, how to tell if your mattress is the root cause of your discomfort, and how to stop your old mattress from causing you back pain.

Alternatively: if youre ready to replace your old mattress and you have back pain, then I highly suggest checking out my list of the best mattresses for back pain because the article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Dimitar Marinov and includes my #1 complete mattress and adjustable bed solution for customizable comfort.

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Quality Of The Mattress

It makes sense that the quality of your mattress is directly related to back pain. Dr Smycz explains that how well you look after the mattress is a major factor. You need to make sure the mattress is protected and looked after.

If your mattress is in good condition in terms of quality, age, and treatment you should not be waking up with back stiffness, said Dr Smycz.

Youll know its time to replace your mattress if you feel chronic back pain that greets you in the morning.

Two Ways To Tell If Your Mattress Is Causing You Back Pain

Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain and Sciatica – Our Top 6 Picks!

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.

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How To Stop Mattress Sagging

While there is no way to completely stop mattress sagging you can do a few things to extend the life of your mattress. It is important to do all you can to alleviate back pain from your mattress.

  • Using a topper can make a sagging mattress more comfortable but can also extend the life of a new mattress.
  • Turning your mattress as often as you can, if you have a turn mattress, can even out the wear and tear over years and delay your mattress from sagging.
  • Rotating your mattress does likewise and can be done on both turn and non turn mattresses. This may not be possible on certain zoned mattresses.
  • Buy a good quality mattress with a reputable supplier is always recommended. Check out their reviews and make sure their warranty covers every part of the mattress.

Ways Your Old Mattress Is Causing You Back Pain

Sleeping on an old mattress could put you at risk of experiencing back pain according to scientific investigations and my own primary research , personal experience, and secondary research .

For example, a double-blind scientific study of 265 subjects revealed that theres a significant positive correlation between the quality of sleep and the quality of the mattress resulting in the conclusion that sleeping on an old mattress could worsen existing back pain conditions .

Furthermore, having slept on many old mattresses myself over the years, my experience correlates with the many reports that Ive read online and heard in person from other sleepers that sleeping on an old mattress can trigger back pain even when there was no pre-existing chronic back pain condition.

At the qualitative level, Ive concluded that the 3 primary ways that your old mattress could be causing you back pain are as follows:

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A Mattress Topper Probably Wont Help You Reduce Shoulder Pain

Adding a soft or firm mattress topper is unlikely to help reduce shoulder pain. A good mattress is carefully constructed with support and comfort layers to balance pressure relief and body support.

In general, people with shoulder pain and upper back pain believe a soft mattress topper could help. However, while a soft topper will increase pressure relief, it will also increase the distance between you and the support layers of your mattress, reducing body support and potentially increasing back pain.

There are many other reasons why toppers dont help reduce back pain, and you find a complete explanation here: Mattress Toppers For Back Pain | A Chiropractors Full Guide

You Have An Old Mattress

10 Best Mattress For Back Pain Consumer Reports 2021

Most memory foam mattresses have a long lifespan and you should expect yours to last over 10 years.

If your mattress was great for years but only recently youve started waking up sore and in pain, inspect your mattress. It may have become sagged, too soft, or uneven. You cant possibly expect proper support from a mattress in that condition. Also, the bed frame might have gotten too old and together with an old mattress gives you double the trouble.

Dealing with an Aged Mattress

Old mattresses should be replaced. You can try to alleviate pain with a mattress topper or by flipping the mattress, but this is only until your new mattress arrives. Dont expect to be able to fix a mattress thats been around for over a decade, but rather find the best way to dispose of it.

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How To Fix Mattress Sagging

  • In case of sagging the best way to move forward is to replace the mattress.
  • A cheaper solution that may help, but would only do so for slight sagging, is a mattress topper. This would also be more of a quick fix than a long term solution.
  • Consider the below when purchasing a new mattress, and remember that a good nightâs sleep is an important investment.

Is Memory Foam Good For Back Pain

Yes, mattresses with memory foam are great for relieving your back pain . They conform well with your body parts with a pressure-relieving effect reducing pains and aches. The body controlling feature in the mattresses promotes lumbar support keeping your spine properly aligned and reducing upper back pain.

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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.

Signs Your Memory Foam Mattress Isnt Right For You

Best Mattress For Lower Back Pain And Sciatica

You suffer from inexplicable back pain? You tried everything youre not sitting too much, youve improved your posture, you do regular exercises. Yet, theres this lower back pain that just wont go away.

It might be coming from your bed, and here are telltale signs that point right to your mattress.

  • Your pain is stronger in the morning and you feel better later in the day.
  • You toss and turn but no position feels just right.
  • Its hard to fall asleep.
  • You feel like youre sinking into the mattress.
  • Youre always tired.
  • You wake up frequently at night.

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How Sleeping Position Is Related To Back And Neck Pain

Sleeping with upper back, shoulder, and neck pain has been found to be directly correlated to your sleeping position. According to Raymond J. Hah, MD, a spine surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC, stomach sleepers face higher risks of developing back pain. He added that sleeping on your stomach exerts maximum pressure on your spinal joints and muscles as this position disrupts the natural curve of your spine. Moreover, this awkward sleeping position compels you to turn your neck, which could result in the pain that you feel.

Sleeping on your back could help you avoid sleeping with upper back pain and neck pain since it evenly distributes weight across a larger surface area, reducing pressure points. At the same time, make sure to place your pillow in such a way that it fills in the space between your head and neck, but not the shoulders.

Side sleepers using an unsuitable mattress could introduce muscle imbalance, and eventually pain. When sleeping on your side, it is advisable to place a pillow between your knees and use a thick pillow to rest your head on to keep your neck, spine, and pelvis aligned to avoid sleeping with upper back and neck pain.

Should I Consider A Custom Mattress To Prevent Back Pain

It’s clear that buying the best mattress for your back is not as simple as choosing between firm or soft. There are lots of factors to consider and much of these are individual and come down to personal preference. Investing in a custom mattress is a brilliant way to achieve the perfect level of support and comfort not only for your back but for your entire body.

Here at Endurance Beds we handcraft bespoke mattresses and offer a range of firmness levels to help you get the most comfortable night’s sleep possible. With a wide variety of features to choose from, including open-coils, pocket-sprung, memory foam, and natural fibres, you can create a mattress that meets all of your requirements and gives your back the support it needs to stay healthy and free from pain. You can place your customer mattress order online or contact us for more information.

Also Check: Can A Firm Mattress Cause Lower Back Pain

Reasons Your Memory Foam Mattress May Be Causing Back Pain

There’s a good chance that if you’re experiencing back pain, your mattress may be to blame. In fact, research has shown that memory foam mattresses are one of the most common causes of back pain. If you’re currently struggling with this issue, keep reading for five reasons your memory foam mattress may be causing back pain.

Your Mattress Is Sagging

Can a mattress cause lower back pain?

After years of daily use, even the very best mattresses will be subject to wear and tear, no matter whether its a good memory foam mattress, an innerspring, or a luxury hybrid option. However, once a mattress starts to sag, then it will soon be past the point of no return and no longer able to give your spine the proper support it needs for healthy sleep.

If you gradually start to feel your body dipping into your mattress as you sleep, this usually means the materials inside the bed have softened or lost their tension over the years. While you can make temporary adjustments with a pillow beneath your knees or hips, or use a high quality mattress topper to keep the surface level, these are no substitute for buying a new mattress.

The good news is many sleep brands offer lengthy warranties of up to 25 years as an assurance of quality. This is especially true with organic mattresses, which use naturally hard-wearing materials such as latex.

Its also advisable to flip or rotate your mattress following the manufacturers instructions not only will this keep your bed in better condition for longer and provide a more stable surface to sleep on, but it will also help keep it within the conditions of the warranty.

If you notice you sleep better on any other mattress, such as those in hotels and that those mattresses have a firmer, more even surface then this is another sure sign its time for an upgrade.

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Can A Bad Mattress Cause Back And Chest Pain

Whilst a bad mattress thats sagging or otherwise had its structural integrity compromised could cause back and chest pain, the chest pain element is particularly worrying if it has come on quickly and you should seek medical advice immediately since sudden, acute chest pain can be an indicator of a life-threatening condition like a heart attack .

Contact With The Support Core

If a mattress is too soft in the upper comfort layers to support your body weight, then you may find that youre sinking too far into the mattress materials to the point where youre touching the support core below.

This can result in back pain not only because youre lying in poor posture, but also because the support core tends to be firmer and can create pressure points that may lead to back pain.

This tends to be an issue if youre a heavier weighted sleeper over 230 lbs and youre sleeping on a mattress with a relatively thin foam comfort layer especially if the materials are old and losing their resilience.

The Nolah Evolution is the best mattress that Ive reviewed for sleepers over 230lbs because its 15 inches thick and has a lot of foam in the upper comfort layers.

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Best Mattress For Upper Back Pain And How To Sleep With Upper Back Pain

Most ailments known to mankind depend on lifestyle, surrounding environment, emotional wellbeing, and sleep quality. Good quality sleep promotes healing from our daily grind so that we can function at our best the next morning.

Those who suffer have short-term or chronic ailments must make it a priority to sleep well to contain the disease or slow down its progression. Chronic or persistent back pain is one of the most common forms of health issues affecting over 16 million US adults at present. Back problems introduce stress, anxiety, hopelessness, and take a toll on annual income, productivity, and even retirement outlook for many individuals. The annual medical expenses related to back problems in the US are estimated at $12 billion.


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