You Wake Up With Back Pain
While it may seem obvious, morning pain is one of the first signs that you and your mattress may no longer be friends. If you feel fine when you go to bed but wake up groaning and clutching your lower back, your mattress could be a contributing factor. A problematic mattress can contribute to spine misalignment, which in turn leads to morning pain.
What Is The Best Type Of Mattress For Back Pain
When it comes to back pain, mattress type is less important than mattress firmness. Likewise, the number of foam layers or support coils wont matter as much as how the mattress feels. And if you have back pain, studies show that a mattress that feels medium-firm is the best type of mattress for you. According to one expert we spoke with, thats because a bed labeled medium-firm is likely to support your spines natural curves whether youre a side-sleeper, a back-sleeper, or a stomach-sleeper. Whether youre trying a mattress in a store or testing one you purchased online, ask yourself these questions to get a better idea of how comfortable it really is.
Pulled Back Muscle And Lower Back Strain
Lower back or lumbar pain could result from a range of different causes. However, these are causes that are associated with the lumbar disc directly or with muscle strains. This could actually result from sudden movements, lifting heavy objects, or any other twists.
In any case, the thing that you need to do here is to get a proper and professional consultation with your doctor.
This is based on the prediction that you might have fallen into a specific situation with particular medical requirements. These might determine the firmness as well as the material type of your bed. The only person who could provide you with thorough and actionable advice on the mattress that you should get is your doctor.
And, keep in mind that this should happen only after careful and thorough examination. The source of the pain needs to be isolated and targeted properly.
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Discovering The Truth About Your Mattress
You may be in love with your bed, but that doesnt mean it is in love with you back. Research has discovered numerous signs which indicate that a persons bed is to blame for their back soreness, especially in the morning. Pay close attention to how you or your partner behaves throughout the night. If you have any of the following sleep-disturbing signs, it may be time to replace your mattress.
- You wake up frequently during the night for no apparent reason.
- You toss and turn a lot or cant get comfortable.
- You feel increased pressure on parts of your body when laying in certain positions.
- You feel swallowed up by your bed.
- Your bed feels flat and unforgiving on the curves of your body.
- Your waking back pain goes away after about 20-30 minutes.
Back pain can be caused by several things, but if your bed is to blame then it should be very easy to tell. Your back pain may not be caused by something serious. In fact, studies show that about 56% of people who sleep on a medium-to-firm mattress have less back pain in the morning than their softer-mattress-having counterparts.
In general, sleep experts advise people to get a new bed ever 8 to 10 years. It may be that your mattress has served you well for a very long time.
However, it may also be time to replace it for something better if its causing you pain.
Best For Side Sleepers: Casper Sleep Foam Mattress 2018 Edition
Minimal movement disturbances to partner
May be too firm for some
Sleeping on your side is tricky as you need adequate support around your waist to keep your spine in alignment. If your mattress doesn’t provide this support, you may wake up with a stiff, achy back.
One of the best mattress options for side sleepers with back problems is the Casper mattress, which has a special zoned design to give you support exactly where you need it. The Casper mattress is constructed from four layers of memory foam that balance support, comfort, and breathability. And theres a softer zone under your shoulders, allowing you to sink in as you sleep on your side, and a firmer zone under your hips and core to keep your spine in place. They use open-cell foams to keep you cool throughout the night, too.
The company offers a 100 night risk-free trial, so you have plenty of time to make your decision.
Firmness: Softer around shoulders, firmer under the hips, waist, and lower back | Thickness: 11 inches | Type: All foam, or Hybrid | Trial Length: 100 nights
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Using A Soft Mattress
Many people wonder if the opposite is true.
If your mattress is too firm, are you better off with a softer one? Perhaps the firmness is providing too much pressure on the body, enhancing the pain? Can soft mattresses be helpful for back pain sufferers?
The general advice is to stay away from very soft mattresses. If the mattress is too soft, it will not provide adequate support, and may make your condition worse by creating uncomfortable pressure points or putting additional strain on your spine.
Soft mattresses do not provide proper support and stability even when you sleep on your side. If you move around a lot at night, its likely that you wont get comfortable either because theres no cushioning under the hips.
Deeper impressions may cause you more problems as they allow some parts of your body to press against the surface more than others, causing some areas to be deprived of necessary support.
Softer mattresses are generally preferred by those who suffer primarily from upper body pain since they can contour around their shoulders and hips more easily than firm surfaces. Some doctors dont recommend them, however, because of the lack of lower back support mentioned above.
Balance and Movement
Can A Soft Mattress Cause Back Pain
A soft mattress might result in back pain if its worn out because it lowers your hips, shoulders, and back sinking within the mattress. The soft mattresses can result in a sagging or sinking effect, leading to improper alignment of the spine.
The soft mattress can result in immediate back pain because there is no even distribution of weight throughout the body, leading to pressure on the joints.
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Drawbacks Of A Firm Mattress
On a superficial level, the switch from a softer to harder mattress can initially feel very uncomfortable. This usually becomes less noticeable with time.
For those with specific back problems such as arthritis and scoliosis, a firmer mattress can actually exacerbate pain. This is why its essential to research mattresses before making a purchase.
Should You Worry About A New Mattress Causing Back Pain
Getting a new mattress is exciting. You anticipate sliding between the sheets and sleeping blissfully on your brand new bed. But then you struggle to get comfortable at night and you wake with morning pain or stiffness. What gives?
Your body needs time to adjust to a new mattress. Many of us adopt poor posture over the years, and a bad or old mattress can compound the problem. Its normal to feel some initial discomfort or soreness as your body adjusts.
Sleep on your new mattress for at least a month. If your pain doesnt improve, and especially if it worsens, your new mattress may not be the right fit for you.
Want to try out your new mattress without the hassle? Casper mattresses come with a 100-night risk-free sleep trial and an easy return process for more snoozing and less stressing.
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Is A Firm Or Softer Mattress Better For Back Pain
Mattress firmness levels do matter.
If youre a side sleeper and youre sleeping on a firm mattress, then theres an increased chance that youre not getting the support you need. Youll toss and turn and likely experience aches and pains in your shoulders and hips.
And if youre a stomach or back sleeper and your mattress is too soft, then your hips will sink into the bed, which puts pressure on your lower back.
But theres also the misconception that a firmer mattress is a better mattress for back pain or will last longer. This isnt necessarily true. When a mattress is designed to be soft and conforming, its designed to give in with your body and then bounce back.
If this wasnt true, youd expect a softer mattress to have a shorter warranty. But most name brand mattresses offer at least a 10-year warranty on their beds.
Your Back Pain Is Much Worse In The Mornings
If you wake up and your back is sore and aching, but you dont experience that soreness or pain at any other time, then chances are your mattress is causing it. And if the discomfort gradually improves throughout the day, then thats another key sign that your bed could be the main culprit.
According to Dr. Frank Siraguso at the Siraguso Family Chiropractic clinic, if your muscles are working too hard to keep your spine aligned, then they do not have time to rest, your joints are under constant stress, and your discs are not able to decompress and rehydrate, leaving you with pain when you wake up.
Another sign that your mattress is to blame is if stretching for 15 minutes to half an hour after you wake alleviates the pain. Constantly shifting your sleep position in order to get comfy is also an indicator that your mattress is causing your back and hips to ache.
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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.
Creating Optimal Spinal Alignment
When we enter slow-wave sleep, our muscles are not paralyzed like in REM periods, and we may move around. This could mean rolling around and winding up in odd sleeping positions. If you have a mattress with zoned support, this shouldnt be a big deal as long as you dont wind yourself into a pretzel. The mattress should do the work in letting your shoulders and hips sink in a little while supporting the spine.
However, if youre on an ultra-hard bed and end up on your side, you could end up messing with the spinal curve, and if youre already dealing with pain and inflammation, this isnt great news.
Mattresses have come a long way in the past few years and many companies have realized the benefits of proper spinal alignment for sleep. When youre laying on the side, proper alignment should be fairly straight, allowing the hips and shoulders to sink in slightly while supporting the middle. Mattresses that offer zoned support tend to be great at this.
When sleeping on your back, there should be a slight curve in the spine, with support in the mid and low back, while allowing the neck to rest backward. If you live in the twenty-first century, you probably spend a fair amount of time looking at screens. Whether on your phone, a computer, or a gaming device.
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A Flippable Model With Two Levels Of Firmness
- Materials: Memory foam, support foam
- Firmness level: Soft on one side, medium-firm on the other
- Trial period: 120 nights
Laylas mattress has a four layer construction, including a 4.5-inch layer of support foam thats specifically aimed at keeping your back aligned. This layer also combats the sinking feeling that you get with other memory foam mattresses, so you dont feel like youre dropping too far into the mattress when you sleep. The mattress is flippable, with both a soft and firm side . That said, back pain sufferers will likely feel the most comfortable on the firm side.
What the reviews say: Heres what one happy customer has to say about the Layla mattress: I fall asleep fast and sleep through the night without moving. I wake up in the morning with no pain and well rested. I haven’t slept this good in many years. And according to this short-and-sweet review: It’s not a magic carpet, but we both have been sleeping better and waking up with MUCH less pain in our joints and back.
How Back Pain Affects Sleep
Back pain is a widespread problem that affects an estimated 80% of adults at one time or another. It can make all types of daily activities difficult including walking, working, sitting, and lifting even lightweight items. Unfortunately, we know that back pain complicates sleep as well, making it hard to find a comfortable position to fall asleep and keep sleeping soundly through the night.
Research studies have found that over half of people with lower back pain report sleeping problems. These negative impacts on sleep arise in people who have both sudden and short-term back pain and those who have long-term, persistent back pain.
People with pain tend to have fragmented sleep that occurs from waking up during the night. Upon waking up, getting back to sleep can be difficult because of ongoing aches and discomfort. Pain can also contribute to stress, depression, and anxiety, all of which can be detrimental to quality sleep.
Back pain sufferers can take a number of steps to try to feel and sleep better. Getting medical help for serious back problems may help reduce pain. Treatments depend on the cause and nature of a persons symptoms and can range from surgery to physical therapy to pain-relieving medications.
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How To Choose A Mattress With Good Back Support
If its time to say goodbye to your old mattress and welcome in a new one that has better back support, then there are certain things you should look out for before you buy.
First, make sure you can try the bed whether thats in-store or, better still, with a lengthy, risk-free at-home trial as found with the best mattress in a box brands. Unsure what firmness to go for? Then choose one with a medium-firm feel. Also look out for features such as lumbar support or zoned support. This means the firmness is varied across the mattress, becoming more supportive in the middle and cozier along pressure points such as the shoulders.
According to chiropractor Dr. Brent Wells , when speaking about traditional innerspring beds, said: Springs that are stiff can cause the body to lie unevenly on the surface, leaving your lower back with little or no support.” For low back pain, he recommends memory foam or latex foam.
Back Pain Pressure Points
If there is an overly vital area to be attentive to when suffering from back pain, its the pressure points that an improper mattress can cause on your body. These points mean that there is extra push back to a specific area. This can cause misalignment throughout your body and your spine.
Once it has moved out of alignment, there is an increased amount of pressure placed on your spine. Thats one of the common causes of back pain. Thinking about it that way may just help you answer the question, Is a firm mattress good for your back? from a whole new angle.
With this said, its essential to ensure that you arent sleeping on a bed that places too much pressure on your spine. This is also true for any major joints. Thats whats going to allow your body to rest in a relaxed state. The chance of pressure points forming along the spine as well as the lower back is diminished dramatically when the appropriate product is picked.
Pressure points are capable of causing long-term deformations and pains along your spine. This isnt something that you can likely afford as it can quickly turn into a chronic condition.
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Your Back Pain Fades After Waking
If stretching and a good hot shower alleviates your morning aches, they might be related to your mattress. But if your back pain is an all-day kind of thing, there may be other causes.
Even if you suspect your mattress is to blame for your sore back, its important to chat with your healthcare provider if your back pain persists throughout the day and is more than just a morning nuisance.
What Is The Best Mattress For Back Pain Many Experts Get This Wrong
Recently a friend of mine asked me, Do you know what is the best mattress for back pain? She was having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep because of sciatica and some back problems.
I figured the firmest mattress was probably the best but I really didn’t know for sure.
To answer her question, I decided to dig into the medical literature to see what was in there about the best mattress for back pain. I went back about 10 years. There aren’t a lot of studies on mattresses and back pain. But there’s enough information there to make a really good decision.
And not only was I wrong about what I thought was the best mattress for back pain, but so are a heck of a lot of doctors who deal with back pain. Firmer does not mean better for back pain.
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