Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or worsen lower back pain. Lack of support from a mattress reinforces poor sleeping posture, strains muscles and does not help keep the spine in alignment, all of which contribute to low back pain.
Sleep comfort is also sacrificed if a mattress does not match one’s individual preferences. A mattress that provides both comfort and back support helps reduce low back pain, allowing the structures in the spine to really rest and rejuvenate during the night.
Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, says the mattress needs to support your body in a neutral position, one in which your spine has a nice curvature and your buttocks, heels, shoulders, and head are supported in proper alignment.
“If the mattress is too firm, it will push on those main pressure points and take you out of alignment, but if it’s too soft, those pressure points won’t be properly supported, so your whole body flops back.” Both of these scenarios can lead to an achy morning.
A good quality memory foam has been seen by the experts as an ideal mattresses for most sleepers to avoid and provide relief for back pain because it cradles the body’s curves while being firm enough to support the back’s muscular and bony structures.
Your spinal cord has three gentle curves:
- The C-shaped cervical spine that supports the head
- The reverse C-shaped thoracic spine that holds up the upper body and
- The C-shaped curve of the lumbar spine (in your lower back) that is the foundation of your back.
It’s important to maintain aligned curves when you are lying for eight hours in bed, in order to avoid chronic back pain.
Memory foam is the best in keeping the spine in alignment preventing back pain and discomfort in general. This is why more and more sleep experts and spinal cord specialists recommend memory foam mattresses for good sleeping posture.
However, it gets even better as today there are several premium mattresses focused on pain relief which combine this great foam advantage with the well-tested, traditional comfort provided by coil springs. These conform to the body (i.e. are soft enough) while still offering a firm surface not prone to sagging. The right mattress for back pain is one on which you feel no pressure, almost like you’re floating in air.
If you’re looking for a new mattress, experts suggest testing it in the store and laying down on each mattress in the position in which you normally sleep. You should try to spend at least 10 to 15 minutes on the bed if possible. The more you can replicate the way you’ll be sleeping on the mattress once you get it home, the better your chances of picking the right one.
If you are struggling with lower back pain call Dr. Kushwaha. He’s a board certified Spine Surgeon. To learn more about his procedures or to schedule an appointment please call, (713) 587-6263 or visit www.drkushwaha.com.