Choosing a Mattress for Lower Back Pain

You should be sleeping about eight hours a day, which means you spend about a third of your life on your mattress – and it could be time to look into your sleeping habits as a source of back pain. While there are many possible causes for your pain, choosing a mattress for lower back pain may help ease your aches and pains.

Conventional wisdom has led many people who suffer from back issues to sleep on firm bedding, which are sometimes known as orthopedic mattresses. Recent studies by Harvard University reveal that those who sleep on firm mattresses report the lowest quality sleep when compared to more plush sleeping surfaces. In many cases, trading quality sleep for an improvement in lower back pain may not be a tradeoff.

With that, it’s best to consider the source of your mattress-related back pain, and find a mattress that addresses your individual needs. In most cases, sleep-related back pain is a result of settling into a sleep position in which your spine isn’t straight or naturally aligned, and so finding a spine-friendly mattress is a matter of shopping around to find one that suits your anatomy and sleep style.

When you test a mattress, lay in the position in which you typically sleep: Most people in mattress stores lay flat on their back, which doesn’t provide a glimpse on real-world usage. When you lay on your side or your front, pay attention to how well the mattress conforms to your body and allows your spine to remain straight in your favored sleeping position. A mattress that works well for your body allows your hips and shoulders to sink deeper than other parts of your body. Because this is based on your anatomy, you’ll need to shop around to find one that works for your body type.

The first mattress that works well for you back may not work well for your rest. Mattresses that seem comfortable for a few minutes may not be quite as inviting after a full night’s sleep, so consider the comfort factor as well as orthopedic concerns when you’re shopping.

Choosing a mattress for lower back pain may help alleviate pain, but it may not be enough. If you experience persistent lower back pain, you may suffer from a condition that requires treatment. Call Front Range Orthopedics & Spine at 303.772.1600 to schedule a consultation with one of our ten orthopedic specialists.

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