How Can a Mattress Affect Back Pain?
If you experience back pain, you’re not alone. Back pain is a common affliction, and up to 80
percent of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. And mattresses can be a
source of pain or relief.
What Causes Back Pain?
There are many possible sources of back pain, and some sources can combine to cause or
exacerbate back pain. Causes can include accidents, sprains, stress, and injuries. Even simply
aging can be a factor affecting back pain.
The Relationship Between Mattresses and Back Pain
Pain can make it more difficult for you to sleep, and if you’re not sleeping well, you may struggle
more to manage your pain. When you sleep well on a mattress that meets your needs can help you avoid back pain and may relieve some pain.
The Right Mattress for Back Pain
Although firm mattresses are commonly associated with relieving back pain, the fact is there
isn’t a single type of firmness of mattress that is ideal for all. You should choose a mattress that
will offer good support, alignment, and firmness to meet your needs.
Look for a mattress that aligns your spine well so your spine isn’t dropping too deeply into
sagging or too soft spots on your mattress. It should offer good support, pushing gently back
onto your body with a comfortable amount of firmness. You want to be able to sink into the bed
enough to feel comforted and supported, but not so much that you feel you’re too deep into the
Rule of Thumb
What’s comfortable for one person isn’t necessarily comfortable for everyone else. The right
one for your needs depends on your weight, the position you sleep in, and other factors. In
general, a firm mattress will be more supportive for people of a heavier weight than average (typically 230 pounds or heavier) and a soft mattress will be good for people who are below
average in weight (usually 130 pounds or lighter). This is because the heavier you are, the more
pressure you put on the mattress. A firmer mattress will not allow you to sink too deeply. But if
you’re lighter, a too firm mattress won’t offer any give, so you need a softer one. If you’re
average weight, a medium firm mattress (also known as a universal comfort mattress) will
typically be a good fit.
Supporting Healthy Sleep
In addition to choosing the right mattress, it’s important to practice healthy sleep habits and
sleep in a position that can help you avoid or relieve back pain.
Maintain healthy sleep habits. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.
Ensure that your bedroom is a healthy sleep environment, free of distractions and bright lights.
Avoid screen time, caffeine, and alcohol late at night so you don’t experience unnecessary
difficulty with sleep.
Sleep in the right position. If you’re prone to back pain, sleeping on your back can be helpful.
It’s the best position for back pain because it minimizes your pressure points and distributes
your weight evenly. Side sleeping may also be helpful, especially if you put a pillow between
your knees to offer better spinal alignment. It’s not a good idea to sleep on your stomach, as it
can cause you to sink into your bed too deeply, causing too much pressure on your spine.
Although back pain is sometimes unavoidable, a good mattress and healthy sleep hygiene can
be helpful in getting sleep and relieving back pain. Choose the right mattress for your needs and
practice good sleep habits to offer support for back pain.
Want More Information
We are experts at helping people suffering with low back pain. If your experiencing back pain, Dr Clark may write you a prescription for an orthopedic mattress, saving you from paying sales tax. Click here to schedule your free consultation.
Article provided by:
Amy Highland is a sleep expert at https://www.sleephelp.org/ . She loves taking naps during thunderstorms
and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.