Mayo Health Care
How to choose a mattress if you have back pain
Mattresses are one of the most important factors to avoid back pain as most people spend at least 7 hours on them each day. Sleeping on a bad mattress can cause back pain as they usually lack back support and can effect the alignment of the back. It is definitely worth taking the time to select the best mattress for your body that supports your back whilst you sleep and one that is comfortable to sleep on. The type of mattress you choose must be comfortable and have the necessary back support to reduce back pain and give you a good night sleep. A good mattress usually is around 7 to 18 inches deep with a good number of spring coils for support allowing the body to be supported and at the same time allowing for the natural curves and alignment of the spine. A good mattress can be bought by go to a showroom that has lots of brands and varieties, and start by lying on the firmest mattresses the store has to offer.
Then lie on the softest ones. That gives two good comparison points. Find a mattress that is between the two end points, but closer to the firmest ones than the softest. Get on the mattress in your normal sleep position and evaluate the mattress for the level of comfort and support that feels right for you also discuss their mattress purchase with their doctors. The majority of back stiffness occurs while sleeping, to reduce this from occurring you can: *Make sure that your pillow can support your neck, but too many pillows can cause neck strain.
Sleep on a contoured pillow to avoid neck strain - you want to keep your neck and spine in-line while you sleep. *Try putting a small pillow between your knees when you sleep. This will help keep your hips in-line, avoiding lower back stiffness. • Ensure your mattress is big enough for you and your partner. If you are sharing a small mattress, you may sleep in awkward positions because you are being crowded out. • A saggy mattress contributes to muscle stiffness and chronic back pain, this can be avoid by purchasing a orthopedic mattress that contains more support than a regular mattress. *If you have trouble sleeping, try lying on your back with a pillow under your knees, or sleeping on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your knees. *Your bed should be a height that makes it easy to get into and out of. When getting in, sit on the edge, lower your body on to one elbow and shoulder, and draw up your knees and then feet. Reverse the procedure to get out.
The other option is to go for a adjustable beds they are different than standard flat beds because they allow users to change the incline angle of the head of the bed and, in many cases, at the foot of the bed as well. A slight incline of the head (no more than 45º), coupled with additional support under the knees, can help reduce pain, particularly leg and back pain from herniated discs and/or spinal stenosis. It also helps a patient to get out of bed without having to roll and sit up as much as if one who was rising from a flat position.
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