Could Your Mattress Be Causing Back Pain?

Mattresess that are too old may well cause back pain and even neck pain as well as other health problems. Take our test to see if your mattress is too old.

It is quite common for back pain sufferers to experience disturbed sleep. In a recent study, approximately two thirds of patients with chronic back pain reported sleeping disorders. Research has highlighted that disrupted sleep can exacerbate chronic back problems, forming a vicious cycle where back pain disrupts sleep, and poor sleep can make the pain worse. Only 11% of people renew a bed because it has become uncomfortable.

Is your bed too old? Take our test.

Is the bed 10 years old or more?

Do you wake up with back or neck ache?

It the mattress cover torn or stained?

When lying in bed can you feel spings or ridges?

When moving in bed can you hear squeaks or crunches?

Do you roll towards the middle?

Is the bed too small to give an undisturbed night?

Is the divan or base uneven or sagging?

Are the legs and castors worn out?

If you answered yes to a few of these questions then these tips may help you choose a better bed?

Night Time Trivia

We toss and turn up to 70 times a night.

We lose up to half a pint of perspiration, most of it into the mattress.

We grow up to 2 cm overnight as our discs expand.

It is quite common for back pain sufferers to experience disturbed sleep. In a recent study, approximately two thirds of patients with chronic back pain reported sleeping disorders. Research has highlighted that disrupted sleep can exacerbate chronic back problems, forming a vicious cycle where back pain disrupts sleep, and poor sleep can make the pain worse. Only 11% of people renew a bed because it has become uncomfortable.

Good beds improve sleep

What you sleep on can make a big difference to the quality of sleep you get and how well you function during the daytime. Sleep is an essential part of life, with the average person spending a third of their lives sleeping. It is the time when bodies and minds rest and rejuvenate.

A lack of sleep can contribute to poor health and increased muscle fatigue and pain. Your spine in particular benefits greatly from adequate rest and sleep, as it works hard during the day providing support for the body and its functions. Uncomfortable sleeping surfaces can make it difficult to obtain rest needed, even for those without pain.

Choosing a mattress

Most beds have a lifespan of 10 years, and some cheaper ones considerably less. A good mattress will allow you to maintain the same natural spinal alignment that you have when you are standing. When your body is allowed to rest in its natural position, your muscles are relaxed and sleep is more refreshing.

A few points to keep in mind when looking for a new mattress are the type, the foundation, firmness, comfort and durability.

Types of mattress

There are many different types available, ranging from inner-spring, memory foam, latex, flotation (water beds) and air mattresses. The inner-spring mattresses may offer more flexibility in terms of support and firmness, many people find other mattress types just as comfortable. The best mattress is one that offers you the most comfort and support.

For most people the best choice is either a good quality pocket sprung mattress or memory foam one. Memory foam molds to the shape of your body and provides excellent support. Organic latex is also a good option if you don’t want the chemicals often used on memory foam.

Bed Foundation

Often called the box spring, this portion of the bed does much of the hard work for the mattress, absorbing stress and weight. The correct foundation can extend the life of a mattress by giving it more support. Using old or no foundations can negatively affect the level of support and durability of your mattress. Try whenever possible to purchase the box spring or foundation designed to go with your mattress.

Firmness

The saying that firmer mattresses are better is not necessarily true. A mattress that is too firm does not support the body evenly, tending to only properly support the body’s heaviest parts. In contrast, a mattress that is too soft will sag and prevent the spine from maintaining proper alignment. Neither situation allows your muscles and body to rest sufficiently, as they must work throughout the night to find a comfortable position and maintain correct posture.

Comfort

The best thing to do when shopping for a bed is to try it out. Lie down in the position you usually sleep in, and turn over from side to side. If you sleep with a partner, try the bed together to ensure there is enough space for you both to move around and the mattress doesn’t sag, causing you to meet in the middle. Make sure it can support your natural spinal position.

It is worth bearing in mind that different manufacturers use different terminology for firmness and comfort, such as “orthopaedic”. This term is often used by manufacturers but does not have any actual medical meaning. By trying out the mattress before you buy, you will be able to find the most comfortable one for you. If anything, most people, even back sufferers, don’t need a firm bed. A medium one will do just fine

Durability

This covers how long the materials will last. Look for quality materials for the core as well as cover. Check if the manufacturers offer a warranty in case of defects. Prices are based on mattress materials, quality of construction and size.

If your mattress is more than 10 years old, you wake up tired and achey, the box springs squeak, the mattress sags or your bed is uncomfortable, it is likely you need to replace your it.

For more information on correct sleeping posture and using the correct pillows, ask us here at Sundial.


Sundial Clinics, Brighton's favourite chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage clinicsFor better backs, shoulders, knees and necks

Serving Brighton, Hove and the surrounding areas

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