Is Your Mattress Causing Your Back Pain
For thousands of people, waking up with a sore back is a rite of passage. Each day begins anew with a cramp in the lower back or a dull ache. In many cases, it is the very mattress that you sleep on that is the source of your pain. So before you come home and lay down to rest your tired back, read on to see if your mattress is the culprit. Here are two major signs that you have the wrong mattress:
When Its Not Your Mattress
Dr Smycz gave us a heads up that if you have back pain when youre sleeping and its waking you up, you should get your spine checked.
The bottom line: a good mattress should support the spine. If youre waking up with pain, consider these factors as it might be time to invest in a new mattress. Lucky for you, Ecosa offers a 100-day trial period of its adjustable mattress to help in your quest to avoid back pain. A good nights sleep is waiting for you!
Is Sleeping On An Air Mattress Bad For Your Back
Yes, yes, and noit all depends on you and the mattress.
About the Author
Dr. Sheryl Grassie
At Mattress Advisor, youll find comprehensive, unbiased reviews on the best mattresses and bedding products and thoroughly researched tips for getting your best sleep.
Most answers, when it comes to questions about what the right type of mattress, are going to start with, It depends. The same is true when you ask if sleeping on an air mattress is bad for your back, even if youre sleeping on one of the best air mattresses.
Just like with other preferences in our livesour choice of profession, what we eat, where we live, what we find pleasing when it comes to sleepthe type of mattress, our sleep position, and the temperature is determined by individual preference.
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Ways Your Mattress Could Be Negatively Affecting Your Health
Sometimes theres no better feeling than getting into bed after a long, exhausting day. The goal: Burrow into your cozy haven, clock a solid seven to nine hours of sleep, and wake up refreshed and ready to have an excellent day. But sometimes your mattress can make achieving this goal impossible in various ways, all of which can ultimately affect your health. Read on for ways your mattress could be harming your health, plus what to do about them.
Ever heard of dust mites? These microscopic creatures, distantly related to ticks and spiders, live in humid climates and feed off the dead human skin found in household dust, according to the Mayo Clinic. Unfortunately, they can make their home in your home even if you keep your place as spotless as possible, Rita Aouad M.D., an assistant professor of sleep medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. Dust mites do especially well in warm, humid spots like your bedding, mattress, and upholstered furniture.
If youre allergic to dust mites, your body has a sensitivity to their feces and decaying bodies. Coming into contact with this debris can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction like coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. If you have asthma, it could also trigger symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, coughing, and wheezing . Whether youre dealing with allergies or asthma, having dust mites in your bed can translate into restless nights full of symptoms.
Mattress Firmness Suitability For Back Pain
Mattresses can potentially be available in any of the following firmnesses .
Extra soft mattresses are typically best for side sleepers that weigh less than 130 lbs because they allow you to sink more deeply into the mattress materials to remove pressure on your hips and shoulders.
This means that an extra-soft mattress may be suitable if you have back pain thats primarily triggered by surface pressure such as sciatica or nerve-related back pain because the softer surface is less liable to create pressure points.
Soft mattresses are often preferred by side sleepers and lighter weighted sleepers under 150 lbs again due to the greater give afforded by the upper comfort layers that may also provide relief for back pain that is brought on through pressure points.
Softer mattresses are often best avoided by heavier weighted sleepers over 230 lbs especially if you sleep on your front because youre more likely to sink into the mattress and experience back pain due to spinal misalignment and bad posture.
Medium-soft mattresses are often enjoyed by side and back sleepers in the 130 230 lbs range, whilst front sleepers under 200 lbs who prefer more pressure relief may also feel well supported.
A medium firmness mattress is the most popular mattress firmness and is typically best suited to front, back, and side sleepers in the 130 230 lbs range .
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How To Stop Mattress Sagging
While there is no way to completely stop mattress sagging you can do a few things to extend the life of your mattress. It is important to do all you can to alleviate back pain from your mattress.
- Using a topper can make a sagging mattress more comfortable but can also extend the life of a new mattress.
- Turning your mattress as often as you can, if you have a turn mattress, can even out the wear and tear over years and delay your mattress from sagging.
- Rotating your mattress does likewise and can be done on both turn and non turn mattresses. This may not be possible on certain zoned mattresses.
- Buy a good quality mattress with a reputable supplier is always recommended. Check out their reviews and make sure their warranty covers every part of the mattress.
Need More Help With Back Pain
These free resources will help you get on the right track to ridding yourself of back pain!
- Find a mattress to relieve you of back pain with Mattress Match
- Learn about all the options with our Mattress Buying Guide
- Experience the REM sleep deserve with our Better Sleep Guide
- Go from Zs to As in college with this sleep guide for students
- Want to conquer sleep deprivation? Check out our sleeping disorders guide
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How To Tell If Your Mattress Is Bad
A mattress can sag and distort over time, internal layers can wear away and some have structural problems. Here are some common things to look out for if youre concerned that you might be sleeping on a bad mattress:
If you think you might be sleeping on a bad mattress, it might be time for a new one. Get the latest advice and recommendations in our article: How often should you change your mattress?
Ways Your Old Mattress Is Causing You Back Pain
Sleeping on an old mattress could put you at risk of experiencing back pain according to scientific investigations and my own primary research , personal experience, and secondary research .
For example, a double-blind scientific study of 265 subjects revealed that theres a significant positive correlation between the quality of sleep and the quality of the mattress resulting in the conclusion that sleeping on an old mattress could worsen existing back pain conditions .
Furthermore, having slept on many old mattresses myself over the years, my experience correlates with the many reports that Ive read online and heard in person from other sleepers that sleeping on an old mattress can trigger back pain even when there was no pre-existing chronic back pain condition.
At the qualitative level, Ive concluded that the 3 primary ways that your old mattress could be causing you back pain are as follows:
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Reduce Inflammation Through Diet And Exercise
When your joints are already inflamed from your daily activity and eating habits, youre sure to experience pain during the night. To help eliminate your back pain in bed, try reducing or eliminating foods that cause inflammation, such as refined bread and other carbohydrates, fried foods, sugary beverages, and red meat.
Instead, aim to eat foods that help you sleep and that fight inflammation, such as fruit, tomatoes, olive oil, leafy greens, almonds, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. You may be surprised at how your morning back pain is improved after just a couple of weeks of eating well.
Muscles and joints that are stretched regularly can also improve pain levels when youre lying in bed, so try doing yoga several times per week.
How The Wrong Pillow Can Affect Your Sleep Position
While the issue is more serious for stomach sleepers, those who sleep on their side can also be pulling their spines out of alignment by using the wrong pillow. Even with the right sleep position, the wrong pillow can lead to major issues that can be a literal pain in the neck. Thats because your pillow is just as important as your mattress when it comes to proper spinal alignment.
Choose a pillow with the right amount of loft for your sleep position. If you sleep on your side, you need a more supportive pillow with a higher loft. For those who sleep on their stomachs, look for a pillow with a lower profile.
Individuals who sleep on their back may sleep on both high and low loft pillows, based on their personal preference.
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Does It Matter If Its A Turn Or Non
The main cause of sagging is simple wear and repetitive pressure being placed on both the springs and fillings. The great thing about a turnable mattress is that every few months, you can simply flip your mattress to sleep on the other side, thus spreading the wear and allowing your mattress to keep its shape for longer.
Can Mattress Toppers Cause Lower Back Pain
Waking up with lower back pain can really be a pain. The worst thing is that sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint the reason for this pain that you are suffering from.
When it comes to whether mattress toppers are a good solution to back pain, the reviews are fairly mixed. While some people say that mattress toppers help solve their back pain, others blame their mattress toppers for causing lower back pain.
Toppers can be great because they can make a firm bed a little more comfortable and a soft bed a little firmer. The idea is that we want to avoid extremes, because a bed that is too firm wont support your spines natural curves, which over time can lead to pain and discomfort. On the flip side, a bed that is too soft will cause you to sink in and wont protect those curves either.
The most common cause of back pain is in your lower back.
The secret is to strike a happy medium between the two. The best material to sleep on is the type that molds to your shape, like memory foam. This allows you to keep your spine and head well aligned while you sleep, therefore reducing the chances of pain and injury.
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Annoying Health Side Effects Of Sleeping On A Bad Mattress
How do you feel after a bad nights sleep? From drowsiness to headaches, the short-term effects of a night of low quality sleep are usually easy to notice as soon as you wake up.
The long-term effects, on the other hand, can take slightly longer to develop. From a less effective immune system to weight and respiratory issues, low quality sleep can cause a wide range of negative health effects.
Your mattress plays an important role in helping you fall and stay asleep. A mattress thats too firm, too soft, not supportive enough or just plain uncomfortable can often be all it takes to prevent you from getting the quality sleep you need.
Are you concerned about the effects your mattress is having on your health? In this guide, well share 10 annoying and in some cases, potentially serious health side effects of sleeping on a bad mattress.
Sleeping On Your Stomach
Dr Smycz said that your sleep posture is an additional factor to back and neck pain. Stomach sleepers, take note!
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position to sleep in because you have to turn your head, which puts a strain on the neck and upper back, said Dr Smycz. Sleeping on your stomach compresses the solar plexus, and digestion is affected as well. It doesnt allow you to properly rest and repair throughout the night.
So whats the ideal sleeping position to avoid back pain?
The ideal sleep posture is lying on your side, explained Dr Smycz. When lying on your side, imagine a line going all the way from the neck through to the spine. You want that line to be straight. A nice, supportive mattress will keep that spine aligned.
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Why Is Back Pain Worse When Lying Down
But why does your back pain occur when youre getting into bed? Most people who experience back pain have strained muscles. Not sitting up straight at the desk or lounging unsupported on the couch can cause specific muscles to contract over long periods.
You may not notice it at the moment or when youre up walking around because theres no pressure on them. But when your back hits an unsupportive bed, those sensitive, strained, and damaged muscles are agitated.
And that added pressure on the affected part of your back causes those muscles to hurt.
A Chiropractor Explains How To Tell When Your Mattress Could Be Causing Your Back Pain
Waking up with a stiff back is uncomfortable and worrisome. It might feel as though you cant bend over, or you may hear creaks and cracks as you stretch out.
But if your back is still in pain after a morning stretch, there might be a bigger problem.
Back pain is frustrating as its hard to pinpoint exactly what causes it. You might have tried different approaches to alleviate the pain, but found nothing works. Have you ever thought that the mattress you sleep on for 7-8 hours every night could the culprit of your back pain?
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How Can I Make My Back Stop Hurting In Bed
There are a few things you can do to help treat your back pain in bed.
First, you can consult with a physician.
They may use high-end procedures like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or EMGs to determine why youre experiencing back pain in bed.
However, not all back pain merits seeing a doctor.
Generally, youll want to make an appointment with your physician only if your back pain.
- Feels especially severe or radiates to other parts of your body.
- It quickly gets worse over time.
- It started with a specific injury.
- Is showing signs of infection like fever or swelling.
- It may be causing weakness, numbness, or tingling in your lower body.
If that doesnt sound like you, though, there are a few things you can do at home to help treat your back pain.
Best Mattress To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain
The largest nerve in the body is the sciatic, located in the lower portion of the spinal cord. The sciatic nerve extends through the glutes and attaches to nerve endings in the lower limbs. When something irritates the sciatic nerve, the pain can be debilitating. Treating sciatica can require a mix of physical therapy, exercises, medications, and muscle relaxers. One of the ways someone suffering from sciatica can remedy the issue, however, is with a different mattress.
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Where Did The Notion That Air Mattresses Are Bad For Your Back Come From
Back pain is commonplace as part of a modern lifestyle. It can stem from not enough exercise, prolonged periods of sitting, or a bad mattress. I have a friend who went through years of back pain, cortisone shots, and was scheduled for surgery. She bought a new bed as a last resort before having the operation and made an unprecedented full recovery: pain free for years now, all due to the right mattress.
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Conversely, sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause pain, especially back pain. Early air mattresses were a simple affair. They consisted of a vinyl exterior that was inflated with air, and many people found they either caused or exacerbated back pain. They were not very supportive, not good for spinal alignment, and could lead to back pain and stiffness. They offered no deep contouring for the body like what you can now get with pocketed coils or memory foam mattresses. Even current bloggers, who report successful sleep trials on an air mattress, may still caution about back pain.
Some of the concerns over back pain, however, may be a hangover from times gone by. Current air mattresses are nothing like they used to be. They were originally designed as short-term or temporary beds. They were used as guest beds, for camping, or as an interim bed when moving. With new technology, you can now purchase a high-quality air mattresses or air bed that is a viable long-term option.