Back pain — a condition that affects eight in every ten people — ranges in severity, from a dull ache in the lower spine to chronic discomfort. If you suffer from this problem, your bed could be making it worse.
Choosing the right bed, along with exercise and lifestyle changes, can help you on your road to recovery. Here’s how to select the best bed for back pain.
Hard Mattresses for Back Pain
Low back pain sufferers who use an orthopedic mattress — these products have a firm, tough texture — experience poor quality sleep, according to research. That’s because these mattresses can push on the body’s pressure points and cause discomfort. Firm beds can even affect your circulation and prevent the alignment of your spine.
Soft Mattresses for Back Pain
Some health practitioners recommend soft mattresses for people who experience back pain, instead. These provide alignment for the body’s joints and provide temporary relief from this condition. However, soft mattresses can cause bad posture during sleep, something that often results in pain.
Finding the Perfect Balance
Studies show that people who use a medium-firm mattress — mattresses that are neither too hard or too soft — are more likely to report improvements in lower back pain than those who sleep on a hard mattress. Another study showed that medium-firm mattresses improved stress and sleep quality and decreased pain. These products come with several benefits: they provide your body with lots of support without placing too much pressure on your back.
What About Memory Foam Mattresses?
Memory foam mattresses could also improve your back pain. These mold to your back in reaction to body heat and distribute body weight evenly, which could lead to noticeable improvements in your posture. Latex mattresses provide an alternative to memory foam and are made from natural, biodegradable substances.
Choose a mattress that’s too hard — or too soft — and your back won’t get the support it needs when you’re asleep. If you suffer from back pain, a medium-firm mattress, which has been layered with memory foam or latex, could alleviate your condition.