Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 18, 2018
You spend a third of your life on your mattress, so it’s important that you invest in a quality bed that really supports and protects your spine. This is especially important if you deal with acute or chronic back pain. Your bed is supposed to be a place where your spine can recover from the daily rigors of physical activity, but if you don’t have a supportive mattress, it can actually stress and strain your back throughout the night.
There’s no perfect way to pick out a mattress because what might work for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else, but there are some guidelines for picking out a mattress if you are dealing with back pain. Below, we share some buying tips to keep in mind if you want to protect your spine while you sleep.
Comfort is King
The most important tip to keep in mind is to find something that’s comfortable. If you feel comfortable in bed, odds are your spine is in a restful position. Try out a few different mattresses to see what feels most comfortable before purchasing.
Try in Store
This coincides with the above point, but make sure you try out the mattress before you buy it. A number of online stores advertise that you can return it if you don’t like it, but most people don’t want to go through the hassle of returning a big mattress, so they deal with it, even if it isn’t a perfect fit for their needs. Try out mattresses in store so you know exactly what to expect before buying.
The 7-Year Rule
Mattresses also lose their ability to support your body evenly after a number of years. For most people, that’s somewhere between 5-10 years, so a good rule of thumb is to replace your mattress every seven years. Also, consider rotating your mattress every six months so that the same coils aren’t supporting the same pressure points for years.
Put Health Over Price
Nobody wants to shell out more money than they need to on their mattress, but at the same time, be wary about buying the cheapest mattress you can find. Cheaper mattresses are more likely to break down unevenly, which can put undue stress on your spine, and you may need to replace them sooner, which will cost you more money. Keeping your spine healthy is more important than saving a little money when it comes to buying a mattress.
A quality mattress isn’t the only thing that will ensure you have a restful night of sleep, you also need a good pillow. A pillow should lightly prop up and support your head, but it shouldn’t be so high that it’s putting pressure on your cervical spine. Some people also find it helpful for their back to put a pillow in between their knees for support. However, you use pillows, make sure they are providing adequate support.
If you keep these tips in mind and strive to get 7-8 hours of restful sleep a night, we’re confident that your spine will be able to recover during this time. A good night’s sleep probably won’t be the only treatment you’ll need for your back, but it is an important step, so don’t ignore your mattress! For more information on sleep’s role in spine care, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.