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Best mattress for back problems

The ABCs of choosing the best mattress for back problems


The best mattress for back problems is no longer an elusive concept. Many years of study have yielded conclusive results, and a variety of effective mattresses for back pain are now available. Here's how you can determine which one will suit you best.

What can contribute to back pain?

When choosing the best mattress for back pain, it helps to know what causes this particular kind of pain in the first place. The number 1 cause of backache is poor posture, either at work during the day, or in bed at night.

Your spine is made up of vertebrae and intervertebral disks, which need to rehydrate at night. When you sleep in the wrong position this doesn't happen. Additionally, the muscle groups around your spine, including the trapezius and erector spinae, become inflamed and achey when you sleep in awkward positions.

Other day-to-day causes of back ache include slouching in your chair, standing with a flat back, leaning on one leg or poking your chin out when working at a computer. In short - a variety of small postural abnormalities over a long period of time lead to back ache.


How to choose the right mattress

When shopping for a mattress for backache prevention and posture improvement, keep the following in mind:

Mattress Support
Choose a mattress that provides continuous support and uniform surface contact to distribute your body weight and alleviate the stress on your spine. Gaps between your body and the surface can lead to joint pain.

Mattress Conformity
Your mattress firmness should conform to your needs and symptoms. Sleeping on a soft mattress and experiencing back aches? Switch to a firmer option, or vice versa.

Longevity
The lifespan of your mattress depends on your needs and how often it gets used. Pain might indicate that it's time to invest in a new mattress. Research suggests a new purchase approx. every 7-10 years.
Spine Alignment Could changing my mattress help to alleviate my back pain?

Take some advice from the professionals. Jeffrey N. Katz, M.D. is a professor of medicine & orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. According to this back-pain specialist, switching from a firm to a medium-firm mattress could lessen lower back pain. This claim is supported by findings of a sleep study that documented the experiences of 313 participants.
The search for the best mattress for back problems has inspired many studies. In 2008, a study regarding applied ergonomics indicated that bedding has a significant impact on back ailments. It was found that new mattresses caused less discomfort in the study participants, who experienced less back ache than their counterparts who slept on older mattresses.




What information do I need to select the best mattress for back ache?

When it comes to selecting the best mattress for back support, modern technology is on your side.
Experts recommend three kinds of mattresses, some of which feature multiple comfort technologies. These include:


Memory Foam Technology

Memory foam is one of the technologies preferred in back pain mattresses. This unique material conforms to the shape and weight of your body, giving way and providing support in equal measures to facilitate equal weight distribution and spinal alignment.
Pocketed Spring Technology

Pocket spring technology refers to mattresses in which the tension coils are pocketed in individual fabric compartments. This allows the springs to react individually to the contours and weight of your body, rather than giving way and sagging unevenly.
Latex Technology

Latex mattresses feature a premium material that gently pushes against the body, instantly improving natural contouring and ensuring full body contact at all touch points. This, in turn, facilitates exceptional pressure point relief and optimal spinal alignment.


How firm should the best mattress for back ache sufferers be?

For many years, when asked which mattress is good for back pain, specialists used to recommend very firm mattresses. The belief was that softer mattresses sag under the weight of a sleeping body and did not provide sufficient support to align the spinal column. Over time, this wisdom was challenged and the question arose of whether a hard mattress can cause back ache. Many studies and specialised enquiries later, we now know that a gentle firm mattress that provides sufficient support, but still conforms to the natural contouring of the body, is the best option when it comes to back ache prevention.

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