Posted by Robin Jose
Back pain is the third biggest reason (behind skin and joint complaints) for people to see their doctor. Studies in Minnesota, U.S. show back pain is a bigger problem than respiratory problems, high blood pressure and headaches. Yet using the best mattress for back pain could help keep you out of the doctor’s waiting room.
Some mattress types are better at preventing or relieving back pain. The difference in the best mattress for back painis in these characteristics:
- Supportiveness. A mattress is more supportive when it does a better job of keeping your body level. A mattress that sags is bad news for back pain sufferers.
- Conformability. Mattresses that adapt overall to your body shape show higher conformability. Gaps in or damage to a mattress can mean a lack of conformability.
- Firmness. Soft mattresses may conform well, but lack supportiveness (see above). Excessively firm mattresses will lack conformability. Medium-firm mattresses like the Tempur Pedicare a better compromise
- Position. If you want to read in bed or watch TV, mattresses designed for use with a recliner bed base can provide a well-supported position. Lazy Boy products like the Lazy Boy chair are also an option.
Firmness is also an important consideration for your sleeping posture and selecting the best mattress for back pain. For sleeping on your back, choose a firmer not a softer mattress, but avoid very firm mattresses if you sleep on your side. For sleeping on your stomach, a medium firm mattress is likely to be best.
How do different types of mattresses compare using the criteria above?
- Innerspring mattresses provide reasonable support and conformability with a choice of firmness from soft to firm. Their multiple, individual coil springs adapt to the shape of your body. A greater density of springs means better conformability.
- Latex mattresses may offer slightly better support and typically a firmness ranging from medium-firm to firm.
- Memory foam mattresses like the Tempur range are a favourite with many back-pain sufferers who find their supportiveness and conformability make them the best mattress for back pain.
To go with a new mattress, think about suitable head support or pillows for side sleepers too. Tempur memory foam pillows, with the same temperature sensitive material as Tempur Pedic mattresses, soften in response to your body heat. This then gives greater conformability with the natural curvature of your head and neck for optimal comfort and support.