The most important piece of furniture you possess in terms of your wellbeing is your mattress. You sleep around a third of your life in bed. An uncomfortable mattress may adversely affect the quantity and quality of your sleep. This is especially the case for millions of back pain sufferers who have been told that a firm mattress is best for them over the last several decades. In truth, there are several factors to consider when choosing the best mattress for you, including: the type of back problem you are having, your sleeping position, the strength of the mattress and your comfort preference.
Different types of mattresses help in alleviating pain for various types of back problems and symptoms. Patients with lumbar disc issues have symptoms that include shooting pain in one leg from the top of the buttock to the bottom leg or foot followed by numbness, something like “pins and needles,” or weakness of the hip. Those who suffer from this condition will benefit from a firm mattress, as it can be very difficult to bend or stretch the mattress.
Spinal stenosis sufferers feel back pain, cramping, or numbness, hands, arms, and shoulders and function better in a flexed or loose position. So a slightly softer mattress fits for them better. The most common complaint of back pain is lower back pain. People usually feel an aching, dull pain in the lower back core. A clinical study from Spain has shown that a medium firm mattress is generally better than a firmer one in relieving chronic back pain. There’s not, however, one particular mattress type that works best for everyone with lower back pain.
Another factor to consider in connection with the type of back pain you experience is the place you sleep in. If you have a lumbar disk problem then it is probably the most comfortable position for you to sleep on your stomach with a flat pillow under your stomach and hips as it decreases the tension on the degenerated disc in your lower back. It’s better to have a firmer mattress to sleep on your stomach while a softer mattress will create an painful arch in your back which will make your condition worse.
People with spinal stenosis sleep most comfortably in the fetal position on their side with a pillow between their knees. For this sleeping position a medium firm or firm mattress is fine but most people prefer a thicker padding to minimize pressure on their hips and shoulders. Finally, those with lower back pain will sleep flat on their back with a pillow under their knees to alleviate downward pressure. There is no one type of mattress that works for all people with back pain, but people with lower back pain should choose a mattress that provides support, comfort and eventually a good night’s sleep.
The significant consideration in choosing a mattress is the comfort it offers. A supportive mattress must have the correct combination of support and concavity to allow for natural alignment of the spine. There are several mattress components which contribute to the way a mattress set is supportive. First, the most important aspects of a mattress that offer back support are the mattress springs and coils. The mattress coil scale denotes how rigid or firm a mattress is. The lower the coil length, the thicker and more rigid the thread, the firmer the mattress. Therefore, the higher a mattress’s coil count, the better the quality. A higher number of coils however does not automatically mean a more comfortable or supportive mattress.
The base, or boxspring, is the next component of a mattress set which affects back support. The base / boxspring for the mattress absorbs weight. Buying the boxspring designed to suit your mattress is important, since manufacturers design both parts to work together. A misaligned set may adversely affect the durability of your mattress and the degree of support offered by the mattress.