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Can a New Mattress Help with My Back Pain?

Humans spend about one-third of their lives sleeping, but many aren’t getting the back support they need while in bed, resulting in back pain. Although not everyone with back pain has a bad mattress, many who have a bad mattress experience back pain. Why? Because little or no mattress support can cause back pain or exacerbate existing pain. You don’t have to simply accept back pain and shouldn’t overlook it as a part of aging or old injuries coming back.

Evaluating your mattress should be at the top of your list if you can’t get a comfortable night’s sleep and you experience back pain. Mattresses wear over time, and they fail to provide adequate support once they are worn out. The foam and/or mattress coils compress, which gradually makes your mattress less comfortable. This can force you to sleep in a position that puts extra strain on the muscles and does not support good spine alignment.

A new mattress can also help you sleep better, and according to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 92% of Americans believe a good mattress is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep. The comfort of the pillows, sheets, and bedding is almost as important.

Things to consider when buying a new mattress include:

  • The material construction: When you hear about memory foam, gel, pillowtop, water beds, air beds, and innerspring mattresses, you may be confused. Doing a little research can help you determine which mattress type would best suit you.
  • Thickness: Standard thickness for a mattress is between 6 and 9 inches. However, you may want to change the thickness of your mattress from the standard thickness by taking your body weight and mobility into account. Generally, people heavier than 225 pounds need a thicker mattress than those who weigh less. Those who are between 130 to 230 pounds may prefer a bed offering the balance of soft padding and firm support. Higher weight groups usually prefer firmer beds offering strong support and minimal conformation to the body’s contours.
  • Firmness: This is one of the most important considerations when buying a new mattress. The mattress should be firm enough for good lower back support. The softest mattresses usually offer adequate support for those who weigh less than 130 pounds, while medium soft/medium firm mattresses
  • Your preferred sleeping position: If you are a side sleeper, you were likely enjoy a slight softness to your mattress to cushion your shoulders and hips. If you sleep on your back, you’ll want a firm enough mattress to support you back, but still soft enough to contour to your body. Tummy sleepers, who often sleep this way because of back pain, need an even firmer mattress. If you sleep in different positions, you may opt for a memory foam mattress.

Should I Buy a New Mattress?

If your mattress is 8 years old or more, then the answer is definitely yes. You may feel fine, but be astonished at how much better you’ll feel once you get a replacement mattress, because your body has gotten used to the less-than-excellent mattress. Sleep is the time when your body is supposed to recover from the stresses of the daytime, and you can wake up with even more pain if you go to bed on a mattress that is either too old or simply doesn’t suit you. If you wake up in pain rather than refreshed, there’s a chance your mattress needs to go, especially if your pain gets better throughout the course of the day.

QualCare Rehabilitation and Allied Medical Centers can help you recover from back pain. Contact us today for an appointment by calling (713) 588-0042.

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