What Kind of Bed is Best for Back Pain?
Back pain is one of the number one causes that middle aged adults begin to lose their mobility. Back pain can prevent you from being physically active, leading to weight gain and trouble with strength, stamina, and balance – especially as you age. Treating back pain at home is incredibly important for these very reasons.
Luckily, you can start treating back pain by sleeping on the right kind of bed. Which kind of bed is best for back pain, you ask? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as cut and dry as we’d like. In fact, it’s more of a matter of opinion and depends on you and your situation individually.
Firm Mattresses and Back Pain
In the past, doctors tended to recommend firm mattresses for patients with severe back pain. The thought behind the recommendation was that the firmer the mattress, the more aligned the body will be, which makes sense. However, what the recommendation didn’t account for was that all bodies are different – and so are back pain issues. What works for one client will not work for all of them.
A study was done on 268 people with lower back pain. It found that they slept the most poorly on firm mattresses but that there was no difference in sleep quality when they slept on a firm versus a medium-firm.
The problem with firm mattresses in relation to back pain is that despite appearing to support the entire body evenly, mattresses that are too firm exacerbate back pain by not being supportive enough for the neck and spine.
Soft Mattresses and Back Pain
On the other hand, soft mattresses can also cause problems for back pain sufferers. A soft mattress can conform to the body’s curves with ease, aligning the joints favorably, but it also may cause you to sink in too far. This could cause painful joints after a few hours of being in the same position. Of course, the same can be said for your spine and back.
Finding the Happy Medium (the Best Mattress) for Back Pain
If you’re not sure how to find the best mattress for your back pain, consider testing out a variety before making your next purchase. You can do this by visiting a showroom and giving different mattresses a test or by trying out the beds of your family and friends to see which one is the most comfortable for your back.
To decide if a firmer mattress might be better for you, consider placing a board of plywood under your mattress to absorb the movement from your bedsprings, or place your mattress on the floor for the night.
When testing our showroom mattresses, keep in mind that testing a mattress for five minutes is not the same as sleeping on it all night. The most reliable way of testing a new mattress is by sleeping on it for 5-8 hours. By doing this, you get a good idea of whether a mattress will be good for you long term or not.