Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Choose the Right Mattress for Back Support & Sleep Comfort

I am often asked by patients what mattress is best for their back or neck pain. The answer is it depends on what works for you. There are many brands of high end mattresses using foam, air and springs for support. They vary in thickness and density. As we sleep, pressure points occur on the back of the head, shoulders, hips, knees and ribs. The mattress and pillow that reduce the most pressure on these sites in whatever your favorite position to sleep in will reduce joint and back pain and is the best one for you. The key is to get uninterrupted sleep that allows you to get into a restful REM sleep state.

Some tips:
  1. Keep your neck (cervical spine) in line with your upper back (thoracic spine). Try different pillows to get the proper alignment. You will likely need a thinner pillow for back sleepers vs. a thicker pillow or a specialized neck pillow for side sleepers.
  2. If you are a side sleeper keep your knees apart with pillows to reduce pressure on hips, knees and ankles.
  3. If your mattress sags in the middle, but you can't afford a new firmer mattress, try placing a flat pillow under the ribs or flank for side sleepers to keep your spine straighter.
  4. When buying a new mattress think about the temperature of the mattress material. Foam mattresses tend to retain heat from our bodies and can become uncomfortable during the night. If you are warm natured this may significantly affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
  5. VERY IMPORTANT: FOR ANY PURCHASE OF A NEW MATTRESS, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A TRIAL PERIOD OF AT LEAST THREE MONTHS PREFERABLY SIX MONTHS DURING WHICH YOU CAN RETURN THE MATTRESS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WHEN CHANGING FROM ONE MATERIAL TO ANOTHER.

12 comments:

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  3. Thanks for these tips, I've been suffering quite frequent back pain when getting to sleep and waking lately, and am more keen than ever to find out just what may be causing the pain other than my choice of mattress. As since switching to a memory foam mattress the pain has improved so much, but not completely gone away. These guys were great I'd advise anyone with the same problem to give them a look. Mike. http://www.lionmemoryfoammattresses.co.uk/

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  4. Very nice tips shared by you! When choosing mattress, you should ensure that the mattress that you will going to buy is properly supports the body and the spine. Our spines are actually saxophone shaped, with natural curves, and a mattress needs to allow for this so the vertebrae can stretch out and allow the discs in between to recover.

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