The Best Mattresses for People with Chronic Back Pain
If you're battling bouts of back pain, you're in good company. In fact, this is one of the most common medical ailments, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Back pain affects an estimated 80 percent of adults in the United States, and it's also the leading cause of disability worldwide. Of course, chronic back pain has many culprits, but the most common include poor posture, improper lifting, and subpar sleeping habits, according to David Friedman, ND, DC, doctor of naturopathy, clinical nutritionist, and chiropractic neurologist. The latter is perhaps one of the easiest and most important to fix, since the average person spends one-third of his or her life in bed. To do so, Dr. Friedman says to consider how you sleep and the mattress you rest on.
"Research shows that having a bed that's too firm produces a significant increase in lower back pain, leg pain, and poor sleep quality," he says. "A firm bed creates pressure points that can inhibit circulation and put added stress on the spine."
While a soft mattress may seem like a better choice, this is not always the case. "A soft mattress actually causes a 'hammock effect' and makes the body sink into the mattress too deeply, into a slouched position," says Dr. Friedman. "A medium-firm mattress is the best choice for promoting sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment, as it can help prevent and even alleviate chronic back pain compared to sleeping on a mattress that's too soft or firm."
If you're in the market for a new mattress, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with the unlimited options available to you. However, if you are dealing with chronic back pain, it's vital that you shop the right options.