Quite often chronic low back pain may present without any spindle incidence of trauma or injury. In these cases, the cause is unclear. One possible suspect could be your mattress. As we have discussed before, sleeping patterns often contribute to the improvement or worsening of low back and neck pain. The surface slept on can be the integral piece of the puzzle to your achieving optimal health. Not to mention a good night’s sleep.
In one study conducted in conjunction with two Chiropractors, the test persons with low back pain were given a proper mattress in conjunction with how they slept and their complaint of low back pain. Over the course of 28 nights the test group reported a reduction of low back discomfort of over 50%!!!!
With the understanding that we can all benefit from the right mattress, how do we know if we our mattress is wrong and which one is the perfect fit. There are two qualities to take into consideration, they are sagging and firmness. Sagging happens as a mattress ages and the center of the mattress sits lower than the ends. Significant increases of discomfort are recorded with sagging of 0.5 inches or more, with more mattress warranties only covering sagging of 1.5” or more.
“Do I want a firm mattress or a soft one?” the answer is no. It depends of the position you sleep. For example, side sleepers report for comfort during sleep and less pain of ongoing problems with a medium firmness and memory foam style surfaces. In the side position, their weight is more evenly distributed and not causing excess stress on any specific part of the body. Back sleepers generally benefit from a medium to firm mattress as their weight is generally more evenly distributed in this position.
In another study of over 300 adults with non-specific low back pain groups were selected to sleep on mattress of varying firmness for 90 days. At the end of the study the group sleeping on a mattress rated 5-6 in the firmness scale (10 the firmest and 0 the least) reported the best outcomes. This group reported not only less pain during sleep, but also less discomfort upon rising and throughout the day.
If you are curious how this applies to you, consult with your Chiropractor about how a good night’s sleep can contribute to your optimal health.