Sleep Talk | Gotta Sleep Blog

Can a Mattress Help With Back Pain?

Author: Jesse Tutt

Best Mattress for Back and Neck Pain?

At some time in our lives, nearly everyone will suffer from some degree of back pain. Having chronic back pain can be debilitating, but there are steps that can ease the pain.

For people without a serious medical condition, typical back pain can be caused by just about anything normal. Standing or walking on concrete for too long, sitting behind a desk all day, long drives, doing yard work in the spring, helping a friend move, or simply bending over the wrong way to pick up something. The human back is not the best piece of architecture the animal kingdom has produced.

But then there’s chronic back pain, the kind caused by over stress to weak spots in the spine. Serious medical conditions like disk prolapse, osteoarthritis, and scoliosis are all conditions caused by structural fault of the spine. When there’s pressure on a nerve in the back, that’s caused by neuralgia or sciatica. 

No matter the source of your back related problems, sleeping well and with minimal stress will ease the pain and let your back recouperate.

How a Mattress Can Help

Lower back support is essential to a good night’s sleep. Does your current mattress provide sufficient lower back support?  

Not every mattress type can truly support the lower back. Typically inner-springs other than pocket coils simply cannot conform to the arch in the lower back. Much like the arch in your foot requires support to prevent foot fatigue, your lower back requires support to its arch to prevent back strain while sleeping. Without support, your body tries to compensate by tensing the muscles into a less strenuous position. Now they're working hard all night, and muscles that are overworked weaken, and in the back that causes the discs between your vertebrae to compress. The result is excess tossing and turning, a restless sleep, and you’re waking up with lower back pain. In addition to absorbing weight, a quality mattress will contour to your body, ensuring the spine has good alignment, so your muscles aren’t working as hard. And since our spinal discs become more compressed as we age, the need for proper spinal alignment and lower back support becomes greater with age. 

So what types of mattresses make a difference? When it comes to inner-springs, pocket coils are individually encased, and these can comfort and fill the void in the lower back. We believe there’s an even better solution. Specialty foams like memory foam and latex conform precisely to your lower back. So why specialty foam mattresses rather than pocket coils? While pocket coils may support the lower back, they’re not nearly as good at taking pressure off pressure points such as your shoulders, ribs, elbows, hips and knees. You see, coming into contact with steel is simply not that forgiving. 

What About Mattress Firmness?

Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz, a professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, and author of the book “Heal Your Aching Back”, talks about a study done on 313 patients suffering from lower back pain. The study found that those with medium-firm mattresses reported significantly less back pain when lying in bed. Dr. Katz says you shouldn’t wait to change your mattress if you’re suffering from back pain. As well, the National Sleep Foundation believes that a firmer mattress can lead to better sleep for those with back pain.

We tend to agree with Dr. Katz when it comes to a medium-firm mattress being better for your lower back, and here’s why.

  • If those sleeping on a memory foam mattress complained about its firmness their satisfaction rate would be low. Consumer satisfaction rate on memory foam mattresses overall is 80%. In other words 4 out of 5 consumers love their memory foam mattress.
  • Tempur-Pedic introduced pressure relieving NASA memory foam into mattresses back in 1992. Tempur-Pedic mattresses continue to be the benchmark when it comes to memory foam, once again with one of the highest consumer satisfaction rates.
  • Too soft a mattress can result in not enough support to the lower back and spine.

In a nutshell, when you wake up in the morning you should feel rested, restored, rejuvenated, and without back pain. Anything less and it could be your mattress.

In looking at your options for a new mattress, consider the Gotta Sleep 10.5 Inch Cooling Gel Mattress

Don't Forget your Pillow!

Sleeping with the right pillow is critical to proper spine alignment. Having proper support for your neck can also prevent kinks, aches and pain in your shoulder and neck, and promote a deeper and more restful sleep. Browse our selection of quality pillows here.       

 

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