It is estimated that 80% of people spend less than 2 minutes selecting a mattress before purchasing it.
Getting adequate sleep on a nightly basis is vital to ensuring that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the day ahead. According to research performed by the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, evidence shows that the average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night to maintain their health and well-being. However, this sleep needs to be undisturbed which can be a challenge for those who suffer from lower back pain.
While many patients rely on chiropractic adjustments to alleviate pain, chiropractic care is not always enough. Sleeping on a mattress that creates pressure points in your neck and spine, can lead to increased and more frequent lower back pain. The good news is, that reducing lower back pain can be accomplished by investing in a new mattress. Below are a few mattresses to consider that will help compliment the adjustments you receive from your chiropractor.
Medium Firm Mattress
For years chiropractors and physicians have recommended a firm mattress as treatment for reducing lower back pain. However, a study performed in Spain and posted in The Lancet medical journal suggests otherwise.
In the study, 313 individuals who experienced lower back pain slept on mattresses of 10 different levels of firmness, for a total of 90 days. The findings showed that 82% of individuals who slept on a medium firm mattresses experienced reduced pain, compared to only 68% of those who slept on a firm mattress.
While there is yet to be a study that is large enough to garner conclusive scientific results to confirm memory foam is a relevant treatment for lower back pain—what is clear is that memory foam mattresses relieve pressure points by conforming to the contours of your neck and spine.
Kathy R. Gromer, MD, a sleep specialist with the Minnesota Sleep Institute in Minneapolis believes that memory foam has the potential to improve sleep, by reducing pain that causes you to toss and turn while sleeping. Sleep specialist Donna L. Arand, PhD, would like to see more scientific evidence, but agrees that “When you lie on the memory foam, the heat from your body softens it in appropriate points, so this helps to support your body along the curves and natural lines of the body.”
While more conclusive evidence has yet to be determined, memory foam is a popular recommendation by many chiropractors due to the fact that it allows your neck and spine to maintain its natural curvatures while in a laying position.
Being able to adjust your mattress can eliminate stress and pressure that causes lower back pain. Adjustable beds are sometimes referred to as “orthopedic beds”.
There are a variety of adjustable mattresses available, all of which allow individuals to customize their beds to fit their personal health goals. Some adjustable beds allow you to adjust the firmness only, some allow you to elevate your head and neck, and some allow you to adjust both firmness and elevation. Many adjustable beds are designed so that one half of the bed can be adjusted in a different manner than the other half. This allows a couple sleeping in the same bed to have a mattress that is customized to their need for firmness and elevation.
While changing your mattress may alleviate your lower back pain, you may experience relief by investing in sleep aids designed to alleviate pressure points. This could be anything from contouring pillows for your head and neck, leg wedges, knee pillows, or body pillows that are designed to create elevation that can alleviate pressure points. If you are unsure of which sleep aids you will benefit from the most, you can ask your chiropractor for recommendations.
Since sleep is so vital to our daily health and well-being, more time and energy should be put into finding a mattress that will provide you with the support you need—both to eliminate lower back pain, and to help you achieve a truly restful night’s sleep.
Nearby Mattress Stores
If you are near our office, then there are a handful of mattress stores in the vicinity.