If you suffer with nighttime back pain, you are in good company. About 60 to 80 percent of the population experiences pain in the lower back, making it the second most common reason for doctor visits, according to WebMD. In many cases, you can relieve nighttime back pain by changing your mattress, finding the one most comfortable for you, and changing your sleeping habits.
A comfortable mattress and good sleeping posture can help reduce back pain, even if your mattress isn’t the root cause of the pain. There are several medical conditions that can lead to lower back pain.
There are many things that can lead to lower back pain, so along with buying a comfortable, supportive mattress, you need to find the root cause of your pain to treat it properly.
Muscle strain: Muscle strain in the back occurs when you improperly lift heavy objects or make a sudden movement that that tears or stretches ligaments. Strains often heal with proper care that includes:
• Rest on a comfortable mattress
• Ice and heat therapy
• Anti-inflammatory medications
• Stretching exercises
Sciatica: Sciatica pain occurs with compression of a nerve in the lower spine. This causes pain and numbness, which can extend along the sciatic nerves and down into the buttocks, legs and feet. Herniated and degenerative discs are common causes of sciatic pain. Patient can heal in about six weeks with proper care.
• Prescription and non-prescription medications
• Physical therapy
• Proper sleep positions to relieve pressure on the back
• Muscle relaxers
Osteoarthritis: Degenerative osteoarthritis occurs gradually, so it most often affects older adults. Pain occurs when the cartilage between the facet joints in the spine break down. At first, you may only feel occasional pain, but as the condition progresses, steady pain and sciatica can develop.
Treatment for osteoarthritis pain can include any of the following:
• Bed rest
• Hot and cold compresses
• Nutritional supplements
• Pain medications
• Surgery in severe cases that cause narrowing of the spine
Only a doctor can determine the exact cause of your back pain, but if you can answer “yes” to a few questions, it might be time to rethink your mattress choice.
• Does back pain wake you up in the middle of the night?
• Is your back pain worse first thing in the morning?
• Do you toss and turn a lot at night trying to get comfortable?
Answering yes to these questions means you need to consider a new, more comfortable mattress and adjust your sleeping positions to take pressure and strain off your back.
Back pain may be acute or chronic. Acute back pain is severe, but is not long-lasting. Chronic back pain occurs daily and ranges from a dull ache to severe pain.
No matter what is causing your back pain, you should look into mattresses for lower back pain, which can alleviate your pain.
You may have heard firmer is always better for nighttime back pain, but this isn’t true. The best mattress for back pain is a comfortable one. You’ll find comfort when you find a mattress that provides basic sleeping needs:
• The best mattress for lower back pain provides good support for the heaviest parts of your body, like the head, hips, and shoulders.
• A good mattress supports your body’s natural curves, and spring mattresses are notorious for putting pressure on the heaviest parts of the body, leaving the back unsupported while you sleep.
• Proper size is important. You move around a lot at night, so if you share a mattress with a partner, it’s best to buy one roomy enough to accommodate two people.
How do you know if a mattress offers you the right type of support and comfort? You have got to try it before you commit to buying it. This means lying on mattress floor models before buying. If you cannot try it before you buy it, get your mattress from a dealer that offers a money-back guarantee.
Dr Snooze offers customers a comfort exchange program, guaranteeing the comfort of all mattresses for 30 days. If the mattress is not the right fit, you can exchange it for another one. All Comforpedic mattresses have a 365-day comfort guarantee, so you have a full year to return it if it doesn’t meet your comfort needs.
Other brands to consider for a restful night’s sleep include the following:
• King Koil
To provide the best comfort, check out the different types of mattresses you can choose from to help alleviate your back pain.
Memory foam mattresses are made to mold to your shape. If you notice gaps between your mattress and parts of your body, this may be a good choice for you. Memory foam can give you the support you need in those areas.
Memory foam mattresses provide support for your head, hips, knees, shoulders and feet while also keeping your spine in proper alignment.
When looking for the best mattress for back pain, memory foam mattresses have both pros and cons. The pros include the following:
• Resists sagging
• Offers a quiet sleep; no creaking
• Isolates motion for less disturbance
Memory foam mattress cons include the following:
• Heat retention (some models)
• Firmer than expected at first, until body heat softens the mattress
• Tend to weigh more than inner spring mattresses
While heat is listed as disadvantage, only about 14 percent complained of foam mattresses retaining too much heat, and Serta offers a foam mattress with gel to help the material breathe and reduce heat retention, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Consider buying a memory foam mattress if you experience any of the following when sleeping:
• Enjoy sinking into the bed
• Feel pain on your pressure points
• Your partner’s nightly moving is bothersome
• You don’t tend to overheat when sleeping
Air mattresses have an adjustable air-filled core. These are not the blow-up mattresses used for camping but rather mattresses with air-filled columns. You can adjust the air flow to change the firmness and provide counter pressure for your body weight. Both sides of the beds adjust to each sleeper, so there is no compromising to ruin your comfortable and restful sleep.
While air mattresses are comfy and adjustable, they do have some disadvantages:
• Pumps that fill and release air can be noisy
• Mechanical problems can happen
• Assembly may be required
To avoid these possible cons, consider buying your air mattress from Dr Snooze, which offers warranties to ensure customer satisfaction.
Latex mattresses are firm but provide bouncy uniform support for the entire body, making them good mattresses for back pain. These mattresses are similar to memory foam and provide support that for the pressure points on the body. Latex actually pushes back, allowing the mattress to do the work, while you relax.
You can choose from organic or synthetic latex mattresses. All-natural latex mattresses are ideal if you want to go green. Organic latex mattresses are 100 percent natural latex with a natural material as a cover, like cotton grown without pesticides. Non-organic/regular latex mattresses are made by blending latex with a non-organic cover, like non-organic cotton.
Whichever type you choose, you can expect a few perks:
• Pressure relief
Consider latex if you prefer a buoyant feeling, you want to be eco-friendly, or you aren’t concerned with heat.
Adjustable mattresses allow you to elevate your upper torso or your legs, helping you achieve correct spinal alignment. Elevating your legs while sleeping allows for better circulation and reduces stress on your back. These beds are ergonomically correct, allowing for a more natural curvature of the spine while sleeping. Adjusting mattresses are not only helpful for lower back pain, they can also help with other medical conditions, such as:
• GERD or acid reflux
• Sleep apnea
• Edema or swelling in the legs
Adjustable mattresses come in a variety of types, including latex and memory foam, to provide you with the most comfortable sleep possible.
While a comfortable mattress can help in alleviating back pain, other factors contribute to back pain, like sleeping positions and improper use of pillows. Luckily you can learn the best sleeping position for back pain, including smart pillow techniques, to help you get a restful night.
One common mistake is to use your pillow to support your head and shoulders and not just your head. A pillow’s job is to support your head and neck, so a good pillow does this while allowing your shoulders to rest on the bed. You can also make good use of a pillow in other ways.
Place it between your knees when sleeping on your side to help keep your hips level. Place it under your knees when sleeping on your back to maintain the normal curvature of your spine. Or sleep with a body pillow, placing it between your knees and using it to support your trunk, so you’re resting in a semi-sidelined position. This takes pressure off the back.
The best sleep position for back pain is not on your stomach, which can cause a backache or make chronic back pain worse. Sleeping on your stomach also can hyperextend your back. If you must sleep on your stomach, place a pillow under your pelvic area. If your back is still strained, try removing the pillow from under your head.
How you get out of bed in the morning can affect your back and entire body. Instead of sitting up quickly or jumping out of bed, try a different approach.
1. Roll over to your side of the bed
2. Tighten your abdominal muscles
3. Use your arm to lift yourself up as you move your feet to the floor
4. Stretch to loosen your muscles and get them ready for movement before standing
It may take a little longer to get out of bed, but these simple steps can help reduce the strain on back muscles.
Though it’s smart to find the best sleep position to reduce back pain and a good mattress, you also need a good base. When replacing an old mattress, buy a new foundation or box spring as well, especially if your foundation is old. It goes bad with continuous use, just like your mattress.
You need to understand the differences between foundations and box springs to choose which one is right for you.
A foundation is made of up a grid that consists of a series of V-shaped steel modules. It helps distribute your mattress weight evenly, helping your mattress feel more comfortable and last longer. A foundation costs less than a box spring.
A box spring contains metal springs to provide support and help absorb weight. It costs more than a foundation and is rarely offered, except from high-end mattress manufacturers.
Most of the time mattresses and foundations are sold as a set, so you automatically get what you need. If they are not sold as a set, you can ask customer service for advice on choosing the best foundation for your mattress.
Poor sleep due to back pain or constant tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable, can increase your risk of developing other health problems, not to mention increasing your risk of accidents due to daytime drowsiness.
Sleep deprivation increases your risk of these conditions:
• Cardiovascular disease
• High blood pressure
A loss of sleep can also lead other problems, such as forgetfulness, low sex drive, impaired judgment, and under-eye bags and dark circles.
Losing sleep can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to colds, flu and other viruses going around. Your immune system also works to fight off infectious diseases.
When you lose sleep, your immune system’s T-cells and proteins, known as cytokines, decrease and reduce your immune function.
To keep the immune system strong, adults need at least 8 hours of sleep each night, while kids and teens need at least ten hours of sleep each night.
While your back pain may not be due to your mattress alone, sleeping on a mattress that does not provide support for the lower back and remove pressure from the hips, knees and shoulders can make your pain worse.
Finding the best mattress for lower back pain and the best sleeping position for back pain can take some trial and error. This is why it is important to buy your mattress from a retailer that offers a wide variety of supportive mattresses backed by a comfort guarantee, as Dr Snooze does. You get 30 days to try out some of the most popular mattress for back pain sufferers, including:
• iComfort and iSeries
If you’re looking for a comfortable, supportive mattress, look no further than Dr Snooze. You can browse through a wide selection of mattress and bedding products that provide comfort, support and durability at reasonable prices. You can also take advantage of the Beat Any Price Guarantee and White Glove Delivery, which is free for all orders over $599.00.
If you have any questions about the products or services offer, Dr Snooze has a knowledgeable customer service staff that you can reach via email, phone or chat. Don’t let an uncomfortable mattress cause unnecessary back pain or make your back condition worse. Browse our mattress options, and get a pain-free, restful night’s sleep.