According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association, up to 85% of working people can expect to experience lower back pain during their lifetime. Back pain is a full-on epidemic that doesn’t have a clear-cut cure in sight — but there are things that can be done to quell its chronic nature.
The most important form of relief starts with sleep. We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep and how it affects health, but it's especially crucial for people with back pain. Sleeping on the wrong mattress can often worsen back pain symptoms and amplify existing issues over time.
There are some important things to consider when finding a mattress to relieve back pain. While it's ultimately based on individual experience, there is a commonality among many people who suffer from back pain and identifying the right kind of mattress can help.
Is Medium Firm the Way to Go?
You really need to have a Goldilocks approach when it comes to finding the right mattress for back pain. It can’t be too firm or too soft. It has to be the right balance of both to truly support your back.
The only way to find that out is to check out some furniture stores and furniture liquidators and test mattresses in person. That said, the most common back issues attributed to sleep are generated from the lower back.
A common mistake people with back pain make is purchasing a super firm mattress because they think it’ll support their back. That’s only true to an extent. While having a firmer mattress does help with back support, one that’s too stiff can push against the spine and cause more problems.
That, however, isn’t a cue to go too soft, either. If you think a waterbed is going to magically resolve your back issues, you should reconsider. The goal is to find a mattress that's firm enough to support the back while simultaneously providing comfort. Again, the only way to truly find what mattress can do that for you is by testing some out.
Know Your Position
Everybody doesn’t sleep the same. While plenty of people sleep on their backs, there are others who fall asleep on their side or flat on their stomach.
These different sleeping positions can also impact the kind of mattress you need. People who sleep on their stomach, for example, likely have lower back pain already and need a firmer mattress as a result. For the side sleepers out there, a softer mattress is necessary as it’ll help lessen the impact on your shoulders and hips.
Since most people toss and turn in bed, the answer isn’t that straightforward. That said, memory foam mattresses reduce motion and bounce throughout the night which can keep the body in place better. Some people believe the coils on a spring bed also negatively impact your back, so that’s also something to consider when you’re on the hunt.
Try It Before You Buy It
At the end of the day, finding a mattress to help alleviate back pain is all about personal preference. You need to take a bit of time to scour through your local furniture stores and liquidators to find the best fit.
It’s also a great idea to talk to the experts. Head down to one of our three great Vancouver Island showrooms to get some ideas in person or visit our fantastic online sleep centre. We carry great mattresses that support back pain from brands like Serta. We won’t be undersold!