What Is The Best Mattress For Back Pain? Medical Professionals Speak Out!
If you suffer from back pain, as 85 percent of Americans do, you would want to ask what the best mattress for back pain is. This is a recurring question among people who suffer back pain? I attempt to answer this question by engaging medical experts and chiropractors below.
What Types Of Mattresses Help Prevent Backache? Soft Or Firm Mattresses?
Dr David Borenstein in his book titled: Heal Your Back: Your Complete Prescription for Preventing, Treating, and Eliminating Back Pain listed the different types of mattresses and suggests you ‘go to the mattress store and test out the merchandise. Rest on them for twenty and thirty minutes to feel if they are comfortable. Having some medical name (chiropractic, orthopedic) associated with the name of the bed does not guarantee that the bed will be good for you. The only way is to test it out.’
He later referred to a study which examined the bed preferences of individuals who suffered back pain. According to him, ‘they had a choice of very firm, moderately firm, and soft mattresses. The winner – moderate firmness. For those individuals with very firm mattresses, using a pillow top mattress cover is another way of changing the firmness of the mattress at times when your back is bothering you.’
While towing the same line, Jesse Cannone says a bed or mattress can prevent a back pain sufferer from enjoying a good night’s sleep. In his book titled: The 7-Day Back Pain Cure: How Thousands of People Got Relief Without Doctors, Drugs, or Surgery… and How You Can, Too!, Cannone mentioned a study of 300 plus adults who have a chronic lower back pain found less pain and more improvement for those who slept on a medium-firm mattress.
‘So, it appears comfort is a consideration in choosing your mattress. Firmer is not always better. The type of mattress you choose can depend on the cause of your back pain. People with sciatica require less flexion, so a firm mattress is often the best choice for them and their back pain’.
In their book titled Overcome Your Back Pain, Mark Maughan& Daniel Bennion mention the fact that body pillows are popular amongst back pain sufferers but they advise against the use of a pillow that is too flat, too firm, or too soft for the neck and head. According to them, ‘both ends of the spectrum can be damaging and stressful to your body.’
Dr Joshua Raj goes into more detail in his book titled, A Guide to the Prevention and Treatment of Back Pain. He suggests a mattress that will give some support to the spine. While noting it’s not advisable to sleep on the hard floor but to find a moderately firm mattress, Dr Raj recommends using a pillow depending on your individual sleeping position. If you are lying on the side, he recommends you place a pillow between the legs. ‘If you are lying flat, a pillow under the knees relaxes the spine and avoids excessive bending (lordosis).’
In his own book, Samuel Homola, author of The Chiropractor’s Self-Help Back and Body Book: Your Complete Guide to Relieving Aches and Pains at Home and on the Jobsays ‘lying on a hard surface such as a floor will often make back trouble worse by flattening normal curves, since portions of the back will not be supported’. He is totally against a soft saggy mattress which allows the spine to sag, straining joints and ligaments.
‘For your spine to be supported properly, your mattress should be firm enough to keep your spine from sagging but soft enough to mold itself to the curves of your back and hips. When the surface of a mattress feels too hard, you can soften it with a foam rubber covering. Try out a few mattresses, and then pick out one that feels best to you.’
In Overcome Neck and Back Pain, Kit Laughlin, who spent years suffering from back pain and found a solution in Japan, says ‘I believe that one needs to choose a mattress or other support that deforms sufficiently to permit the buttocks to rest far enough below the surface of the rest of the bed that the lumbar spine feels comfortable.
Accordingly, if you are a light person, you will find a too-firm mattress uncomfortable. If you have well-developed (prominent) buttocks, you too may need a softer mattress than is usually recommended. However, these remarks will need to be modified if you are relatively heavy. Overall, I think that the body needs to be supported in such a way as to allow the spine to be held in its most comfortable position’.
To sum it all up, Paul HemenwayAltrocchi, MD and Paul Hemenway Mph, in their book titled: STOP HARMFUL SURGERY. BACK PAIN: A NEW APPROACH AT LAST say ‘the best mattress is that which is most comfortable for the back pain patient. This can vary from sleeping on the floor with no mattress at all, to the very hard mattresses typical of most hotels (bought for durability, not comfort), to soft mattresses.
The logic of a soft mattress or water bed is that it conforms to your back rather than forcing your back to conform to the configuration of a hard, unyielding surface. Over-soft and over-hard mattresses can cause morning back stiffness and even pain in individual patients.’
Medical Advice For People With Backache
‘The correct medical advice’, according to them, ‘is that back pain patients should choose whatever mattress best suits them from the standpoint of comfort.’ Need I say more?
From all the experts, we can safely say there is no perfect mattress for back pain. What works for one person may not work for another. It all depends on the person’s preference, lifestyle, sleeping position and medical condition. You cannot single out a mattress or sleeping posture and call it the best for all people. One thing that is certain is the fact that the whole body relaxes while you sleep. Therefore it is very important to sleep well in a good mattress so that your back pain can heal faster. Whether you prefer a spring bed, visco-elastic foam or natural latex, ensure the bedding has good back support and comfort.
Do not listen to advertisements with bold claims. The best mattress for back pain may not be expensive but it provides good support and a high comfort level. Mattresses that are expensive are usually due to high quality materials used but they are not necessarily better. At the end of the day, it is how you feel after using the mattress that determines if it is good or bad. If you can sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed without aches and stiffness then it is the best mattress for you.
If you still feel persistent back pain after all this, I’ll advise you see your Doctor for a comprehensive check on your health. It might not be due to the mattress, for all you care.
Now that you know how to choose a bed for a bad back, go out and get a good mattress for your sleeping pleasure. You can start your search here.
If you would like to give your mattress personalized comfort, topper would be an excellent choice. Click here to read The Comprehensive Guide Of Best Mattress Toppers In 2019