What could be causing your back pain if you haven’t changed anything in your daily routine? The answer could lie in your mattress. There are many different causes of back pain, so self diagnosis can make it difficult to pinpoint where your symptoms are coming from. In this blog we will dive into clues to determine if your mattress is to blame for pain, tips for choosing the right mattress, and additional suggestions to help supplement a good nights rest.
First let’s start by determining if your mattress could be to blame for your back pain. One of the most prominent clues we often see is pain first thing in the morning that can be relieved with stretching within 20-30 minutes. If you go to bed feeling great and wake up with pain, it is a good sign that your mattress could be a contributing factor. Another indicator can be waking up frequently or tossing and turning a lot during the night. This can be a sign that your body is not being supported properly and therefore not able to relax into a deep mode of sleep. Also if your mattress is at least eight years old and you are waking up with pain, this could be the cause. As a mattress ages, it starts to loose its integrity. This being said, a bed that has worked great for years will eventually start to loose its ability to support your body the way it was originally designed.
Now lets talk about things to keep in mind when picking out the right mattress for you. Everyone has different sleeping preferences, which can make finding the right mattress a hard decision. A general rule of thumb is to have a bed that is not too soft and not too firm. A bed that is too soft will allow your body to sink into the mattress causing poor posture. A bed that is too firm will put undue pressure on your joints by not shaping to the contour of your body. Studies have shown that people with a medium to firm mattress have less pain than those using a soft or firm bed. This all comes down to making sure there is an equal distribution of pressure and is achieved by having a mattress that forms to the natural curvatures of the spine and body.
Changing your mattress will likely work wonders for your back pain if it was the main cause, but what else can you do to help with your pain in addition to this? Implementing a stretching routine before you go to bed and after you wake up can be a great start to decreasing and preventing pain. Focus on stretches that improve spinal mobility and muscular flexibility to get the most relief. This will help your body to move without limitations of stiff joints or tight muscles and allow you to maximize your own kinesthetic abilities. Deep abdominal breathing drills are another great way to relax both mentally and physically to prepare yourself for a great nights sleep. During these breathing exercises, focus on staying present and bring your mind back to your breathing when you find it starting to wonder. It is just as important to be mentally relaxed as it is physically relaxed before bed.
Content provided by Dr. Milton Brinza