Is your mattress to blame for your back pain?


If you’ve ever woken up with stiff neck or a sore back, you know that such pain can put a real strain on your daily life. Most of us chalk up this temporary discomfort to falling asleep in a bad position, but the real blame often lies elsewhere. A low-quality mattress can literally throw your whole body out of whack.

So how do you know if your mattress is causing your back problems? If you’re suffering from insomnia or rolling out of bed every morning with aches and pains, there’s a chance your mattress has something to do with it.

Is your mattress causing your back pain? 
Even good, high-quality mattresses need to be retired after eight to 10 years of nightly use. Review the age of your mattress — it may be past time to replace it. 

A bad mattress (for example, one that sags) can also reinforce poor sleeping postures and contribute to back pain. Sleeping on your side is best. Doing so allows your spine to assume its natural position, with your neck curving forward, your mid-back curving out and your lower back curving forward. If you’re tossing and turning all night trying to find a comfortable position, you may need a new mattress.

Finally, pay attention to when your back pain occurs. If it’s there when you first wake up but can be fixed with 15 to 30 minutes of stretching, then it may be time to reassess your mattress situation.

Shopping for a new mattress
When shopping for mattresses, remember these keys to preventing and alleviating body pain: support, conforming ability and firmness.

Support refers to how well a mattress keeps your body stable and level. A mattress with good conforming ability accommodates your body's natural profile while you're at rest. Finally, mattresses typically fall into one of three categories: "soft," "medium" or "firm." Soft mattresses usually work best for smaller people, medium for small to average-sized people, and firm for larger individuals.

If you want to get a good night's rest every night and avoid waking up with back pain, then choosing the right combination of support, conforming ability and firmness is crucial.

Ask a provider
If you have more questions about how to alleviate your back pain, or if you think you might be suffering from a back injury, reach out to the Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine team at (574) 534-2548.