At the end of a long, hard day there is almost nothing better than falling into bed for a good night’s sleep. Perhaps even better still than going to bed is being able to wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to tackle whatever the day may bring your way. However, while that may be true for a good amount of people, there are still millions of American’s who wake up every morning with pain in their spine, lower back, and neck. Unfortunately, back pain is the leading cause of disability and missed days at work in our country. It is estimated that nearly 46 million Americans suffered from a recent episode of back pain within the last year.
For those millions of Americans, it is quite possible that there is something more at play, especially when it comes to the underlying cause of any unexplained back pain. As it turns out, sleeping on the wrong mattress can actually hurt your spine, leading to more pain. Your mattress could be the cause when there is no other apparent explanation for sudden pain in the lower back, spine, or neck. Even though none of us here at The Bedding Mart are trained health professionals, we do have plenty of years of experience in the bedding and mattress industry, so we have loads of firsthand knowledge. Not only that, but there is a lot of evidence to support the fact that the wrong mattress can actually hurt your spine and cause further pain in the neck or back.
So, if you believe your mattress may be to blame, or you just aren’t sure what could be the cause, then here are some helpful tips to tell whether or not your mattress is causing your neck or back pain.
Your mattress is too firm, or too soft
There is a lot of advice out there that a firm mattress is better for relieving lower back pain but you probably don’t want a mattress that is so firm that it feels like you are sleeping on the floor. According to a study released in 2003, the best mattress type for alleviating lower back pain is a medium-firm mattress. When compared to a firm mattress, the medium-firm mattress was shown to be more effective at improving lower back pain. A mattress that is too firm has been shown to increase pressure on joints and push them out of place, causing misalignment in the spine which can lead to more pain.
Alternatively, a mattress that is too soft can also cause a wide array of problems for your lower back, neck, and spine. When mattresses are too soft, they are usually lacking a lot, in the way of proper support for your back and spine. This is even more so when the mattress itself sags and does not have solid support. When the mattress is allowed to sag and you get a sinking feeling as you are lying in bed, it is definitely time to look for a new mattress. Sleeping in this position leads to poor sleep posture, which can end up causing more and more pain.
You experience pain, first thing in the morning
Another tell-tale sign that your mattress may be to blame for your lower back or neck pain is if it is there first thing in the morning right when you wake up. This is especially true if you normally go to bed feeling fine, but you wake up the next day in absolute misery. If you experience pain, (whether it's acute, mild, or severe), it is likely that your mattress is not providing proper support. This type of pain tends to go away after stretching for a good amount of time, typically around 15-20 minutes. If this sounds like your morning routine, then it is highly recommended that you begin shopping for a new mattress.
Your mattress is at least 8 years old
On average, people replace their mattresses every 7-10 years because that is a typical lifespan of a quality mattress. However, a quality mattress can only last so long. So, if you are experiencing back pain when you wake up in the morning and your mattress is at least 8 years old, there is a big possibility that it is no longer providing the support you need to keep your joints in good alignment. Not to mention the leaps and bounds that mattress manufacturers have taken when it comes to the innovation and technology that is offered with today’s more modern mattresses. There are tons of options out there that are sure to fit the needs of any buyer!
You keep tossing and turning throughout the night
If you find yourself waking up a lot in the middle of the night with pain and are constantly tossing and turning around, then that is another sign that your mattress is doing more harm than good and that it may be time to replace your old mattress. You shouldn’t have to find a comfortable sleeping position, or at least it shouldn't be difficult. When it comes to laying down, it should be as pain free and comfortable as possible. That is why it is important to find the mattress that is right for you so that you are able to get comfortable at night when it's time to get some much needed rest.
These are just a few ways to tell whether or not your mattress may be causing your back or neck pain. If you are wondering what sort of mattress is best, then it mainly comes down to personal preference. Yet, as we mentioned earlier, there is some evidence to suggest that a medium-firm mattress is best for helping to reduce or prevent back pain. If you are not sure what mattress is right for you, then please come see one of our sleep experts at The Bedding Mart. We would be more than happy to help walk you through our inventory and wide selection of mattresses. You can always visit us online, give us a call, or stop in at any one of our seven locations.