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For years, orthopedists advised those who suffered from backache to sleep on hard mattresses as if it were some sort of panacea, but they did not have great scientific evidence on the goodness of this advice. A clinical research conducted in Spain and published in November 2003 in a prestigious medical journal ‘The Lancet’ has once again dismantled the old and damaging ‘orthopedic’ mattress theory and demonstrated that the ideal mattress against back pain is one of medium hardness, even better if it is able to adapt to the body.
Matrass and back pain in scientific studies
The research, conducted in Spain by Francisco Kovacs of the Kovacs Foundation in Palma de Mallorca, involved 313 people with chronic and unspecific back pain, known causes or other pathologies, who have slept on various types of mattress without knowing what. People with moderate back pain have twice as often stated that they are getting better and use painkillers even less than those who have slept on the classic hard mattress.
This was confirmed by the latest study conducted at Oklahoma State University (USA), by Dr Bred Jacobson, Tia Fallace and Hugh Gemmell, published in 2006 on the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine which also showed how sleeping on a new mattress compared to the old one of at least 5 years, improves sleep quality by 62% and reduces the backache by 55.3%.
Chiropractors, too, have long advised against mattresses that are all too rigid – it’s better to opt for a slightly softer type, because it fits better with the natural curvature of the spine and allows a uniform distribution of weights in various areas of the body. Sure, mattresses with these features cost a little more, but it’s good to remember that we spend about a third of our lives on the mattress so it is not utopian to think that this should be our most important investment.
How to choose the right matrass for a healthier sleep
There are several solutions to relieve a back pain: exercises, mattress, belt, massage, acupuncture, etc. We spend almost a third of our lives in a bed, so it’s important to choose a bedding that is well adapted to your needs, taking your back into account.
It is recommended to change bedding (mattress and box spring) every 7 or 8 years, and in any case not to make it last more than 10 years. Poor bedding can be responsible for back pain. If the surface of your mattress is not flat and regular, but forms hollows and bumps, it should be changed without delay. Good to know: it is advisable to change mattress and box spring at the same time, because all the mattresses do not go with all the box springs!
1. Is hard mattress good or bad for back pain?
When suffering from the back pain, it is advisable to take a mattress firm enough without being hard. A mattress that is too hard is as harmful as a mattress that is too soft. Above all, you should be comfortable.
Feel free to test the bed in the store:
- Your column should stay straight as you lie on your back or side.
- You should not sink into the mattress.
- If the back is rounded, as in a hammock, the mattress is not hard enough.
- If when you are lying all the areas of the body are not resting on the mattress, it is surely too hard.
There are several types of mattresses:
- Woolen mattresses,
- Foam mattresses,
- Latex mattresses,
- Spring mattresses,
- Water mattresses, most suitable for back pain.
Foam and wool mattresses may lose firmness and support qualities faster than latex and spring mattresses. Latex and spring mattresses should be preferred in people with allergic reactions. Some mattresses have zones of different density depending on the region of the body and are particularly well suited for people with back problems. Good to know: for a double bed, when the difference in weight or size is very important between the partners, it is advisable to take separate mattresses and box springs.
2. Best matrasses for lumbar, dorsal and cervical back pain
Lying on your back or side, the best position is the one that allows you to sleep. The stretched position on the stomach is contraindicated to the sufferers of the back pain, as it stresses the spine. For people with sleep apnea, it is advisable to sleep on the side (less sleep apnea than in the dorsal position).
You can act on the 5 types of back pain by simply acquiring a suitable bedding. Mattress, box spring or pillow, each one at its level, bring comfort and relief to the different back pain, whether cervical or lumbar, nervous or muscular. For each each type of back pain, its mattress should be chosen, according to the French osteopath Guy Roulier, eminent specialist of the back examined at length the question back pain and mattress. His comparative study helps us choose the right mat for back pain.
Natural latex mattress
The latex mattress is ideal both in terms of comfort and support. Since latex is a naturally elastic material, this type of mattress will adapt particularly well to the shape of your spine. It leaves no space at the lumbar level, if you sleep on your back. When it is accompanied by a slatted bed base, its action is even more localized on the different parts of your back and therefore more effective. In addition to its elasticity, the latex is extremely dense. In this type of mattress, the high density (50 to 85 kg / m3) guarantees a perfect support. Your spine is maintained, protected by the mattress while you sleep. Back pain and mattresses are foreign. You can sleep peacefully. The properties of latex, its elasticity and density, are also ideal to garnish pillows like the latex pillow.
The mattress springs provides each area of your body, including back, tailored support. This independence of coating depends on the technologies used and the number of springs. In the case of severe corpulence, the pressures, torsions and tensions of the joints, the spine and the muscles are amplified. In this case, make sure that the mattress springs will react and sacrifice themselves to protect your back.
That said, experts agree that the mattress should be changed as soon as the springs show signs of wear and tear. The danger is that the mattress becomes too soft and you end up sleeping in a bowl, at the risk of distorting your spine. In this specific case, back pain and mattress become synonymous.
Rest assured, recent technologies have increased the durability of the springs and improved the response of the suspension. Labels defined durability thresholds and the behavior of spring mattresses during the various tests.
For optimum sleeping independence, consider the memory mattress pad. Experts recognize multiple qualities in foam memory technology. The mattress perfectly fits the shapes of your body and by the same, the curve of your spine. Regardless of the level of curvature or deformation, the shape memory mattress will follow the path, providing continuous support. The memory foam is also advisable if you present deformed or even asymmetrical columns (scoliosis, kyphosis, etc.) and osteoarthritis. The compensatory muscular effort is thus reduced to nothing. Backache and mattress neutralize, your body is relaxed, your eyelids are heavy… You are already sleeping! Shape memory foam also features contoured pillows to relieve back pain. This is the case with these memory pillows
Water mattress molds the shape of your body perfectly, regardless of the position of sleep adopted, or the level of deformation of your spine. If you are rheumatic, have a disc hernia or a recent back surgery or trauma, if you have significant deformities of the spine (lumbar and cervical hyperlordosis, dorsal kyphosis, scoliosis), the water mattress is for you.
Water is not compressible, if the mattress is well waterproof it will keep its virtues long. The principle of the modular density of water is not reserved only for mattresses. A quality water pillow can boast to take advantage of this innovation, too.
Pillows and box spring. If the problem of back pain and mattress is central, it is not the only explanation for the quality of the sleeping. The different components of the bedding have a coordinated action on the quality of your bed. Let us not forget the involvement of the box spring and the pillow. The action of the pillows on the level of the cervical vertebrae is reflected throughout your back. It is recommended to choose his pillow according to his sleeping position. Note that the shape memory cervical pillow is suitable for normal cervical vertebrae but it does not correct curvature inversions.
Avoid cylindrical pillows that are too hard and too high. They induce a non-natural coating position, causing a break in the alignment between the head and the back. Your neck becomes a zone of tension, whatever the position.
Slatted bed base for back pain. The distinctive feature of the slatted bed base is to offer a complementary effect to the action of the latex mattress or memory foam mattress. It allows the bed to better adapt the mattress to the weights of the different parts of the body. It is therefore necessary that these laths be sufficiently flexible. This can be sufficient for people who do not have any significant deformation problems.
Avoid extra firm or hard bedding with a cotton mattress, a futon mattress, foam or latex mattress on the floor, especially if you are overweight or have serious vertebral problems. If your sleeping is too firm, consider equipping it without further delay with a memory mattress to improve home and comfort. Before you buy a mattress, consult a back specialist, kinesitherapist, osteopath, chiropractor – whoever is more likely to know your back ‘personally’.
3. The interaction between sleep position and mattress type
How does your sleep position affect the choice of mattress? You naively believed that from the moment a mattress is good, it could suit anyone… Think again! The mattress should be considered as a custom made piece. All the details in an article that takes position for the choice of mattress.
The quality of sleep is a matter of positions to a large extent. Indeed, recent studies have shown that the quality of sleep depends, among other factors, on the sleep position adopted during the different phases of sleep.
To make it clear, the choice of the mattress is not the same according to whether you slept on the back, side or on the belly. An English study, carried out on 1,000 people, highlighted the 3 positions of sleep traditionally adopted: on the back, on the side and on the belly.
Some sleeping positions guarantee a more peaceful sleep: on the back. Others are synonymous with more restless sleep and frequent position changes: on the side or on the belly. 75% of the population oddly select this type of unstable sleeping position (on the side or on the belly). So there is a 75% chance of you belonging to this category. That is 56% chance for you and your mattress companion to be a part of it. It is therefore essential that your mattress attenuates the harmful effects of these sleeping positions and gives you a little respite.
How does the sleep position affect the choice of mattress? If the mattress respects your curves and shapes, marry the dents and curves of your body whatever the chosen position, you will be stabilized, reinforced in your position of sleep and your night will become really restorative. It only remains to learn how to determine the choice of the mattress according to your favorite sleeping position. To sleep well in all positions, discover organic sleep – tell me in which position to sleep, I will tell you which mattress to choose
Sleeping on the side?
Sleeping position apparently the most popular (68%) although unrelated to the quality of sleep. Most of the quality sleep is done on the side, as is the deep sleep phase. Beyond these periods, changes of position are frequent and the sleeper passes indifferently on the back or on the belly. When one sleeps on the side, all the weight of the body is concentrated on one shoulder and on the pelvis, which generates a strong pressure in these zones, especially in case of imposing morphology or pregnancy.
Experts generally recommend sleeping with a pillow, so that the cervical vertebrae are well maintained and the spine remains straight. The ideal is to place a cushion between the knees to align the legs, pelvis and column. For the choice of the mattress, it is rather simple: you need a mattress that guarantees an optimal reception at the level of the shoulders and the hips. Some flexibility is essential in these areas so as not to block blood circulation. An alteration of the blood circulation will cause a tingling, synonymous with agitation, even awakening for the sleeper. For this sleeping position, the shape memory mattress is ideal. This type of mattress molds the exact contours of your body and reduces the need for movement during sleep. If your mattress is too firm but sufficiently recent (less than 10 years), the shape memory mattress is a good alternative.
Sleeping on the back?
Studies show that in this sleeping position, sleep is peaceful and the sleeper is not moving. He moves so little that he usually wakes up in the position in which they have fallen asleep. It is the archetype of the peaceful sleeper. You will notice in passing that there is not exactly a legion to choose this position (13%). Moreover, in this sleeping position, the weight of the sleeper is better distributed over the whole body. On the back, the quality of sleep is therefore much better.
The choice of mattress for this sleeping position is more delicate though. It is necessary to move towards a mattress which perfectly follows the curvature of the spine and which ensures an active maintenance of the vertebrae. The mattress should not be too firm so as not to leave space in the lumbar area. Buttocks should sink gently. The latex mattress, both elastic and tonic, lends itself ideally to this sleeping position.
Sleeping on the belly?
There is much less talk about this sleeping position in specialized sites. And yet, it exists (7%). Contrary to conventional wisdom, according to experts, sleeping on the stomach is not bad for the back, provided the pillow is as low as possible. This is the case, for example, with an organic pillow or a pillow filled with water.
When you sleep on your stomach, the choice of mattress is a rather firm mattress, not too elastic. Indeed, a mattress too soft will place the sleeper in an unpleasant posture, the back below the head and legs. Besides, sleeping on the stomach often comes from the habit of a mattress tbeing oo firm.
You will find adequate firmness for this ventral position on some high density soy foam mattresses.
So why fall asleep in one position rather than in another? It would seem that this choice is not so trivial. Studies have revealed the link between sleep position and sleeper personality.
The back is at the heart of thinking about sleep, about daily well-being in general. It is for him, for his support and maintenance, that we strive to find the ideal mattress, the perfect pillow or the latest bed base.
Rather than spending fortunes on gadgets, why do not you try to figure out what would really will do good for your spine? How, for example, do you find the right mattress for back pain? To help you figure this one out, here are our 5 mattress tips to achieve this.
Mattress for back pain: Ask your osteo for advice
A back specialist to choose the mattress that suits you is best. Be aware that we do not claim to substitute ourselves for a health professional or back specialist. Not only in terms of degrees, but mainly because your doctor, physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor knows your back, your spine in every detail, in its complexity, in its context. BestHomeRemedies.com can simply give you trends, general recommendations for relieving back pain. But under no circumstances will our expertise and experience replace the empirical knowledge of your doctor, especially if you have specific pathologies or significant deformities. To choose a mattress for back pain, do not hesitate to solicit the opinion of your therapist. That being said, let us allow ourselves to set a few milestones.
A question of balance
The right mattress for back pain should reconcile: a) support firmness for an effective support of your spine; b) mellow of the reception – for a reception in accordance with your morphology and your position of sleep. If the mattress is too firm, your body fails to find its place and the muscles of your back and neck remain in tension to compensate for the spaces. If the mattress is too soft, you sink dementably and your spine is subjected to twisting in the cervical, dorsal or lumbar areas, regardless of the position. In both cases you find yourself more tired after waking up than before sleeping!
To avoid this kind of disappointment, know that latex mattresses, ensuring a perfect balance between firmness and softness, are excellent mattresses for back pain. Otherwise, in case of mattress too firm, think to call on the mattress to optimize your comfort of sleeping. Tightly molding the contours of your body, it offers you the quality of welcome that a firm mattress refuses you.
A good mat for back pain: suitable for your back In the manner of certain advertisements, one can put forward the triple action of the good mattress for back pain; Of the mattress that actually matches your anatomy.
The primary objective of the mattress is of course to facilitate your sleep. To do this, it will have to take care of your back. If your spine is held up and down, the muscles relax and you can dive into a truly restorative sleep. Otherwise, the muscles remain under tension, stretched to the extreme and pains of all kinds appear. These pains cause incessant changes of position or even an awakening. The back pain triumphs. Your night turns into a nightmare. Note that memory mattresses and mattress pads eliminate pressure and reduce position changes, ensuring quality sleep, pain-free, and really repairing.
You should know that a mattress of quality, adapted and recent allows to protect your back. Conversely, a bad, inadequate or simply used mattress exerts an adverse influence on the health of your back: if you do not have a back problem, it may create it. If you have any (chronic backache, back pain, neck pain, back pain, etc.), you risk aggravating them. Do not skimp on ways to find the right mattress for back pain.
Recent scientific studies have highlighted the healing benefits of a good mattress for back pain, including a new mattress. It is not argued that this is the absolute remedy for back pain, but in most cases, there has been an improvement or even a complete cure for some chronic back pain. Choosing good bedding is above all a matter of sleep comfort. But it’s also a health issue.
Now what part of our body serves as a reliable indicator of the quality of bedding? The back obviously. This extended and complex area, which starts from the head to finish on the legs, is linked to all parts of our body by a tangle of bones, tissues and nerves. The quality of its positioning and its relation to the bedding, depend directly on our well-being nocturnal … and diurnal. Specialized osteopaths reveal the mechanisms of the action of bedding on the back. And complex relationships between mattresses and back pain.
Osteopathy is a manual therapeutic science that is based on a thorough knowledge of the anatomy and physiology (functioning) of the human body. It solicits the self-regulating systems of the body in order to restore a harmonious functioning of the whole. The osteopath thus proposes to rebalance the tensions of the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and organs. This will allow the structures to regain their physiology and the body to function harmoniously.
An ostheopath has a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology. He or she uses only their hands: they perceive tensions and imbalances thanks to precise, precise and exact palpation, which is the very foundation of osteopathy. Thanks to this quality of listening, osteopathy is a preventive and curative therapy. An osteopath has a 6-year post-baccalaureate degree (over 5,000 academic hours) with a recognized degree (Osteopathic Graduate).
A physiotherapist, on the other hand, will focus on re-educating a patient (eg after surgery, you have to learn how to use your body), using several means such as massage, stretching, muscle strengthening or physiotherapy (heatt, electrotherapy, etc.). A physiotherapist has 3 years in a physiotherapy school after 1 year of medicine. Physiotherapy does not replace osteopathy and vice versa. They are two distinct and complementary disciplines. Now let’s hear these specialists explaining the influence of the bedding (mattress, mattress, pillow) on the different parts of the back.
Bedding is no more and no less than the place where you spend a third of your life. It should allow the body to rest to the full so that it can regenerate. The vertebrae should be sustained, the muscles should be able to relax and the nerves should not be irritated by the bad positions that one could take. You should choose a customized bedding adapted to your needs. If you are 5.8” and 170 lb, it is obvious that you will need a different bedding than that of a person of 5.5” and 110 lb. The structures of the bed should be able to be adapted to the morphology of the person sleeping there.
The simplest is to test the bedding yourself, do not hesitate to take a nap on different mattresses. For sleeping positions, position on the belly should be avoided. Sleeping on the sides or on the back is more recommended.
Why does good bedding matter so much? Because it changes everything! If you wake up in the morning after sleeping on a bad bed or on a sofa, you will see that your body feels aches and pains in different places (often between the shoulder blades, in the neck or in the lower back). Conversely, if you wake up after sleeping in good bedding, your body should not feel any particular pain.
So can we treat the back by changing bedding? Yes and no. Yes if your back pain comes from poor bedding (this is especially the case when you have only a waking pain and which subside within an hour) it is more than likely that changing your bedding for Better will improve your pain. No if your pain has nothing to do with it. If you have a torticollis after a cold in the neck or if you have pain in the lower back due to handling or bad posture, it will not change much and it will be necessary to consult first.
The National Union of Bedding made a scientific study testing the influence of the mattress on the back pain. It organized a real competition between new mattresses and used mattresses, the aim of the game being to compare the effects of each one on the backs of the participants. In your opinion, what mattress did it take?
The conditions of the study included the following: mattresses used: new and used mattresses (1 new mattress and 1 used mattress in the sense of the sustainability tests. That is, a mattress that is more than 10 years old, having exceeded 30,000 cycles. In short, a mattress with altered qualities: loss of hardness of 20%, loss of spring factor 20%, loss of height
Participants: individuals with compulsory back pain. The study was carried out on people suffering from chronic back pain for a year by the Center of Rehabilitation and Functional Rehabilitation of Menucourt. The scientists, under the direction of Professor Touchon, decided to conduct this experiment on people of all sexes, weighing between 75 lb and 200 lb, without serious back problems.
The tests were performed as part of a rehabilitation center for two reasons:
- Gaining a better control of the causes of improvement or degradation of back pain
- Optimizing the follow-up of the post-back surgery patients and the evolution of their back pain.
- Fighting against back pain, regaining good posture.
The principle: moving from one mattress to another. Participants were asked to give their appreciation for their night-time and diurnal back pain and the feeling of morning stiffness related to the quality of the beds. 2 types of sequences were tested: the transition from a new mattress to a used mattress and the transition from a used mattress to a new mattress, all over the course of two weeks.
Conclusions: new mattress, real relief of back pain. As you can imagine, the conclusions are final. Whatever the sequence tested, the participants feel a difference between the 2 types of mattress in the majority of cases. In total: 77.7% felt an improvement on a new mattress, 4 responses out of 9 very favorable i.e. 44.4%, 3 responses out of 9 favorable ie 33.3%, 2 responses out of 9 indifferent or 22.2%.
4. How to tell a good mattress when shopping online
It now seems obvious that a new mattress can have beneficial effects on back pain compared to a used mattress. After 10 years, there is a loss of 25% performance for a mattress of good quality, more for a mattress of lower quality. While offers multiply on the internet, how does one buy a good quality mattress, and more generally, bedding online? Choosing ones sleeping companion for the next 10 years should not be an unconsidered decision. What elements do we have to make the right decision when it comes to making a purchase involving this one? A good knowledge of the products, your sleeping habits and a relevant research of information make the purchase of mattresses online easy and safe. Heed our advice for success
Choice of mattresses and objective quality criteria
The choice of bedding products should depend, above all, on the technical characteristics of the products concerned. More than a test, these objective elements make it possible to determine with certainty a level of comfort, quality and a lifetime.
For example, for a mattress, such elements as the thickness of the core, the density of the foam, the technology of the springs or the composition of the lining determine the softness of the reception and the firmness of the support. All these criteria exist. You just have to get to know them to choose the most reliable product on the Internet. The empirical experimentation, the trial in store will satisfy you – or not – without your knowing why. It is therefore necessary to learn how to choose: to learn conscientiously, to know the different strengths of the products and to discover how to make the most of them.
Mattresses and bedding with a persоnal factor
The stated aim of this research is to adapt the product characteristics to your personal criteria. It is not enough to buy a product that is just fine; it should be good for you. The products of bedding should be in perfect match with your needs: in phase with your morphology, your positions of sleep, your need of comfort, your possible back problems, your health problems (allergies to mites, blood circulation, acid reflux or other conditions), your ecological and ethical concerns, and so on.
If you do not sleep on your own, your partner should also align with the characteristics of your sleeping companion. And of course, on your budget. There are clear and universal rules to adapt these objects to the subject.
- What type of mattress density to choose for a given morphology
- What factors optimize the sleeping independence of the mattress
- For what kind of pillow to opt to relieve neck pain
Just know the answers to the above questions and consider yourself ready to shop for a new mattress for sleeping without back pain. The information you will find on the health sites, articles of experts or professionals in back health, will allow you to instil a little order, prioritizing the criteria in the order of importance. Once you have mastered these settings, nothing will stop you from ordering the product of your dreams on the Internet.
Choosing your mattress: where should you turn for technical specifications and expert tips? Looking for relevant information is possible:
- On the Internet. Although it is necessary to look for them, some sites offer reliable and quality information. Sites of manufacturers or specialists, unions of the bedding, site of consumers, informative sites like Ensemble bedding, sites of professionals of back health and forums can destined to give a maximum of info on the products and to provide the knowledge prior to any good purchase. Cross-checking this information will take you on the road to comfort.
- In the real world. You can of course glean additional information directly from bedding manufacturers, or consult with your osteopath or your favorite physiotherapist. Simply select the templates that match the search criteria, compare prices and order. If the site is serious enough, it will guarantee you a satisfied or refunded offer. You can take advantage of this time to put your theoretical knowledge into practice. That is to say to try the products in the optimal conditions; in the privacy of your bedroom.
5. Here is how we recommend shopping for your back’s best friend mattress
Labels and warranty: primordial bedding info. Labels and warranties are an additional guarantee of product quality. Assigned by independent bodies or institutions, certification bodies that certify the origin (bio) or purity (100% natural) of a material, its non-toxicity, compliance with standards and standards of manufacture.
Warranty on mattresses and bedding accessories. A manufacturer’s guarantee is also an objective element of trust with respect to the product. The manufacturer, who is sure of the quality of the materials and the manufacturing techniques, is committed to an exemplary quality over the long term. It is an indication of the actual quality of the product.
However, there are these two things to know: the warranty applies only for manufacturing defects, not for normal wear and tear inherent in the use of the products. The duration of this guarantee should be reasonable. Beware of too long guarantees. They do not often bind the manufacturer who proposes them. Conversely then, there are mattresses that benefit from a real guarantee of a minimum duration of 5 years. In addition, the retraction period is extended, to give the user the leisure to test the maximum mattress.
The leading experts often advise their patients to find the bedding that suits them best (so try it by yourself). For as said above, each one is different. Most professionals are unanimous in their praise for slatted beds, memory mattresses and shape memory pillows. In some cases, low back pain patients are advised to try to put a wooden board under the mattress to stiffen the base. Doctors also recommend a cushion under the legs if they sleep on the back, or between the semi-flexed legs if they sleep on the side.
For people who suffer from neck pain, experts recommend a pillow that is well adapted to the person’s anatomy. The shoulder width conditions the height of the pillow when you go to sleep on the side. Test several pillows to feel if your cervical column is well supported. The main thing is to have the cervical spine in the alignment with the column. Again, memory pillows are recommended.
How is this type of pillow specific? Back health specialists prefer them to memory because they are less likely to collapse little by little in the night. The feathered pillows collapse and no longer support the cervical spine correctly. How exactly does it work on the cervical vertebrae and back pain in general? By a better maintenance of the cervical in line with the rest of the spine. To some it up, it is best to use a combination of a slatted bed base, a memory mattress and a memory pillow. And at all times, listen to the signals your body sends you. Your body is right no matter what.
If you feel tension when trying a mattress or a pillow, this is not good. Even if the seller tries to persuade you that it is normal, do not buy it! It is you who is going to spend several years on it, not the seller. Before any vertebral pain that persists during the day consult an osteopath, a doctor or a physiotherapist. If you have pain that prevents you from sleeping as soon as you move, it is certainly a mechanical blockage so well treated by osteopathy. If, on the other hand, you experience night pains that wake you up with a feverish peak, consult your doctor or a rheumatologist directly, it is more a rheumatic or inflammatory pain.