Mattress and Your Back’s Health

a woman lying on a mattress

Back Pain is as omnipresent as grass. Irrespective of caste and creed, it takes everyone into its nippers. When the pain hits your back, people start to blame on wrong postures, constant sitting, or bone weakness blatantly. Do you know your bed mattress could contribute to your back pain as well?

A mattress does a lot more than providing a comfortable sleep. It plays an important role in your back’s health as well. Not many people know that a right mattress can actually help you to keep that agonizing pain at bay. It is important to understand the role of a mattress for your back’s health and these factors should be considered when choosing a mattress.

How a mattress can ruin your back health?

As long as your mattress is firm and comfortable enough, you can enjoy a relaxing sleep and feel refreshed like the morning dew. We usually spend 6-8 hours on bed at night (some have lesser). However, this could turn into a nightmare if your mattress has little elasticity and firmness. Your spine needs a firm surface support to stay in good curve. But an old mattress is unable to do its job.

Mattresses wear and tear, and some spots will sag. These sagging spots may lead your spine to curve unnaturally and down while sleeping. And this unnatural curvature will affect the circulation of the spine as well. All these will accumulate and compromise your back. When your back is strained over a prolonged period, it often leads to severe back pain that need advanced treatment and therapy.

Unsuitable Mattress for Back

Knowing the back pain caused by the mattress.

Our back bears most of the weight when we lie flat, while the weights of your limbs are distributed across the bed. When you lay on rigid and hard surfaces over a long time, they constantly exert great pressure on your muscles.

Poor-conditioned mattress doesn’t provide sufficient support for the shoulders, back and hips. It also puts your back to unnatural sleeping postures and affects your sleep through the night. With uneven pressure points on your back, these are detrimental that affects your health and lifestyle.

If your back aches from the moment you get up in the morning, your old mattress could contribute to it.

The right way to pick the right mattress

There are various types of mattresses available in the market. Not all are made for everyone. If you are having back pain and wanting to change your mattress, here are some tips on getting a mattress.

  • Choose a medium-firm mattress that is of your preference and lie on it. Feel for the right amount of firmness and comfort. The mattress should be a ‘right blend’ of comfort and support to alleviate the back problem. This will provide necessary back support for your weight without compromising the comfort.
  • Our age should be part of our considerations on the choice of mattresses too. Mattress with firmer structure are preferred among elder people as the firmness provides extra support. It reduces the strain on the joints and supports the spine during sleeping.
    Furthermore, as we age, our spine curls a little naturally. This suggests for extra firmness for back support. Also, the right-blend of mattress is always a good choice for you toward the road of good back health.
  • Our weight is another crucial point we must consider while buying a mattress.
    If you are bulk and stout, you should go for a firmer mattress.
  • Choose a soft mattress only when it provides sufficient support to your back.
    Despite it being comfortable, soft mattresses may not support your back as well as the firmer ones do.

How often you should change your mattress?

This is a million-dollar question. It is a common misconception that people should replace their mattress only when they are all torn-up. This is not true.

Woman waking up suffering back ache

Do you know that every mattress comes with a pre-defined age limit?

Yes. Depending on how the mattress is being made, each mattress type comes with a fixed age. For example, an innerspring mattress can easily last 10 years with adequate care.

On the other hand, memory foam mattress can easily last for 15 years. However, as National Sleep Foundation has suggested, one should change its mattress after 8 years. They explained that by this duration, any mattress losses its uses despite looking physically good.

Our continuous usage on the mattress affects the elasticity of the coils and foam of the mattress. And when you sleep over such mattress, you sleep with poor postures and unintentionally compromises your back. Thus after using the mattress 8 years, the change of the mattress is good to ensure a comfortable sleep and pain-free back.

How to check whether your mattress is in good shape?

It is crucial to understand whether your mattresses are in good shape or not. Your mattress might seem all good from the surface but the problem is underlying. To determine this, you can easily opt for these simple and easy tips.

  • If you are getting a back pain only after waking up then it means your mattresses are not sufficed their purposes well.
  • If numbness occurs your limbs and knees in the morning, it is time to check your mattress.
  • Put a stick or a rod across the bed. If you can easily lift the stick up from the back of your mattress and sagging badly, it’s probably time to replace it.
  • Press down your mattresses firmly. If you can feel any lumps in it, you should get them check immediately.

Looks like you knew it all. But if you are struggling with back pain from poor sleeping postures, you may book an appointment with back pain specialists in Singapore.

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Dr. Jenny Li

Founding Chiropractor at Singapore Pain Solutions
Dr. Jenny Li is America trained chiropractor who specialises in sports injury, sports performance, and spinal health. She graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in United States, upon completion of the her post graduate program she practiced in Hong Kong and currently is practicing in Singapore. Dr. Jenny believes optimal sports performance starts with structure of human body as she helps her patients to achieve breakthroughs in their performance by choosing chiropractic. She is also the contributing writer for local online health and lifestyle magazine Soulscape.

Dr. Jenny Li is the appointed chairman of Medical Committee for NABBA WFF Singapore.
Dr. Jenny Li
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