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Top 4 Factors You Need to Consider When Buying a Mattress if You Have Back Problems

Buying a Mattress if You Have Back Problems

Back pain is surely a debilitating and an uncomfortable body condition to have — and is one of the common reasons for absence from work and for seeking medical treatment. Either you gained it through injury, activity or some medical conditions, back pain can affect people of any age, for different reasons.

People go through the process of aging, and as one gets older, the chance of developing lower back pain increases due to different factors that one may acquire. However, one of the greatest contributors to this physical problem is the built-up stress at the back area through the accounted years sleeping on a mattress that does not support the body and keep the spine straight.

Your Medical Status

Dr. Michael Perry, a medical director of the Laser Spine Institute stated that selecting the mattress that is best suited to your spinal condition is about more than just how hard or soft the item is. Thus, a run through of your medical history needs to be considered so that you can tailor your purchase to your needs.

It is recommended that before purchasing a mattress, you should start by asking yourself the following questions: What medical conditions do I have? What is my current diagnosis or diagnoses? What, if anything, have you been treated for previously?

In doing this, your purchasing makes a difference. For example, if you have spinal arthritis, disc problems or non-specific back pain, you need to consider the relative firmness or softness of the mattress. On the other hand, people who have undergone multiple back surgeries often need less support and firmness. After several surgeries, the tissues have been altered and may be stiffer, Dr. Perry says. So in this case, a softer mattress may be more comfortable.

It Supports Your Spine

Some people overlook this kind of mattress function, but it is one of the most important and one which offers a great contribution in keeping your spine healthy—the mattress support. You may not have also realized this but it is important to keep a good posture while you are sleeping since the muscles and ligaments need to relax and recover while you sleep.

Note that a mattress that provides good support simply means that it keeps your spine in proper alignment without stressing your spine and creating pressure points. You will know when a mattress does not offer adequate support, by waking up in sore or in pain in the morning. Additionally, it is important to know that regardless of your sleeping position, the key to having a good sleeping posture is to try to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned.

Firm Mattress Isn’t Always Better

The most commonly questioned by mattress buyers in pursuit of finding the right kind of mattress that fits their needs is the firmness of the item. Honestly, the feel and firmness of a mattress depend on your definition of soft, medium, and firm—which is highly subjective. Additionally, it singularly depends on your body type, weight, size, and other factors that play into the feel.

Here’s a tip-off when buying a mattress but you are indecisive: when in doubt, go for the medium-firm mattress. A study was conducted and researchers assigned new mattresses to more than 300 people with low back pain. The participants used either “medium-firm” or “firm” mattresses for 90 days. The least amount of discomfort was reported by the medium group.

The researchers of the study stated that “A mattress of medium firmness improves pain and disability among patients with chronic non-specific low-back pain.” Accordingly, Dr. Perry also agrees that a medium firm mattress is generally the way to go. However, a number of other factors play a role, as well, he says and he firmly adds that one size does not fit all in the choosing of a mattress by those with spine pain.

Consider Adjustable Mattresses

Trying to have a good night’s sleep is hard to come by when you are still recovering from back surgery or a chronic back pain. So for anyone who has difficulty getting or staying comfortable enough to sleep on a flat mattress, it may be worth considering if an adjustable bed is a better alternative. Sleeping on an adjustable mattress allows you to elevate your head and knees slightly to relieve pressure on the lower back.

This allows the upper body to rest at a slight incline, such as 30 to 45 degrees, with support under the knees so they bend at a slight angle, helping you achieve correct spinal alignment. Sleeping while elevating your legs allows for better circulation and reduces stress on your back. The adjustable mattresses are ergonomically correct, allowing for a more natural curvature of the spine while sleeping.


The bottom line of considering when buying a mattress if you have back problems is to know what your health needs and your preferences. In pursuit of getting a good night’s sleep, researching first before buying an item will help you greatly both in budget and knowledge as to the mattress that would fit, which the counting sheep research would surely be of help.

Mattress sales representatives will not always remind you that in choosing a mattress, it is important to remember that one’s personal preference for sleep comfort and back support should ultimately determine which type of bed or mattress is best and that there is no single type of bed or mattress that works for all individuals.