Could Your Mattress Be Causing You Back Pain?

December 10, 2021
Joshua Abrams is a fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon who employs new cutting-edge techniques to minimize post-surgical pain and optimize patients’ experience.
People can suffer from back pain for various reasons, including a mattress that’s too soft or hard. A good mattress provides the right support for your unique physical needs. Unfortunately, not all mattresses are created equally, and it can be difficult to find the right one. We will help you learn if your mattress could be the reason for your aching back, how to pick the right mattress and more.

Why Is Your Mattress So Important for Your Back?

When it comes to pain management, getting adequate amounts of sleep is a crucial factor for healing. Sleep is an essential process that provides the body time to recover and rejuvenate itself at a cellular level from daily activities. Additionally, sleep also helps regulate numerous important bodily components, including your immunity, weight and mood. 

When you do not get enough sleep, your body is negatively impacted. Since chronic pain and sleep have been proven to share similar neurotransmitters and pathways, it only makes sense that poor sleep can lead to impaired abilities to manage pain. 

If your neck and back pain starts from the moment you get out of bed in the morning, your mattress may not be providing the right amount of support you need. A supportive mattress and your sleep quality go hand in hand. A poor mattress causing back pain can also lead to stiffness, neck problems and reduced energy levels.

Can You Tell If Your Mattress Is Causing Back Pain?

There are several ways to tell if it is time to find a new mattress. In addition to the typical telltale signs such as the mattress sagging or being excessively old, other indicators can help you determine if your mattress could be causing all your aches and pains. If you experience one of these things, it could be a sure-fire sign that it’s time to replace your mattress. 

Woman pressing her hands against her back in pain

  • You Don’t Feel Aches or Stiffness After Sleeping Somewhere Else

    After you sleep in another bed, do you find that your body feels better than when you sleep in your own? If you find a consistent pattern to achieving better sleep and fewer body aches after sleeping elsewhere, but your issues return once you are back in your usual bed, your bed could be the cause of your problems. 

  • You Wake up Experiencing the Same Kind of Pain Every Single Time

    If you immediately suffer lower back pain or stiffness when you wake, the chances are high that your mattress needs to be replaced. Pay close attention to how your body feels minutes before you go to bed for the night compared to when you get up. This can help confirm your suspicions that your mattress might not be any good for you. 

  • You Can’t Get Comfortable and Toss, Turn and Wake up Throughout Your Sleep

    A good night’s sleep is only beneficial if it is uninterrupted. When you find yourself tossing and turning all night long and cannot stay asleep, this can cause many health issues. A good explanation for your discomfort could be that your mattress does not provide the right degree of softness and firmness. 

  • Your Mattress Feels Like You Are Sleeping on a Slab

    A good mattress should always contour to your body to some degree. This goes for all mattresses, even those with innerspring systems. Although your body requires a certain amount of firmness to receive the appropriate support, your mattress should not be unyielding. If lying on your mattress feels like you crawled onto the ground to go to sleep, consider other options. 

How to Pick the Right Mattress

With so many different materials, firmnesses and various other features, picking the right mattress might feel like a matter of guessing. When you’re ready to seek a new mattress, there are certain criteria you should keep in mind to help yourself be more confident by taking out the guesswork.

  • Materials

    While inexpensive mattresses may be tempting for your budget, they may not be such a good choice for your back. Cheaply made mattresses will likely need to be replaced much sooner than you would hope. 

  • Support

    If you find that you struggle with mid or lower back pain, or you primarily sleep on your back, finding a mattress with a good, supportive structure is a must. Find one that pushes up into the lumbar spine and will allow your other muscles to relax.

  • Pressure Relief

    Pressure relief is crucial to a good night’s sleep for those who suffer from shoulder or hip pain and people who sleep on their sides. Mattresses that contour to the body allow pressure to be reduced from ball and socket joints for ultimate comfort. 

  • Breathability

    Make sure your new mattress is not extremely dense or made of materials that do not allow it to breathe. A mattress without proper breathability will result in sweaty and uncomfortable nights. 

Most mattress retailers provide setups in which you can test a mattress before buying it. Others sometimes provide trial periods in which you can try the mattress and return it if it’s not the right one for you. Take advantage of these testing opportunities to be sure you find the appropriate mattress.

Other Tips for a Good Sleep Without Back Pain

In addition to selecting the right mattress, there are other ways to help foster a good night’s sleep without waking up to back pain in the mornings.

  • Select a Supportive Pillow

    The pillow you use to support your neck is just as important as the mattress you use for your entire body. Find one that provides the right support you need for your preferred sleeping positions and comfort level.

  • Stretch Before Going to Bed

    Believe it or not, having a good stretch before going to bed can do wonders. It can help improve discomforts by loosening tight muscles and relieving tension from compressed joints. 

  • Be Mindful of Your Sleeping Positions

    If you are sleeping in ways your body does not quite appreciate, you could be putting a lot of stress and pressure on your neck and spine. Try to keep your spine as neutral as possible and find a sleeping position that promotes genuine comfort for your body.

Learn More About Home Remedies For Back Pain

Contact the Leaders in Minimally Invasive Spine Care

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) is here to provide you with the excellent care you need. Offering only cutting-edge treatments for our spine patients, our options range from nonsurgical solutions to minimally invasive spine surgeries. If you need more help with managing your back pain than what your mattress can offer, contact us today. With over 50 collective years of experience, our board-certified spine surgeons are ready to help you find the right solution. 

Visit Here to Schedule An Appointment

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