Can a Mattress Cause Back Pain? 7 Warning Signs
Can your mattress be the cause of your back pain? If you often experience back pain, your mattress is often an overlooked problem. Surprisingly, a good mattress can mean the difference between feeling spry and living in pain.
While a mattress that fits your body type may not be a cure, a good mattress is a solid preventative measure with no drawbacks, only benefits. Plus you’ll sleep better too!
Mattresses and Back Pain
Do you experience discomfort as soon as you lie on your mattress? Or do you feel so uncomfortable when you sleep that the thought of a good night’s rest seems crazy? Or do you wake up with aches and pains and uncertainty of how they originated? If you nodded your head yes to any of these questions, chances are that your mattress is part of the problem. Mattresses should be part of a full body wellness solution, not be the source of your back pain.
Can Your Mattress Cause Back Pain?
In all cases of back pain, a subpar mattress can exacerbate the problem and worsen your back pain. When considering if a mattress can cause back pain, the first thing to look at is the firmness of the mattress.
A mattress that is too firm does not do a satisfactory job of supporting your body and weight, often distributing weight to certain pressure points that create excessive tension on the spine.
On the other hand, mattresses that are too soft can sink and be unsupportive, thereby preventing the spine from maintaining proper alignment and placing undue pressure on your spine.
In addition, back pain can also be caused by an acute injury (i.e. sports injury, fall down the stairs). If you find yourself experiencing back pain when you cough or sneeze, this might be a good indication that your back pain is caused by something else.
7 Warning Signs Your Mattress is Causing Back Pain
So now you are speculating that your mattress is causing your back pain, and your next step is to prove your theory is accurate. Check out these 7 warning signs to help draw a conclusion that your mattress is causing back pain.
7. You Wake Up With Back Pain
If you wake up with back pain, but you’re finding improvement throughout the day, this is an indication that your mattress is causing your back pain. When your mattress is not properly supporting your spine when sleeping, your muscles are forced to expend more energy.
This means your muscles do not receive adequate rest, and your body is under sustained duress, leaving you with pain when you wake up. This can come in the form of tight muscles or a cramped feeling when you get up for the first time.
Once awake, your back muscles can receive a better amount of blood flow and help you feel better. But when your body is in a stressed and fixed position while sleeping as a result of a poor mattress, waking up with back pain is a common result.
6. You Can’t Sleep at Night
If you can’t sleep at night, it's not only a sign your body is not getting the proper rest it needs, but also that your mattress can be causing your back pain. Sleeping should be a time of rest and relaxation, but if you can’t get comfortable, then your mattress may not be providing you enough pressure relief to allow your body to relax.
Your mattress should help provide a cool and comfortable environment to rest and recover, but if you can’t sleep at night, and you suffer from back pain, there is a strong likelihood that the two symptoms are intertwined.
5. You Toss & Turn A Lot
Do you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, seemingly spending more time awake than asleep? Naturally, this would be very frustrating, as many of us expect to fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow after a long day.
However, when you are constantly switching your sleeping position, first on your left side, then your back, then your right side, your mattress might be the problem.
Tossing and turning a lot is your body telling you it craves movement, and dislikes the feeling of being stuck in a fixed position for a prolonged period of time. But since sleeping does require being stuck in a (somewhat) fixed position, your mattress needs to be top-quality or else it will be difficult for your back pain to subside.
4. You Don’t Feel Comfortable in Bed
Having your sleep disturbed by not feeling comfortable in bed is also a sign that your mattress could be causing your back pain. When you are comfortable, you feel stress-free and relaxed, and your nighttime sleep can help you recuperate and accelerate your daily recovery. But when you don’t feel comfortable in bed, your body is unable to perform the most important function of recovery - sleep.
Your mattress should be a tool to assist you in recuperation and rehabilitation from back pain, but if you don’t feel comfortable in bed, your mattress will actually be a hindrance on your progress.
3. You Feel Like You’re Rolling Off the Bed
A common complaint from those with inferior mattresses is that they feel like they are rolling off the bed. When a mattress isn’t providing enough support to your bodyweight, it can sag or be unresponsive to your body’s movements. Since back pain can cause restlessness, it is important for a mattress to be resilient to feelings of rolling off the bed, otherwise the mattress can exacerbate your back pain.
2. You Feel Tired When You Wake Up
When you constantly feel tired when you wake up, the more likely your back pain persists. But the more likely your back pain persists, the harder it is to sleep. This chicken-and-egg scenario may paint a grim picture, but that is precisely why a good mattress is a necessary commodity for those with back pain.
You will not perform to your maximum daily capabilities if you feel tired when you wake up, and also may cause you to skip aspects of your health and wellness routine (exercise, healthy eating). A first-rate mattress will help stave off restlessness, sleeplessness, and as a byproduct, back pain.
1. Your Mattress is Aged
Let me guess, you probably haven’t changed your mattress in…ever? Maybe you at least flipped your mattress. No? Well here’s your sign to start! Keeping mattresses older than eight years that have you tossing and turning at night and enduring through back pain are not a long-term solution.
If your mattress is aged, it starts to lose its support, so you could be developing compensatory sleeping positions that could be aggravating your back pain. Get rid of your aged mattress to give your body the proper rest it deserves.
How to Treat Back Pain from Your Mattress
Treating your back pain from your mattress starts with choosing the right mattress! The right mattress is built to accommodate your body and weight, so as a side sleeper, you should choose a mattress slightly more firm and can support your body, while a back sleeper should choose one that has more cushion.
For immediate relief, a consistent foam rolling and stretching routine with your Yoga Strong Roller and Yoga Strong Strap are great additions to your daily routine. Gently rolling and releasing tension on your hip muscles and all three areas of your spine (lower, mid, upper), and then immediately following that up with stretches that mobilize the spine is an excellent 1-2 punch.
If capable of moderate exercise, yoga is a great form of movement to treat back pain, since it offers both flexibility and strength. Yoga twists either lying on your back, sitting up, or standing can help relieve pain and stiffness in your back from your mattress.
You can do a few yoga poses before your workout or even after if it better suits you.
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