Selecting the Best Mattress for Lower Back Pain t1

Mattress For Lower Back Pain

If you have been sleeping on the wrong mattress – you are likely to start suffering from lower back pain or in other cases – your condition might get worse. When your mattress does not give you the right support, it leads to poor sleeping posture, strains your back muscles, and do not help your spine stay aligned. All of these factors contribute to your lower back pain.

An important point to note is – that your sleep quality is also affected if the mattress does not match your personal preference. You should select a mattress that will provide both comfort and support to your lower back. This will allow the structures in your spine to rest appropriately. You will be feeling fresh and recharged when you wake up every morning.

There are plenty of mattresses in the market and choosing the right one can get quite overwhelming. Below are some of the practical guidelines that will help you choose the mattress that will aid you in sleeping well, maintain the right posture every night, receiving appropriate back support and make your sleep more comfortable.


5 key points to help you select your next mattress

Purchasing Mattress

  1. There’s nothing known as ‘the perfect mattress’ to aid every single patient, suffering from lower back pain. If there’s a particular kind of mattress, you noticed that has helped you sleep well, without causing pain or stiffness when you wake up in the morning – that qualifies as the right mattress for you. It is matter of personal preference – and it is always recommended that you pick up a mattress that suits your level of comfort – and provides ample support to your lower back.
  2. It is an important aspect before you make a purchase – learning and inquiring about the various components that go in the production of your mattress. One of the key elements is coils or innersprings – that help in providing support to your back. With different products and manufacturers – the number and the arrangement of the coils differ as well. Secondly, even the thickness of the mattress padding varies from one product to another. The depth of the mattress can also vary somewhere between 7 to 18 inches deep. As you can see, by paying attention to the number of coils, the kind of padding and the mattress depth – plays a key role in order to provide you long-term comfort and better support for your lower back and also your entire body.
  3. Pay close attention and buy a mattress that will give you plenty of back support. One of the crucial factors is – a good mattress will provide you ample support for the natural curves and alignment of your spine. In addition, with the perfect support for your lower back, you will not face any kind of muscle soreness the next morning. A study has found that the medium-firm mattresses are a better fit when it comes to back pain relief than the firm mattresses.
  4. You need to achieve the perfect balance between comfort and back support. Both factors – a good amount of back support paired with overall comfort will help you get a good night’s sleep. A mattress that is too firm can cause you pains and aches on your pressure points. However, a medium-firm mattress is an ideal option because it will help your hips and shoulders to sink in to a perfect level. But for individuals, who are in need of a firmer mattress for their back support, can opt for a thicker padding – which will provide greater comfort.
  5. How old is your mattress and does it sag in the middle? If yes, then it is a clear sign that you need to purchase a new mattress. When you notice that your old mattress is sagging and especially, when it gets uncomfortable in the middle – it is time and highly essential that you purchase a new mattress. In this scenario, do not take any chances with your lower back pain as your condition can get worse.


4 points to make a smart and affordable purchase

Purchasing Mattress

  1. Select a product for the best value and its quality. A high quality mattress will have thicker padding and more coils. Thus, it is going to be expensive as well. However, it is not necessary that a higher priced mattress is going to be more supportive or comfortable for your lower back. It is a good practice to compare different mattresses and their prices when there is a sale. You might just get your perfect mattress at a great price. Strike a perfect balance – keeping quality and the value for your investment in mind.
  2. Do not fall for those advertising gimmicks. You should be sceptic when they mention that the mattress is 'orthopaedic' or 'medically-approved'. Currently, there have been no controlled clinical trials or extensive medical research – related to lower back pain and mattresses. However, one of the defining factors for choosing your mattress should be – as to how the extra features contribute to your comfort and support level of your lower back.
  3. You need to give that mattress a good test-run before you swipe your card. Try different makes and models at the stores or request a friend who will let you try their mattress. It is important that you lie on the mattress for a considerable duration and in different positions. Remember, you are looking for that perfect comfort and support level for your lower back. If you are a couple, then it is paramount that both of you try out different kinds of mattresses, and select the one that agrees with you both.
  4. Make a purchase for your next mattress from a trustworthy store or company. Get information about their terms and conditions - just in case, if you are not pleased with the product, after a few days or weeks after the purchase.
Consider the following points as well:
  • Delivery options
  • Warranty
  • The return policy and
  • If their staff will assist with the removal of your old mattress
On the other hand, ask yourself these questions too:
  • The latest and the best mattress in the current market
  • The budget and cost for the best mattress
  • Trying to get a good mattress for a cheap price
  • To choose king or queen sized mattress
  • Whether to get a posturepedic mattress
  • Memory foam versus latex mattress


Learn more about your mattress

In order to get a good night's sleep – choosing a new mattress that is comfortable, supportive, and high quality is important – especially for individuals who suffer with lower back pain. However, different brands, sales and promotions, special features and extensive marketing messages – can overwhelm you completely when you are trying to pick the right one.

Individuals should learn to evaluate and compare mattresses – by trying to understand the physical elements that make up a good mattress. There are certain mattress stores that will offer you cutaway views of the interior. It will help you understand and gauge the quality. Read reviews or reports relating to various kinds of brands and their mattresses. Also pay attention to the condition of your bed, pillows, sheets and quilt. They are directly linked to your quality of sleep.


A list of 7 important elements that make up an ideal mattress

Mattress for Lower Back Pain

  1. Mattress springs and coils: There are different thicknesses when it comes to the wire used for the coil. A lower gauge number indicates a firmer mattress with stiffer and thicker wire. If the concentration of steel coils is high – it may imply that it is a higher quality mattress. However, it doesn’t signify that the highest number is the best quality mattress. Individuals should rely on their observation – where the mattress will be a fine source of comfort, support and eventually help them relieve their lower back pain.
  2. Padding provides comfort: The padding present on top of a mattress is a clear indicator of quality. It is typically made up of elements such as: puffed-up polyester, polyurethane foam or cotton batting. Many people choose extra padding as it tends to be more comfortable. However, it is important to note that it is often more expensive.
  3. Middle padding: It is usually made with foam and it is present right below the quilted top layer. At the cross-section of a mattress, the softer foams will almost feel moist. However, firmer foams do not spring back quickly when compared to softer foams. Next layer of the padding is made out of cotton batting. It varies in thickness across various mattresses and even within a single mattress. This leads to the mattress feeling firmer in certain areas. For example, you will notice increased firmness in the middle when compared to the other areas.
  4. Insulation mattress padding: The insulation padding is present on top of the coil springs. This way, they cannot be felt from the top of the mattress and it protects the coils from damaging the top layers.
  5. Mattress ticking and quilting: A polyester or cotton-polyester blend known as ticking, usually covers the outer layer of the mattress. The quilting of the mattress is attached to the ticking – and later onto the top layers of the padding. You should take a closer look at the quality of stitching on the mattress quilting. Look out for consistency as well as unbroken stitches.
  6. Mattress foundations: Adding another level of support to the mattress is the mattress foundation or box spring. The foundations are usually made up of metal or wooden frame with springs. You will feel that your plain wooden frame is harder when compared to a frame with springs. You should only purchase a wood mattress foundation, if the wood has no cracks and it is straight. The Better Sleep Council mentions that if you purchase a foundation and mattress as a set – it will help you preserve the mattress better.
  7. Foam mattresses: Certain types of mattresses are produced entirely or mostly from memory or latex foam. You can choose to purchase them in different densities. In other cases, foam mattresses are produced with multiple layers of foam adhered together, while there are others where the foam core is in the centre. In order to give people greater selection for back support and comfort – foam mattresses come in various degrees of firmness. It is based on personal preference when you have to choose between foam and a traditional mattress. You need to be an educated and savvy consumer by asking relevant questions and requesting for written product information too. In addition, going to a store and thoroughly examining your choice of mattress will help you narrow down to your perfect choice.


So, what are the reasons for lower back pain in adults?

Choosing Mattress

A variety of problems related to any parts of the complex nerves, interconnected network of spinal muscles, bones, discs or tendons in the lumbar spine – can lead to lower back pain. What are some of the typical reasons for lower back pain?

  • Large nerve roots or the smaller nerves – that are present in your lower back may be facing some kind of irritation
  • Large-paired muscles in the lower back also known as the erector spinae may be strained
  • Ligaments, joints or bones may be damaged
  • Degeneration of an intervertebral disc
Any form of problem or irritation with any of these structures/parts will lead to lower back pain. A lot of the lower back problems – subsequently leads to back muscle spasms. Initially, it might seem simple but in the later stages it can cause severe disability and pain. Lower back pain is highly common – however, the severity and symptoms of this form of back pain can vary immensely. In certain scenarios, even a simple lower back muscle strain can lead to excruciating pain. It is enough to trigger an emergency room visit. In case of a degenerating disc – it may cause an intermittent or only a mild form of discomfort. The first step in obtaining effective pain relief is to identify the symptoms and getting a diagnosis – that will help pinpoint the underlying cause of the pain. There are certain reasons for lower back pain and there’s a higher tendency for them – to occur more often in younger individuals when compared to older adults:
  • Adults between the ages of 30 to 60 – are likely to experience back pain from the disc space itself, for example: lumbar disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. In other cases, it could also originate from a soft tissue or a back muscle strain.
  • The older adults, who are above the age of 60 – will most likely suffer from the pain related to joint degeneration such as: osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis. It could also be a case of compression fracture.


When should you seek immediate treatment related to your lower back pain?

In most scenarios, lower back pain does not require urgent care. However, you should visit a doctor without delay, if your lower back pain is an effect of trauma, or if the pain is related to any of the symptoms mentioned below:

  • Significant weakness in your legs
  • Experiencing chills and fever
  • No explanation to your drastic or recent weight loss
  • Facing severe or continuous abdominal pain also known as abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Difficulty in passing urine or loss of control of urination
  • Facing problems relating to bowel movement
  • Unexpected bowel or bladder incontinence


7 options for lower back treatment

Lower Back Treatment

  1. Rest: Injured tissue and nerve roots begin to heal when strenuous activities cease for a few days. This in turn helps relieve lower back pain. But it is important to note that more than a few days of rest will lead to weakening of muscles and it will get difficult – as these muscles will struggle to provide the right amount of support to the spine. Individuals who do not have a regular fitness regime or physical routine are more likely to continue having lower back problems for a prolonged duration.
  2. Heat and ice packs: You can relieve most types of lower back pain by reducing inflammation through heat or cold therapy. Some patients prefer using heat and others prefer the cooling effect from ice.
  3. Medications: To help reduce lower back pain – a wide variety of over-the-counter and prescription medication is available. These medications help in reducing inflammation – the actual cause of the pain. There are other medications that will inhibit the transmission of pain signals from reaching the brain. Each medication has multiple unique risks, possible side effects which need to be closely evaluated by a physician.
  4. Exercise for lower back pain: Exercise is vital for reducing your lower back pain and living a healthy life. A regular exercise program will be taught to you by a spine health professional – like a physical therapist, physiatrist or chiropractor. It generally includes three components such as: stretching, aerobic conditioning, and strengthening. These exercises work amazingly well for a patient through a controlled and progressive program. It will help you build a stronger and flexible spine. Walking as a form of exercise is ideal because it helps with the flow of oxygen to the soft tissues of your lower back and promotes healing. Additionally, water exercises like swimming is a perfect option is walking gets painful.
  5. Chiropractic Adjustment: It is also referred as chiropractic manipulation and will help improve your spinal functions. It works by decreasing the inflammation and pain. Subsequently, it increases the physical function and range of motion.
  6. Epidural Steroid Injections: The injection helps in delivering steroids directly into the painful area and helps in reducing inflammation. Epidural steroids provide pain relief, allowing the patients to move, heal and exercise.
  7. Surgery: If you opt for surgery – a qualified spine surgeon will give you an explanation highlighting the pros and cons of each procedure. Sciatica, laminectomy and microdiscectomy: aid in the significant reduction of painful symptoms by relieving the pressure on the suppressed nerve roots. Fusion surgery: stops the motion at a motion segment. This is a more extensive form of surgery. However, it can be effective and relieve the pain that originates from painful motion segment.
Depending upon the patient's history and the type, and severity of pain – the treatment for lower back pain will be determined by the physician. Within six weeks without surgery, the majority of lower back pain cases get better. In many cases, lower back pain exercises are always a part of the treatment plan. However, if the pain continues or worsens, it calls for more advanced diagnostic or surgical procedure. Mentioned above are some of the most common forms of treatment relating to lower back pain. However, it is highly important that a patient get a thorough diagnosis from their physician, a spine specialist or a chiropractor. This way you will be able to determine the primary cause of the pain and move towards the right treatment options and healthy living.


One of the easiest forms of treatment is - walking

Walking

Individuals who suffer from ongoing or recurrent episodes of lower back pain should take up walking as a low-impact form of exercise. But individuals with recurring lower back pain cannot perform certain forms of exercise because they find it too painful. In a lot of cases, they do not get to perform the exercises that will help them maintain good health.

Walking will not aggravate the structures in your lower back and it is one way to benefit from this form of exercise. Turning it into a habit will be highly beneficial for you.

However, for certain back conditions, walking does aggravate or cause a lot of pain that cannot be bearable. In these situations, low-impact exercise is advisable like water therapy also known as pool therapy. It involves activities such as deep water aerobics or aqua-jogging. With this form of exercise, the body's buoyancy reduces compression on your lower back. Thus, it gives way for free movement without causing pain.


Benefits from exercise walking

We all are aware about the amazing health benefits from regular exercise. In a similar way exercise walking will help you with:

  • Increase the stability of your spine and help condition the muscles. Additionally, maintain your body in an upright position.
  • It will strengthen your muscles in the feet, legs, hips, and torso.
  • Exercise walking and breathing in fresh air, will facilitate stronger circulation and pump nutrients into your soft tissues. It will drain toxins and in the entire process help in nourishing the spinal structures.
  • Exercise walking paired with consistent stretching will allow for greater range of motion. It will prevent you from awkward movements and vulnerability of future injury. Overall, it will help improve your flexibility and posture.
  • Regular walking as a form of exercise will help prevent osteoporosis and reduce osteoarthritis pain. In the longer run, it will strengthen your bones and reduce bone density loss.
  • Regular exercise walking helps maintain a healthy weight. Subsequently, controlling the weight will also help in maintaining a good posture and put less weight on the back.
As humans age, there are chances of being victim to different kinds of ailment. With developments in medical technology throughout the world – nothing is as inexpensive as regular exercise and a good night’s sleep on the right mattress. These healthy practices – will no longer make you complaint about your lower back pain.


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