Your bed is something you use every day, but many people don’t realize how important their mattress actually is for good health.
As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist, Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, FAAOS, treats a wide variety of conditions, many of which are made worse by a poor-quality mattress. Dr. Bo offers some insight into how a mattress can interfere with your spine health and what steps you need to choose the right one for your needs.
Mattresses are big-ticket purchase people typically make only a few times in their life. If you’ve never replaced your mattress, it may be time to consider making a change.
While there are recommendations of when to replace a mattress (typically every 8 years), a general rule of thumb is to invest in a new one when the time is right.
A strong indicator you need an update is visible wear and tear in the mattress materials. If your bed is noticeably sagging, torn, or lumpy, its lifespan may be over. You should also consider replacing the mattress if you hear squeaking in the springs every time you move, a sign that the coils are worn down and no longer supporting your body.
You should also start mattress shopping when you find that you’re waking up every day with an achy, sore neck, or persistent back pain. This may mean your mattress is too old and worn out to be comfortable.
Another factor to consider when it comes to mattress replacement is the dust mites that have accumulated over the year. You should generally update your mattress if you notice that your allergies are getting worse or laying down in your bed triggers asthma problems.
Finally, if you share a bed and feel every movement they make throughout the night, your mattress is no longer functioning as it should.
Whether you have daily aches and pains from a bad mattress or suffer from debilitating chronic pain from conditions like a herniated disc or sciatica, you should focus on finding a mattress that supports and protects the health of your back.
You also want a mattress that’s comfortable and improves your overall quality of sleep. Getting a good night’s rest each and every night can promote your own natural healing abilities to keep you pain-free and active.
Here are some tips to zero in on the right mattress for you and your back:
Most people have a preferred position to sleep in, which can make mattress-choosing easier. If you sleep on your back, your weight is more evenly distributed over a larger area and you can choose any firmness of mattress you find most comfortable.
If you sleep on your stomach, opt for a medium-firm or firm mattress that keeps your hips inline with your shoulders to support spine health. Side-sleepers should opt for a softer mattress to alleviate pressure on your shoulder, hip, and arm.
Modern mattresses are definitely an investment and a high price tag can make you nervous about committing to one mattress or another regardless of your back pain.
Before buying, make sure you have the option to return it within a certain time frame for a full refund. You can take the mattress home and try it out before investing your cash. This helps you evaluate which mattress size and firmness is right for you.
Since there’s no official organization that certifies mattresses as safe for certain medical conditions or types of pain, don’t believe all the hype.
Many manufacturers label their products to imply that certain mattresses promise pain-free sleeping. The only way you can evaluate truth in advertising is to try out the mattress for yourself or get recommendations from trusted friends or family members.
Adjustable beds give you more options for relieving pain and increasing your sleeping comfort. While more expensive, an adjustable bed may be a great solution for creating an ideal sleeping space without needing extra prop pillows.
If you’re tired of waking up in pain, schedule a consultation by calling The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care today or using the online booking feature now.