04/14/2016 by GOLDI JACQUES-MAYNES
Pillows, mattresses, and pain – they are all related.
A 2018 study found that, "Sleep quality appears related not only to pain intensity but also to a wide range of patient mood and function factors." In other words, when you don't get a good night's sleep, your pain is worse, and so is your mood. You also can't function as well. While you may have already known that, did you know that the type of back pain you experience should be considered when you go to buy a bed or a pillow?
Lower back pain? Consider a firm mattress.
Our patients with lower back pain often prefer a firmer mattress. A firm bed prevents the spine from sinking into the mattress, which can irritate the facet joints in the spine. Higher-end luxury beds can provide plenty of support along with comfortable padding. Lower-end discounted beds can provide the firmness, but with less comfort. If you opt for a firm mattress, you can always make it a little softer by putting something on top of it.
Neck and upper back pain? A softer mattress could be right for you.
Our patients with these complaints often prefer a softer or plush mattress. If you've got a firm bed, a pillow top or foam topper can be added to soften the pressure on the shoulders if you're a side sleeper.
Neck pain is often relieved by a good pillow.
If neck pain is your main issue, a high-quality supportive pillow can provide additional support for the cervical spine. The right pillow can relieve neck pain.
What's your sleep position? That should be considered, too.
Plush mattresses seem to work for side-sleepers.
About 75% of our patients are side-sleepers. For these folks, a plush mattress is ideal to maintain the natural position of the spine. It also takes some of the pressure off the shoulders and hips. Plush bedding cradles you and disperses your body weight across a broader surface area.
Stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress.
Sleeping on your stomach in a soft bed can stress the thoracolumbar spine. The weight of the belly and pelvis also compress the bedding. To get support for your stomach, pelvis, and thoracolumbar areas, you need a firmer mattress.
A good night's sleep can change your life.
Less pain and more joy come from getting quality sleep. Investing in the right bed and pillow for you can make a huge difference in your quality of life. But don't forget to treat the pain as well.
From the same study mentioned above: "A good night’s sleep also appears to offer only temporary respite, suggesting that comprehensive interventions for chronic low back pain not only should include attention to sleep problems but also focus on problems with pain appraisals and coping."
A good chiropractor can relieve your pain today, and keep you out of pain tomorrow. If you're experiencing neck or back pain, please make an appointment. Our Aptos chiropractors will get you out of pain, and help you assess how to choose the right bed and mattress for you.