If you frequently wake up with lower back pain and stiffness, the condition of your mattress could be to blame. Materials break down over time, which is why it's recommended to get a replacement every six to eight years. Here's a closer look at how your current investment makes back pain worse and what to look for when shopping for a new model.
How Does an Old Mattress Exacerbate Back Pain?
As the years pass, the padding compresses, and the coils and inner springs become less resilient. As the surface starts to sag, your body will sink into it during the night. This means you'll no longer have the back support for proper spinal alignment.
When this happens, you'll be forced to move into the wrong sleep posture, which is why muscles feel sore and tight when you get out of bed. If you have a herniated disc, poor posture can cause the disc to press against surrounding tissue and compromise your comfort.
What Firmness Level Do You Need?
Just as mattresses that are too soft don't provide support, models that are very firm should be avoided, too. Sleeping on a hard surface will strain hip joints and aggravate pressure points in the spine, triggering painful sensations. Opt for a model with medium firmness so that back muscles and ligaments can relax with the necessary support. The medium level will be firm enough to keep the spine in alignment but yielding enough to avoid pressing on pressure points.
Memory foam models use heat and pressure to help the material form to the body and evenly distribute weight for better support. Pillow-top mattresses can also help cushion pressure points.
Does Changing Your Sleep Position Help?
If you experience back discomfort, sleeping on your back will promote the proper spinal alignment. Unfortunately, changing positions isn't always easy. Side sleepers can try putting a pillow between their knees. This elevates the legs to keep the pelvis, hips, and spine aligned. When sleeping on your stomach, position a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen to prevent pressure on vertebrae.
If you have a herniated disc, sleep in the fetal position. Drawing your knees up toward the chest will create more room between vertebrae to stop the affected disc from pressing on surrounding nerves.
For a new mattress to aid spinal health, visit WRC Furniture Gallery in Dothan, AL. Since opening in 1953, the furniture store has gained a positive reputation throughout Dale, Henry, and Houston counties for selling high-quality goods by Sierra Sleep®, Signature by Ashley®, and more top brands at affordable prices. Call (334) 699-7467 to find out what furniture is in stock. Browse the selection online and stay up to date on new arrivals on Facebook.