There are many different things that could be causing your back pain, from an injury, to poor posture, and more. But could your mattress be the culprit hurting your back? We spend a third of our lives asleep in our beds, so whether or not your mattress and pillows are suitable for you and in good condition can play a role in your pain, or lack thereof.
Here is what you need to know about how a mattress can help your back, could be hurting your back, and how to tell if your mattress needs to be replaced.
Mattresses Should Be Friends Not Foes
Your mattress is supposed to support you. Your spine should be in neutral alignment while you sleep. If your mattress does not support you, you’ll likely find yourself moving around at night, either consciously or unconsciously, in order to try to find a more supportive, comfortable position. A lack of adequate support can cause pain in your neck, shoulder, back, and elsewhere in your body.
Sleep is important for many reasons, from focus, to mood, to your overall health, and more. If your back already hurts, not being able to get good, restful sleep on a supportive mattress can worsen the pain, due to how your body is not able to recuperate properly at night.
How To Tell If Your Mattress Needs To Be Replaced
People often judge how long mattresses should last based on their warranties. However, mattresses typically only last about 6-10 years. So, if you have a 20-year warranty on your mattress, don’t expect the mattress to last that long.
Some signs that your mattress is old and needs to be replaced include:
- It’s 6-8+ years old
- It sags
- It’s lumpy
- It creaks when you move
- You feel the coils when you sleep
- It’s negatively affecting your sleep, such as waking up throughout the night and struggling to get to sleep in the first place
- You sleep better elsewhere
- You regularly wake up with joint or muscle stiffness
- You notice an increase in allergies/asthma
Various factors can affect the lifespan of a mattress. If you are heavier, your mattress may not last as long. If you sleep with someone else or pets, this can also decrease your mattress’s lifespan. Whether or not you rotate it every 3-6 months for more even wear, whether it was made with quality materials, and more can all affect the lifespan of your mattress.
Basically, though, if you cannot sleep well on your mattress, you should likely replace it. This is especially true if it is hurting your back.
How To Select The Right Mattress For Your Back
Bear in mind that different mattresses are better for different people. How you sleep, what your weight is, whether you have pain from sleep, whether you prefer innerspring or foam, whether you sleep hot, and whether you sleep with someone else or a pet, all of these play roles in the type of mattress that is best for you.
Just because a mattress is perfect for one person does not mean it will work for someone else. If you’re hunting for a new mattress, it’s a good idea to go to a mattress store, talk to a mattress expert, and lay on a few different mattresses so that you can figure out what would work best for you. Even if you plan on buying your mattress online, this gives you the chance to figure out what you like and need before you’re overwhelmed by the plethora of options.
The Importance Of Replacing Your Mattress When It’s Old
Even if you have a big-you-sized sag in the middle of your mattress, you may be reluctant to replace it. Mattresses tend to be costly, so it only makes sense. However, bad mattresses can negatively affect your health by ruining your sleep and even hurting your back and causing other body aches and pains. If your mattress plays a role in your back pain, many people notice an immense improvement after breaking a new mattress in.
What To Do If You Think Your Mattress Is Hurting Your Back
If you think that your mattress or your sleeping strategies are contributing to your back pain, don’t hesitate to talk to your chiropractor about it. Not only can they provide you with treatment for your pain, but they can also provide you with personalized advice on sleeping strategies to protect your back and options for if your mattress is contributing to your back pain.
If you want to get to the bottom of what’s causing your back pain, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Elite Chiropractic. While treating people is our job, we don’t want you to be in pain! We will help you recover from your pain and prevent future pain however we can.