Mattress guidelines – choosing the right mattress for a good night’s sleep

Ever wonder why you sometimes go to sleep feeling good, but wake up with severe back pain? One factor may be that you’re not sleeping on a mattress with proper spine support. Because we spend about a third of a day in bed, it’s extremely important to have correct spinal alignment as we sleep, just as we would try to have good posture while sitting or standing.

Tips for mattress buying

If you’re one of the millions of people who experience neck or back pain due to a condition such as a ruptured disc, disc protrusion, spinal stenosis or arthritis of the spine, you should remember that spending eight hours in a position that puts added stress on any component of your neck or back can potentially worsen these conditions. Below are a few tips for selecting a mattress that can help you get a good night’s sleep.

  • Get a medium-firm mattress. While many people say you should get an extra firm mattress, these can actually be too firm and might not allow your spine to settle into a neutral position.
  • Look for a mattress with lumbar support. The lower area of the back is most prone to degenerative conditions, so a mattress should “cradle” this section of your back, thereby encouraging proper posture even while sleeping.
  • Consider an adjustable bed. This type of mattress will allow you to get support from your head to your toes, including under-the-knee support, pelvic support and upper back support.
  • Buy a pillow with cervical (upper) spine support. This will allow your neck to reach a neutral position and can lessen stress on the other regions of the spine.
  • Try it out. You could do hours of research on the best types of orthopedic mattresses, but nothing can compare to your first instinct when you lie down on a mattress and feel completely comfortable. Don’t be afraid to take your time while shopping for a mattress so you can get the best feel for it.

Other lifestyle changes that can help mitigate back pain

There are a variety of other lifestyle changes that can help reduce discomfort in your back. Consider ergonomic seating at the office. Avoid recreational sports that might cause or aggravate neck or back pain, but remember to stay active with low-impact exercises like walking or swimming. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. By combining the right healthy life choices with management techniques like medication, massage, hot and cold therapy or physical therapy, a large number of patients are able to find lasting relief from neck or back pain related to a spine condition.

Spine surgery may become an option if you and your doctor have decided that conservative treatment has been fully explored and your symptoms have not improved, or gotten worse. Laser Spine Institute provides an alternative to traditional open back procedures with our minimally invasive spine surgery. Our outpatient procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief since 2005 and involve muscle-sparing techniques that offer patients a lower risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery. Contact our team today to learn more.

We are happy to offer a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to help you determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.