How’s Your Mattress, Sleeping Beauty?

woman sleeping on bed with orthopedic pillow Back pain is common; over 80 percent of Americans will have some bout of back pain in their lives. If you’re one of those in that 20 percent, consider yourself incredibly lucky! Many people wake up most mornings with back pain, and it’s not necessarily anything you did. It can be what your mattress is no longer doing — supporting your back correctly.

Since it’s a New Year and many people were upgrading their homes over these 18 months of COVID craziness, maybe it’s time to consider your mattress.

Let’s get into this in February’s two blogs.

Firm is right? Wrong.

Most people with chronic or at least somewhat regular back pain have heard “You should get a really firm mattress.” The thinking is a soft mattress doesn’t supply the support necessary to keep your back happy.

That thinking is common, but it’s without any research to back it up. The truth is — the right mattress for your bad back depends on the individual. This can make things difficult, however, as there are a bazillion mattress choices out there these days compared to just five or 10 years ago.

Here are some things to consider when considering a new mattress.

Anything is better than what you have

People can feel overwhelmed with all the choices of mattresses out there these days, everything from Tempur-Pedic memory foam to Purple GelFlex Grid to a Beaty Rest Pillow Top, along with dozens of other options.

Researchers at Oklahoma State University randomly assigned 62 people to sleep in a variety of new beds for 28 days in an attempt to find the best option. At the end of the 28 days, almost all participants said they slept better. This was true regardless of the model they had been given. The cheapest bed recipients did report more lower back pain than those in the medium- and higher-priced beds, however.

The important thing seemed to be that the beds were new. Of the 62 participants in the study, the average age of their mattresses was 9.5 years old. The study noted that “sleep quality may be dependent on timely replacement of bedding systems.” Yes, we’re talking to you with that mattress with two identical body depressions on the two sides of your queen mattress! Almost any replacement is better than the saggy thing you’re currently sleeping on.

OK, so start the process of looking out for your sore back by looking out for a new mattress. In February’s second blog, we’ll get into some things to consider when weighing your options.

Until then, if you’re dealing with chronic back pain, give Dr. Tinley a call at DFW, (817) 916-4685.

Posted in: Back Pain

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