Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints, affecting about 80 percent of adults at some point in their lifetimes. Back pain is a symptom, not a condition on its own, meaning a wide variety of triggers could cause it. The pain itself can vary, from sharp and stabbing, to a constant dull ache. Symptoms might come on suddenly and last only a few days, or might become an ongoing problem that lasts for months or years.

Due to the wide range of causes and symptoms, back pain obviously isn’t something that we can diagnose and “treat” within the context of a single blog. However, we can advise you that mattresses are frequently either the source of back pain, or a contributing factor. A bad mattress can exacerbate symptoms of an injury or condition, and can even be the direct cause of chronic pain.

Choosing the right mattress

The right mattress will support your weight, but won’t put pressure on your hips, shoulders, and lower back. For most people this means a medium-firm mattress will be the best choice, although there are some exceptions to this rule. Larger people often require a mattress that is a bit on the firmer side, whereas very light people need a somewhat softer mattress (they don’t sink into a medium-firm mattress as easily).

When you shop for a new mattress, don’t go the common route of ordering one online! We realize this can feel convenient, but your mattress is simply too important. You spend one third of your life in bed, so don’t rely on opinions stated in reviews.

Go to a mattress store and spend some time lying on different models. Keep in mind that you can’t tell much about a mattress by simply sitting on it, or lying down for only a minute or two. Don’t be shy; get comfortable and stay there for a while! A good mattress salesman won’t mind a bit.

While you’re at it, pick up new pillows. Sleeping on your back is best, but if you’re a side sleeper then you’ll need an extra pillow between your legs. Stomach sleeping is not recommended, as it places extra strain on your lower back and neck.

For more advice on sleep and how it is related to back pain, call us to schedule a consultation. Regular chiropractic adjustments, along with a better mattress, could be the solution to your back problems.