Did you know that the average human spends 26 years of their average 80 years of life sleeping? Let that one sink in. That’s 26 years of life spent on a mattress.
If that mattress isn’t providing you optimal support and comfort, that could mean that you have a lot of years spent with back pain and discomfort. Back pain has a lot of causes, but your mattress and pillow could be to blame if you haven’t changed anything else in your daily schedule.
If you’ve been experiencing back pain, there are certain clues that you can use to help discover if your mattress or pillow is the culprit.
How to Tell If Your Mattress Is Causing Your Back Pain
First, think about when you notice your back pain starts. Does it occur right after waking up? Does it get better throughout the day or after stretching? Are you tossing and turning trying to get to sleep but feel like you can’t get comfortable? Do you wake up in the middle of the night due to discomfort? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your mattress might be to blame! Depending on your sleeping position, different mattresses can provide different types of support specific to your preferences. Since you spend so much time in your bed, it’s recommended to change your mattress every seven to eight years.
What About My Pillow?
Since most back pain is felt in the lower back, a pillow should be providing you support in your sleep position of choice. While it can be difficult to part with your favorite pillow, the wrong pillow can make back pain worse and reduce your quality of sleep. Each sleep position affects your spine differently, so it’s important to do a bit of research into the proper pillow for your sleeping position.
If you sleep on your back:
Your pillow should support the natural curve of your spine while supporting your head, neck, and shoulders. You can also place a pillow under your knees to help further alleviate any back strain. Your pillow should not allow your head to sink in too much, but it also shouldn’t cause your neck to arch upward. Memory foam pillows are a good choice for back sleepers.
If you sleep on your side:
You’ll need a pillow that supports both your head and neck so your spine can maintain a straight and natural horizontal line. This pillow should be thicker than a pillow you’d use for sleeping on your back. One small study found that latex pillows are the most helpful of five types considered (foam contour-shaped, regular foam, polyester, feather, and standard latex).
If you sleep on your stomach:
We recommend that you try to break that habit. Sleeping on your stomach is the most stressful position for your neck and back and is likely the cause of any neck or back discomfort you may experience. If you prefer to continue sleeping on your stomach, the flattest pillow or even no pillow is recommended.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
Before you rush to replace your mattress or pillow, it’s a great idea to see a chiropractor for an evaluation. They can help to relieve pain and discomfort and recommend the best mattress for the type of support that you need. They can also advise you on sleeping positions! They are back experts after all. The chiropractors at Keith Clinic are available to help you with any and all back pain that you might be experiencing and can provide you with an evaluation and care plan that will soon have you experiencing your best night’s sleep yet.