Back pain can ruin anyone's day, and there's no saying how long it can last. It might be over in a day, a couple of days, weeks, or even years. One thing is for sure that you should maintain your spinal health as a topmost priority. And there is no better way to take care of back pain or improve your spinal health through lifestyle changes. Be it reducing strain in your physically taxing job, correcting your posture in a sedentary job, exercising and stretching, taking care of your back in sleep, and quintessential to long-term health maintenance. While hurting any part of your body might disrupt your daily activity or mental health, but if you're unable to walk or sit without back-pain, then it becomes a predominant and depressing issue.
A cause of concern related to back pain, or any spine-related pain in the neck, around shoulders, is that it can turn chronic. Long-term pain doesn't seem to go away, and you have to go through physiotherapy sessions, start medicines, and other issues but to less avail. The best action plan is to look towards preemptive care and not give up and take better care after diagnosis to fix this chronic back pain issue. Taking care of your back with lifestyle adjustments, back-pain relief mattresses, and changing sleeping habits can go a long way.
Here are the causes of back pain that you can change and address preemptively:
Being aware is the first step to recovery, and we believe that helping you become more conscious can help make the necessary changes better. If you know you're slacking off in a bad posture, you can correct it and relax in a different position. Minor conscious changes to your everyday activities and taking care of your health with exercise and proper sleeping habits can relieve pain.
- Sitting or relaxing posture:
Even before the global pandemic, people in offices or working from home used to sit long hours sitting without breaks. The bend of the spine in front of the computer leads to long-term back-pain unless one is working out too. Most people work from home in the current global situation, leading to sitting in a bad posture.
Where people are used to sitting in office chairs and sit properly, sitting on the bed or chairs without support would cause one to sit in a slouched posture. The sustained slouched sitting posture can lead to degrading muscles, back pain, and other posture-related problems. You can fix it by sitting on a chair that helps you sit upright instead of the curved back position. Additionally, taking care of your back in such a case with preemptive mattress care and exercise can go a long way.
- Physical injury:
Physical injuries are one of the most common causes of back pain, and although the majority resolve within weeks or days, some might be serious. If left unattended, physical injuries can deteriorate and become a cause of chronic pain or issues one cannot recover from. However, if you take care of physical injuries in time with proper medication, rest, and care with a supportive mattress, it can be better for you in the long-term. Physical injuries might need off-and-on care, and a dual-comfort mattress or an orthopedic mattress would be ideal in this scenario.
- Long-distance travel and driving:
People in the trucking or driving industry, in general, would have no choice but to sit long hours in the driving seat. As a result, this can lead to stiffness and lower back pain as there is not as much relaxation as necessary. People who spend long hours of the day driving are prone to chronic back pain, especially in the lumbar region. The best way to address it is to use a medium-firm back support mattress and lumbar support pillows or seats while driving.
- Inadequate sleep or resting time:
Sleeping position, environment, sleep quality, and most importantly, sleep duration are factors that directly influence your overall health. Less time spent sleeping compromises your immune system and can lead to issues with recovering from pain and exhaustion. Sleeping less affects your body (especially muscle recovery) and immunity simultaneously.
This muscle degradation and improper recovery and growth can affect the muscles that surround your spine and equally make your shoulders and neck muscles weak. As a result of weakened muscles, you can expect chronic back pain, which would need long-term health care attention. Alternatively, a firm to extra-firm orthopedic mattress can help align and support your spine, and you should consult a doctor for any orthopedic prescription.
- Incompatible mattresses or low-quality, aging mattresses:
Incompatible mattresses, low-quality mattresses, or even aging mattresses are the leading cause of back pain. Usually, people tend to overuse their old mattress or go for more affordable or generic options without considering how a mattress works. Incompatible mattresses can provide extra or minimum support and comfort, impacting the way one prefers to sleep. This issue can cause one to sleep in a bad orientation on a bad-quality, old, or incompatible mattress. These factors accumulate together and lead to pain in your neck, shoulder, and back often leading to chronic pains.
- Sedentary lifestyle:
A sedentary lifestyle leads to many issues, and as discussed above, a bad posture can lead to bad health and physiological problems. Moreover, a sedentary lifestyle also causes deterioration of your muscles and joints, leading to weight gain and other issues. In addition to the weight problem, your muscles do not have enough strength to hold your bones and are supposed to, which leads to all kinds of pains. These muscle and bone deterioration pains lead to these regions having excessive pain whenever you get up, sit, or sleep in different postures. The best way to address it is by Yoga, working out, and using a high-quality luxury mattress that helps caress and support your body where it needs the most.
How to get relief from back pain?
- Lifestyle changes: Back-pain and weight gain go hand in hand, but one thing you can do to change things is to exercise more. While you may want to cuddle up and rest as much as possible in bed, it is counter-productive. Relaxing in bed all day, unless you have a medical condition that requires little movement till recovery, would do more harm than good to your back. The same applies to a sedentary job or general lifestyle that leaves little room to work out, stretch, or give your body time to move. The more you move, the better your muscles work, and less pain. Accommodating even 1 hour of exercise can work wonders on your health, back pain, and overall well-being. When you sit in front of the computer for work all day or slack off in bed, your back loses its strength due to sustained use of bad posture and low activity.
- Fixing your sleeping posture at night and during the day: Your posture is one of the primary reasons why your back, neck, and shoulders hurt. Age can also be a factor, but age is a factor because of a sedentary lifestyle and a bad posture. When you sit down for work next, look for how your back is inclined, or your neck is bent towards the screen. Actively fixing your sleeping posture in these moments and changing your sleeping orientation at night can relieve your back pain and prevent it from getting worse. Moreover, changing the way you work and sleep can also help reduce the strain on your shoulders and neck and help you become more productive as you're less likely to slack-off.
- Frequent stretching: If you know you're unable to take out time for exercise or have been sitting or relaxing in bed all day, a little stretching can help your body. Sitting down for long hours puts a strain on your joints, back, neck, and shoulders. Sitting down for long hours not only reduces blood circulation to the strained parts like the legs and lower back but causes more harm to your muscles. As a result, stretching more can lead to improving the flexibility, blood circulation, and overall health of your back muscles and spine in general. If you're unable to work out for some reason, you can make sure that you stretch your neck muscles, legs, and back every hour for at least 5 minutes.
- High-protein diet: Protein is the primary nutrient that builds muscles and helps our body repair itself. This recovery and strengthening are the main reason why people who work out more are recommended to get more protein. Protein and fiber intake also reduce your body weight, lowering the strain on your legs, lower back, and ankles. If you follow a high-protein diet and can work out for 30-60 mins every alternate day, you can see your strength return and the body pains go away within a month. A high-protein diet helps one become more resilient to pains as it improves muscle strength throughout the body. You're better to recover from pains, injuries, and other issues with a high-protein diet.
- Investing in a new mattress: Now that you've addressed and become aware of lifestyle changes to relieve back pain, it is time to cover your final step. A high-quality orthopedic or back-support mattress is quintessential to your everyday life and increase core strength. A back-support mattress helps uphold and align your spine in a way that puts minimum stress on muscles around it. Since it is the muscles that need to stretch or depress, resulting in pain and the spinal cord, a back-support mattress is essential. Sleeping in the side and back sleeping positions is comfortable, depending upon your mattress's firmness level. Such a mattress helps relieve pain in the short term and prevent your spine or muscles from deteriorating further in the long term. You can check out medium-firm mattresses if you prefer sleeping on the side, and other preferences depend on your body type and lifestyle factors.
How can a mattress work to relieve back pain?
A variety of mattress layers work together to help it achieve its intended function. But when it comes to back pain relief, things become a bit complicated. This is because you need support for your back in both side and back sleeping position. You can't sleep on the side on an ultra-firm or firm mattress, but it's good for the back, depending upon medical diagnoses. So, before getting into how a mattress helps relieve back pain, let's understand the factors that help make it so.
A mattress has different layers, the bottom-most base, upholstery, or core in the middle, support layers, and the comfort layers on which we sleep. All of these layers come in different configurations, and this is how they all work together:
- Firmness level or comfort level: The firmness or softness level of a mattress comes from its core layers and the general build or type of layers present. With that said, not everyone prefers a firm, ultra-firm mattress or firm mattresses in general. So, shifting to a firmer mattress because of back-pain issues can be challenging. However, for people that prefer softer mattresses, medium-firm back support mattresses are excellent options to choose from. But the way that back support mattresses work and comfort different people also depends on body weight and lifestyle.
For example, an overweight person with chronic pain might not find medium-firm mattresses to be useful, but a person with an average body weight would. The spine needs to retain its natural S-shape, and it wouldn't be possible if there is less support because of an overweight person using a medium-firm mattress.
- Comfort layer: The comfort layer is usually the softest in the mattress, and its function is to help you feel relaxed when you lie down. So, even if the mattress is hard or firm in general, a softer comfort layer would help keep it comfortable enough to sleep on. The comfort layer and support layer together help make a mattress soft or hard in the general sense, but the comfort layer alone doesn't make it so.
You can feel your body pressure and heat dissipate uniformly because of the comfort layer. As it is much softer than the support layer, you feel your body adapt to the shape and size better
- Support layer: The support layer is essential because it helps align and support your body. Support layers can be made up of latex foam, rebonded foam, HR foam, and high-density foams in general. A support layer is generally more rigid because it helps make the sleeping experience better by providing an additional layer of healthy comfort and support balance.
How does a mattress help your body get rid of pain and back pain in general?
A mattress helps you feel comfortable and is responsible for taking care of the way your body rests. In other words, it takes care of your body when you're most vulnerable and helps take care of your joints, muscles, and overall body comfort while you sleep. As a result, various mattresses serve different purposes. Back-pain mattresses help align your spine in its natural S-shape and a horizontal shape in the side sleeping position.
- Corrects your body posture: A back-support mattress helps correct your body posture in the day and sleeping at night. Since back-support mattresses tend to be firmer than other foam mattresses, they provide more comfort than plushness. As a result, even if you're sitting upright, the firm mattress causes you to sit straight than slouch as it would become uncomfortable.
The same scenario is active when you consider the way that back support mattresses work. Back-support mattresses help uphold your spine in the back sleeping orientation and align it properly in its S-shaped resting phase. Moreover, in the side position, you can rely on a medium-firm mattress to align your spine and uphold it horizontally while keeping your shoulders comfortable too.
- Doesn't cause additional strain and pressure: While back support mattresses may be firmer, but they're still designed for comfort and long-term use than supporting you temporarily. Back-support mattresses work to give you enough comfort and support for your body type to last a long-time without additional strain and pressure. The last thing you want is to give your vulnerable parts more pressure and support than they need, further deteriorating your condition. That is why a medium-firm or firm mattress can be more suitable as not to put excess strain or pressure where it might not be needed in people without medically diagnosed issues
- Spinal alignment: Our spine is naturally S-shaped, and it needs to stay that way. The lumbar or lower back area has the spinal vertebrae that end and curve. The rest of the spine is very slightly curved and seems to be almost straight. However, it doesn't mean that your spine should be inclined or bent in the middle or upper parts as it is not its natural shape.
Because of factors like a sedentary lifestyle, bad posture, or injuries, one may feel their spine misshaped. Back-support mattresses help exert uniform or delicate pressure throughout the spine and help the spine attain a natural shape irrespective of the sleeping position.
- Back and body support: Back-support mattresses are the best option for people looking for overall body support. Depending upon the requirement, you might prefer full body or dedicated back support mattresses. Innerspring mattresses with pocket coil innerspring systems help provide dedicated support as per body frame and vulnerable areas. In contrast, firmer mattresses with Bonnell coil or mesh innerspring system give full-body support.
The back and body support factors also depend on the support and comfort layers and the innerspring mattress systems. For example, a latex foam layer is better for the overall back and body support layer than memory foam in the comfort layer for back-support.
Best types of mattresses for back pain relief:
- Firm back-support mattress: As a firm mattress that provides full-body uniform support, the rebonded foam mattress is the best for the purpose. The bonded foam helps protect and support your spine and entire body, maintaining a firm surface. Your spine won't face any lack of support in certain areas, and the bonded foam mattress usually has bonded foam in its support or core layer. The mattress can be firm, but the comfort layer can make it superficially plush and pleasant to the touch.
- Medium-firm mattresses: A medium-firm mattress is useful for people who are upgrading from a softer mattress to a firm mattress to address back pain. Alternatively, the medium-firm mattress also helps make your shoulder and side sleeping position better and more comfortable for long-term use. They're made up of high-density memory foam and HR foam in the core and support layers. As a result, you get a comfortable Orthopedic memory foam mattress yet allows your spine and back to relax and feel supported adequately.
A medium-firm mattress usually offers an average level of support, and the sleeping experience depends on your body weight and frame. The lighter you are, the better a medium-firm mattress can support. Additionally, as per requirements, it is also possible to make a medium-firm and super supportive mattress, and it all comes down to personal preference.
- Innerspring mattresses: Innerspring mattresses are one of the best options for back-support and overall body support. This is because they can act as hybrid mattresses that help support your body in various configurations. Where foam mattresses or supportive high-density mattresses would be suitable for back-support, innerspring hybrid mattresses act differently and provide better support.
- Bonnell coil mattress: Bonnell coil or mesh coil mattresses provide uniform support for your entire body and back. A higher spring count ensures firmer mattress support and vice versa. The double heat tempered springs in King Koil Bonnell spring mattresses ensures a firm and elastic nature instead of a sponge-like nature. Bonnell coil mattresses have a firmer and flat surface support experience that is not present in foam or other back-support mattresses.
Bonnell coil mattresses are helpful for both athletic and people who have physically strenuous jobs. If you're looking for back-pain relief as overweight or obese or have delicate issues, a Bonnell coil mattress is the best. Moreover, Bonnell coil mattresses can also be a good option for preemptive care, not just post-diagnosis, and as a firmer mattress, one can find it better to sleep. Depending on the comfort layer, the Bonnell coil mattress can help give a better and more comfortable sleeping experience.
- Pocket coil mattress: Pocket coil mattresses offer more dedicated support as the individual spring coils uphold where they feel the maximum pressure. This is good for people with medical conditions, too, as the mattress is supportive yet comfortable enough for long-term use. Moreover, pocket coil mattresses help comfort other areas throughout the body like the pelvic area, shoulders, feet as per the requirements and weight distribution.
A pocket coil mattress has wide usability, and the overall dependence on individual spring coils is what makes this mattress worth it—the greater the coils, the better the support and comfort. Even pocket coil mattresses offer a full-body support, but it feels different and more proactive than Bonnell coil mattresses. Moreover, a pocket coil mattress also offers a better sleeping experience in the long-term if you're looking for a hotel like bed.
- Latex foam mattresses: Latex foam mattresses are available in both soft and hard variants. Usually available as a medium-firm mattress kind, latex foam mattresses are suitable for orthopedic and general use equally well. In orthopedic mattresses, you might find latex foam in the support layer, and you can also go for a high-density mattress that works to align your spine and support it well.
Latex foam mattresses are also suitable for long-term use as it lasts long and offers a healthy balance of comfort and support through the years with no compromise to either factor. Additionally, latex foam mattresses are also temperature neutral and can be the right choice for people who sleep hot. As an all-season mattress, you can be sure that a latex foam mattress helps support your back delicately with no compromises or discomfort.
5 Best Mattresses for Back Pain Relief:
Now that you're clear with how back-pain relieving or back support mattresses work, here are a few mattress options to look into:
The Gravity mattress is an example, as mentioned above, of a medium-firm back support mattress. It has a memory foam comfort layer and an HR foam support layer that works together to comfort and support a healthy balance. The Gravity mattress is useful for people with average body weight and can uphold most cases of mildly injured or strained spine and back pain cases.
The high-density HR foam layer in the core works to support your entire body and prevents sinking or straining your back further. This mattress offers a medium-firm surface with a comfort layer made up of memory foam and can help contour your body. The cellular memory foam also ensures a plush and well-regulated sleeping experience, which helps align your spine in both side and back sleeping positions.
- Chiropedic 10000 - A Bonnell Spring and Latex Hybrid Mattress - ICA Approved:
The Chiropedic 10000 mattress is an excellent option for people looking for uniform body support. The Chiropedic 10000 also has a latex foam layer that helps provide comfort and a medium-firm supporting experience. The BodySink memory foam layer on top also helps provide comfort and plushness to people looking for a medium-firm mattress with excellent support.
Because of the Bonnell coil system, the Chiropedic 10000 offers a firm and uniform sleeping experience. The latex foam layer helps absorb the pressure and make the Chiropedic 10000 for supportive and comfortable for a wide range of people. Moreover, the Chiropedic 10000 also helps address the pain from getting up and into the bed with the rigid edge protection layer's help. The mattress feels more durable, comfortable, and overall luxurious while helping relieve back pain. The Chiropedic 10000, like other orthopedic mattresses from King Koil, is ICA (International Chiropractic Association, USA) approved.
The Physiopedic orthopedic mattress helps relieve back pain with a better-tailored support option. The pocket coil FirmTech innerspring system ensures that you get overall body support and contour your body better. The support and comfort layers of high-density memory foam layers also help ensure a medium-firm sleeping experience. These factors work together to help give better spinal alignment and overall support for each part of your body that needs it. The Physiopedic mattress is an excellent option for mattresses that need full-body support and give overall comfort to people suffering from various back issues.
- Orthomatic DX - A Dual Comfort Bonded Foam Mattress:
When you know that you face back pain issues sparsely and infrequently and prefer a softer or other mattress firmness level, it makes sense to go for a dual comfort mattress. This is why King Koil's Orthomatic DX mattress helps you get the best of both worlds. One side of the Orthomatic DX has a medium-firm surface, and the other side has an extra firm surface.
You can go for the medium-firm surface on most days, but when your pain escalates, you can use the extra firm surface for a better sleeping experience. The Orthomatic DX has an UltraBond (high-density rebonded foam) core, which helps this mattress give excellent support. Additionally, the Orthomatic DX also helps regulate and insulate temperature depending upon the surface you choose to sleep on.
The NaturaBond is a 100% organic latex foam mattress with a rebonded foam core layer. A latex foam mattress has a vast range of benefits that make it useful for both everyday use and back-support. In the NaturaBond mattress, you can find Orthobond or a rebonded foam layer at the core, which supports the upper layers. As a result, you get complete and uniform body support, and the latex foam helps ensure that you get the best comfort from its medium-firm surface.
The NaturaBond is helpful for people with an average to slightly above average body weight and offers good support for a long time. The knitted fabric top further helps give the NaturaBond an excellent aesthetic look and feel. Moreover, the layers act together to help relieve pressure from your body and support all the parts of your body equally.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Which mattress is better for the long-term back-pain, latex foam, or rebonded foam?
Latex foam is a medium-firm mattress that offers support and comfort in a balance. On the other hand, a rebonded foam mattress has a more rigid and firmer surface and sleeping experience, making it more preferable for people with severe back issues.
Suppose you're looking for general health maintenance and an overall medium-firm mattress that your kids and others can use. In that case, a latex foam orthopedic mattress like the NaturaBond is better. However, if you're looking for a more supportive experience because of bodyweight, preference, medical issues, or other factors, a rebonded foam mattress would be better. Rebonded foam mattresses are better for issues that need long-term care, but latex foam mattresses are just as good as both every day and orthopedic mattresses.
- I got an injury while working out, and the doctor says I need a firm mattress. What would be the best mattress option to look into?
If you're athletic and have been working out regularly, injuries can happen, but they're a short term deterrent. If it is a short term injury, you should invest in a dual-comfort mattress that is medium-firm on one side and extra-firm or firm on the other side. Back injuries, shoulders injuries, and other injuries happen to everyone, and dual-comfort mattresses offer the option to flip them over for a comfortable and supportive experience as required. For a back injury, you should always look for a firm to an extra firm surface. Depending upon bodyweight and general use, a dual-comfort mattress can give more value.
- Is there an alternative to firm mattresses for back pain relief?
Yes, not all back-support mattresses are extra firm or firm enough to cause discomfort. Although you should go for firmer mattresses in case of back-injury, a medium-firm mattress can be an excellent option, especially if you have healthy body weight. Moreover, King Koil mattresses always have the option to configure different layers as per requirement and offer a luxurious sleeping experience. You can go for a latex foam layer or HR foam layer coupled with memory foam in the comfort layer.
- Are hotel mattresses suitable for back-pain?
Hotel mattresses are softer and offer more plushness than support. However, this scenario changes widely as there is no universal standard of support that a hotel mattress offers. Each hotel mattress has a different configuration of comfort and support layers and acts differently. However, since most luxury hotel mattresses have an innerspring layer, mostly pocket coil, you can expect a decent body support level. For specialized support, while traveling, you can always enquire your hotel for mattress toppers or enquire about the nature of their mattresses as per the room type.
- Should I get a medium-firm mattress or a firm mattress for my parents?
If your parents often complain about back-pain, a medium-firm and firm mattress can help. You have to consider the age factor where sleeping on the side would need a softer mattress. A rebonded foam mattress without appropriate comfort and support layers to comfort the side wouldn't work. At the same time, a medium-firm mattress helps a lot of age groups better and can help your parents too. It would be best to look into innerspring pocket coil mattresses or latex foam mattresses like the NaturaBond that help address back pain.
- Is back-pain a result of my aging mattress? How do I know for sure?
Yes, many back-pain cases can arise from lifestyle factors just as much as old or incompatible mattresses. The aging factor of any mattress depends on the kind of mattress material in use. For example, a low-density memory foam or PU foam mattress can become unusable within 5-7 years.
On the other hand, an innerspring mattress can last up to 10-15 years, depending on construction and the materials in use. You're likely to wake up feeling pains in different parts of your body in addition to the back pain. This scenario can happen in both old and incompatible mattresses, and you should discard or recycle your old mattress and invest in a new mattress as per your body's requirement.
- Is a memory foam mattress suitable for back-support?
No, a single or sole use memory foam mattress isn't a good option for back support and relieving back pain. You can opt for an orthopedic mattress with memory foam in the comfort layer; however, if the entire mattress has a memory foam construction, it will cause your body to sink, leading to back pain. It would be best if you always went for memory foam in support with HR foam, rebonded foam, or even latex foam coupled with an innerspring system. A medium-firm mattress with a memory foam mattress is only suitable for you if you have an average body weight distribution.
- Which is the best innerspring mattress for back pain relief?
It depends on your body weight and personal preference. While mattresses can be configured to give you medium-firm or extra-firm sleeping support, innerspring layers also play an essential role. The more you weigh, the more it would cause strain on your spine in everyday life. There is no clear winner between a flat surface innerspring layer like Bonnell or mesh innerspring or a pocket coil. You can visit us in-store to see the difference between the experience both mattresses offer and how it feels. A doctor's prescription and our SleepID can also help you select the best innerspring mattress for back pain.