Top 3 Best Mattresses for Back and Neck Pain
If you suffer with back or neck pain, you’re far from being the only one. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (of the National Institutes of Health): “About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days.”
Neck pain, also, is a common problem affecting many Americans. The Institute for Chronic Pain states: “At any given time, 34-43% of the population report having neck pain.”
While pain may originate from an injury or underlying medical condition, sleeping on the wrong mattress can prolong or worsen back and neck pain. It’s recommended that adults sleep around seven to nine hours each night, and that means we’re on our mattress anywhere from 29 percent to almost 38 percent of each day.
The time we spend in bed comprises more of our day than we think, so it’s important to choose the right mattress that will help alleviate pain and give you a good night’s sleep.
Don’t know where to start? We’ll break down how to choose the best mattress for back and neck pain.
What Causes Back Pain?
While the right mattress is crucial to staying pain free, it’s important that you know the cause of your back pain so that you can be properly treated by a healthcare professional.
According to the Mayo Clinic, conditions commonly linked to back pain include minor issues like straining our muscles or that pain may be caused by underlying medical conditions like osteoporosis or arthritis. The Mayo Clinic also notes that “skeletal irregularities” and “bulging or ruptured disks” also may be behind that pervasive pain.
If your pain has been lingering for a while, you need to figure out why. Don’t assume you know the cause of the pain; instead, schedule an appointment with the doctor so the pain can be diagnosed and treated.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Affecting nearly as much of the population as back pain, neck pain can be caused by a number of problems that leave you unable to relax, enjoy life, or even sleep at night.
Your neck supports the weight of your head, and since you are upright nearly 14 hours of the day, it can be vulnerable to injuries and conditions that restrict motion.
According to the Mayo Clinic, common causes of neck pain include straining your muscles, joint issues, “nerve compression,” an injury or an underlying medical condition.
Again, don’t self-diagnose your pain. Especially if the soreness has been lingering for a while. If you’re in pain, and the discomfort is affecting your daily life, you need to get it checked out. Call your doctor and schedule an appointment.
Why the Right Mattress Matters
While there are many factors to consider when choosing a mattress, the most important factor is the firmness level. The firmness of the mattress is important in that it must offer adequate support for both the back and the neck.
A mattress that is too firm will leave gaps between you and the bed that cause your body to sag, rather than conforming to your natural curves – like your spine.
On the other hand, a super soft mattress will sink and not keep your spine straight. This creates an unnatural neck angle as your shoulders would sink below your head when lying on your side. On your back, the mattress would allow your hips and shoulders to sink resulting in an unhealthy, unsupported body.
Inadequate support of your spine, for example as a result of a worn old mattress, might worsen existing pain and even leave your body more vulnerable to injury by being fixed in awkward positions.
The Best Mattresses for Back and Neck Pain
1) Foam Mattress
Foam mattresses are the ideal overall choice for back and neck pain for many reasons.
Made primarily of visco-elastic foam, these beds are created to mold to your body and distribute body weight evenly. Whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper, or stomach sleeper, every part of your body will be molded into the mattress resulting in an aligned spine and good sleep posture.
If a particular area on your body is painful, it may be warmer than the rest of your body. You might feel throbbing and, depending on the cause of the pain, the area may be red.The foam will respond to this increased temperature by further reducing pressure.
This type of mattress also offers another benefit: less sleep disturbance because of motion. If you share your bed, you may notice waves of movement when your partner moves. Memory foam doesn’t have this issue, so you will notice fewer disturbances through the night.
And when you’re in pain, movement matters!
The 2920 Mattress is a great option for back and neck pain in this category.
2) Latex Mattress
These mattresses conform to your body similar to memory foam, but they are much firmer and give the lower back more support. This additional firmness can be described as feeling “buoyant” or like the mattress is “pushing back.”
Latex is good for stomach sleepers as it provides more support to the hips than memory foam. On a softer mattress, a stomach sleeper may find their hips sink into the mattress and cause their spine to curve.
Because this mattress is firmer than memory foam, side and back sleepers may find that their shoulders and hips are not cushioned enough, resulting in discomfort and an unaligned spine.
Also be prepared to spend 2x-3x as much as a quality foam mattress for a well-designed latex mattress.
3) Hybrid Mattress
A hybrid mattress is essentially an inner-spring mattress that contains just layers of foam or latex for slightly increased support.
This mattress is good for people who enjoy the conforming qualities of memory foam but find themselves sinking too far into their bed.
Back sleepers may prefer this type of mattress because it provides additional support to the lower back while remaining soft enough to mold to the natural curve of their spine.
Hybrid mattresses are best for average weight sleepers and some heavy sleepers (350 pounds or more). Light sleepers (130 pounds or less) might not sink far enough with the additional firmness to be adequately supported. Expect a quality hybrid mattress to cost more than the equivalent quality foam mattress.
Choosing the best mattress for back and neck pain depends on several factors and personal preference. For the majority of people who have back or neck pain, the 2920 Mattress is a great choice as it provides the perfect balance of comfort and support at an affordable price.
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