Mattress and Back Pain
The spine (or the back) is an engineering marvel in itself and it is the main support system for the entire body. The spine is made up of vertebrae and the muscles which hold the vertebrae together. The spine acts as a flexible shock-absorber by distributing the mechanical stresses caused by movements.
Back problems are essentially caused due to bad posture of the spine. If the spine is not in the right posture there is a shift in pressure to a particular region of the spine rather than disbursement of the pressure throughout the spine. The area of the spine which has the increased pressure tends to hurt.
Sleep is essentially the resting and healing period for the entire body including the spine. It is important that while we sleep the entire spine is relaxed and no pressure builds up in any particular region of the spine. This is where the mattress you choose plays a critical role. A good mattress should maintain the normal posture of the spine
- On a firm mattress the spine is forced to adjust to the flat surface of the mattress, and since the double “s” shape is not maintained, it results in discomfort and back pain. Among different mattress types, Rubberized coir tends to be the firmest, and should be used only with sufficient cushioning on top.
- A too soft mattress would allow the body to sink in, and not offer any support at all. Cotton mattresses are generally found to be soft, and tend to sink in the heavier areas, not offering any support at all.
- Based on the research done in this area, it is now widely accepted that a medium firm mattress offers better back support than a fully firm mattress.
- Also it is important to understand that this softness / firmness is relative to every individual person depending on their body type. What might seem soft for a hefty 120 kgs person, might feel hard for a petite 60 kgs person. This is the reason why it is recommended to always try out the mattresses before buying.
|Age Group||Light build (55 kgs to 75 kgs)||Medium build (75 kgs to 90 kgs)||Heavy Build (90 kgs to 110 kgs)||Super Heavy build (greater than 110 kgs)|
|Less than 25||Plush||Medium||Medium||Medium Firm|
|25 to 40||Plush||Medium||Medium||Medium Firm|
|40 to 55||Medium||Medium||Medium Firm||Medium Firm|
|25 to 40||Medium||Medium Firm||Medium Firm||Medium Firm|
- While lying on your back, slide the flat of your hand into the hollow of your back.
- If your hand slides in very easily or there’s a gap, the bed is too firm (lending pressure to your hips and shoulders).
- If it’s really difficult to slide your hand in at all and you feel as if you are sinking into the mattress, then the bed is probably too soft for you. (Source:The Sleep Council)