Mattress Type & Condition
Men and women may differ in the firmness of the mattress needed to properly align the spine. For women (whose hips are typically wider than their waist), having a softer mattress allows the hips to sink in and keeps the spine straight, but for men whose hips and waist tend to be somewhat straight, having a firmer mattress might be a better option. Some researchers suggest that the degree of firmness of the mattress might depend more on body weight, but most recent research concurs that an overly firm mattress is not the best choice, despite the fact that many orthopedic surgeons routinely recommend hard mattresses to relieve back pain.
One study shows that medium-firm mattresses might be a better alternative. Researchers studied the sleep quality of 59 men and women who had reported back pain upon waking in their own beds for almost a month, and then researchers replaced the participants’ beds with new, medium-firm, innerspring mattresses and had them report their experience with back pain for the next 28 days. Most of the participants’ original mattresses were average in pricing and were over nine years old. The study results showed that back pain was reduced in participants by almost 50 percent. Some researchers suggest that this reduction in back pain might be the result of a placebo effect from having new bedding; however, any placebo effect would have waned after a week or two. In this study, the participants’ back pain continued to improve over the 28-day study period.
The mystery of morning back pain might be solved by something simple. If you wake up with low back pain, consider your sleep position and your mattress. If your low back pain continues or grows in intensity, Doctorpedia recommends checking with your physician to help put you on the road to being pain-free!