It is hard enough to sleep if you don’t have back pain, how much more if you do? Millions of adults in the US aren’t sleeping well because of disruptions caused by the discomfort of chronic back pain. Choosing the right mattress Orange County can relieve or reduce the back pain sufferers’ aches and pains, and provide them comfort and better sleep during the night. Choosing the wrong mattress, on the other hand, can significantly exacerbate the condition of back pain sufferers, leaving them tossing, turning, and in pain during the night.
How Can Back Pain Affect Sleep?
Let’s first discuss the functions of a healthy spine in order to fully understand how it is not to have one… There are three main functions a healthy spine serves the body:
- The spine protects the spinal cord, which sends communication from the brain to the various parts of the body and vice versa. It also protects the nerve roots and internal organs.
- The spine provides structural support to maintain upright posture.
- The spine facilitates tactile movement (i.e., the movement of the hands).
People who have unhealthy spines can’t or are unable to perform any of the above functions, resulting to back pain. Back pain can be categorized into either of the two:
- Acute back pain is a type of pain caused by an injury or accident. It usually lasts less than three months and subsides when the cause of the underlying pain is treated.
- Chronic pain, on the other hand, can be caused by an underlying physiological issue like scoliosis, and can often be debilitating.
Here are the common causes of acute or chronic pain:
- Muscle or ligament strain. When you overstretch, tear, or twist your muscles after lifting a heavy object, it causes pain, muscular spasms, muscular weakness, swelling, bruising, and limited movement of the affected area.
- Bulging or ruptured discs. Intervertebral discs serve as our body’s shock absorbers, and when it is herniated or displaced, it presses on the spinal nerves and thus, cause pain. It is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine) or the neck (cervical spine).
- Arthritis or inflammation of the joints can be in many forms, the most common of which are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout. Arthritis is characterized by chronic and widespread pain, preventing people with this condition to sleep properly during the night.
- Skeletal irregularities of the back and spine like lordosis (lower spine curvature), scoliosis (sideways curvature) and kyphosis (upper spine curvature).
Back pain due to any of the above conditions can be avoided when proper spinal support is provided. A mattress Orange County can help reduce back pain because it allows for a stable, even surface for the sleeper to maintain proper spinal alignment. However, various sleep positions and the sleeper’s weight affect spinal alignment, so consider the following when buying a mattress:
Pros: Sleeping on the side can maintain natural spinal alignment, but an uneven surface can cause the spine to curve and pressure to build up. Sleeping on the side promotes better air circulation, prevents heartburn because there’s less pressure on the heart, and also minimizes pressure for people with hip pain or scoliosis.
Cons: sleeping on the side can restrict the blood flow in the shoulders and arms and can cause extra pressure on the stomach and lungs. It can also cause wrinkles, especially on the side of the face, which is directly on the pillow.
Mattress type: choose a mattress that is firm enough without allowing the body to sink deeply. Optimal comfort and support can be achieved if you add in a pillow below the knees or on the rib portion.
- For sleepers who weight less than 130 lbs, choose a mattress with firmness between 3 (soft) to 4.5 (medium soft)
- For those who weight between 130 to 230 lbs, a mattress with firmness between 5 (medium) to 6.5 (medium firm) should be selected.
- For those who weight more than 230 lbs, a mattress firmness between 6.5 (medium firm) to 8 (firm) should be considered.
Pros: Sleeping on the back can maintain natural spine alignment as long as the sleeper retains the position. You won’t experience any acid reflux when sleeping on your back. There’s no need for extra pillows to support certain areas of the body, and sleepers don’t have to worry about any facial wrinkle formation.
Cons: People who sleep on their backs are at higher risk of experiencing sleep apnea and heavy snoring because of the restriction in the airflow.
Mattress type: Choose a mattress that can provide proper support from the neck to the tailbone. A very firm one can cause support gaps, especially on the lumbar area; and a very soft one can cause the body to sink causing misalignment.
- For those who weight less than 130 lbs, choose a mattress with a firmness of 4 (medium soft) to 5.5 (medium).
- For those who weight between 130 to 230 lbs, a mattress with a firmness of 5 (medium) to 6.5 (medium firm) should be selected.
- For those who weight more than 230 lbs, a mattress firmness between 6 (medium firm) to 8 (firm) should be considered.
Pros: Sleeping on the stomach can reduce the risk of heavy snoring and sleep apnea. People sleeping on their stomachs may also have fewer facial wrinkles than those who are sleeping on their side.
Cons: Natural spinal alignment can’t be maintained when sleeping on the stomach as the weight of the sleeper is concentrated mainly on it. Because the weight is concentrated on the stomach, stomach sleepers usually sink deeply into the mattress.
Mattress type: Choose a firm mattress to prevent your body from sinking deeply during sleep.
- For those who weight less than 130 lbs, choose a mattress with a firmness of 3 (soft) to 4.5 (medium soft).
- For those who weight between 130 to 230 lbs, a mattress with a firmness of 4 (medium soft) to 5.5 (medium) should be selected.
- For those who weight more than 230 lbs, a mattress firmness between 6 (medium firm) to 7.5 (firm) should be considered.
Please note that the entire sleep experience is highly subjective, and comfort preferences do not necessarily correspond to the information mentioned above. It’s always best to test the mattress at any mattress stores Orange County of your choice and seek the advice of mattress experts before buying one.