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Is Your Mattress Causing You Back Pain?

Waking up to back pain that wasn’t there before can be both frustrating and confusing. If you haven’t added any new routines or exercises to your daily schedule, the culprit may be your mattress. It’s not necessarily it’s type, but it’s age.


Some Signs That Your Mattress is Giving You Back Pain


There are many things that can trigger back pain that it may be hard to locate exactly where your aches are coming from. Fortunately there are a few telltale signs that may prove your mattress as the offender.


  1. If your back pain occurs upon waking, but goes away after 15-20 minutes of warming up and stretching, then it may be a sign you need a new mattress.
  2. If you are constantly waking up and/or tossing and turning, then it may be a sign you need a new mattress.
  3. Even if your back isn’t bothering you at the moment, a mattress over 8 years old should be replaced.


What is a Good Mattress for My Back?


Getting a definite answer would be difficult since everyone has different sleep preferences. So just going off descriptions and reviewer comments alone may not be enough. Anyone with back and neck pain should take the Goldilocks approach when shopping for a new mattress; not too hard, and not too soft.


“If you’re on too soft [of] a mattress, you’ll start to sink down to the bottom. But on too hard of a mattress you have too much pressure on the sacrum, and on the shoulders, and on the back of the head,” says Howard Levy, MD, an Emory University assistant professor of orthopaedics, physical medicine, and rehabilitation.

A medium firm mattress may be best for those suffering from back pain. It is versatile enough to support back, belly, and side sleepers.


A new mattress may be out of your budget, but do yourself a favor and seriously consider investing in yourself by buying a new mattress that may help improve your posture and increase circulation. You spend 6-8 hours on your mattress nightly, which makes it a “worth it” purchase. You are worth it, don’t go uber cheap for the sake of price! Find a mattress that will give you better sleep and less pain.


Test Drive Potential Mattresses Before You Buy


So you’ve done some research and you have a few mattresses you want to try. Don’t be afraid to take any new mattress you are considering for a test nap. It’s like buying a car, you’ve got to test drive it before you buy. You’re investing hundreds to maybe thousands of dollars into this mattress, why wouldn’t you test nap? Don’t be afraid to go into a mattress store and lay on a potential mattress for 20-30 minutes.


If 20-30 minutes isn’t ample time for you to figure out if its the right mattress for you or not, companies like Nectar and Purple offer extended trails (Nectar: 365 Nights, Purple: 100 Nights).


With these two options, you can really test out the mattress in every position to see which feels comfortable, especially you side sleepers. The mattress should be supportive where you need it, but it shouldn’t put too much pressure on your body.


Should I Get a Massage?


Yes, you should definitely get a massage! Why wouldn’t you want to get loose, limber, and relaxed for your future mattress?! Check with your chiropractor and then make an appointment with us. Getting an adjustment at the chiro and coming to Prime Bodyworks for a therapeutic massage should bring your body closest to neutral. This will help relieve pain and improve your posture and body support while you sleep.


Is There Anything Else I Can Try for Back Pain?


  1. Changing your mattress may be a miracle for your back pain, if it was the cause.
  2. A stretch routine focused on the areas of complaint. Try to do a few stretches after you wake and a few before going to bed. Ask your Neuromuscular Therapist or your Chiro for tips if you need help.
  3. Learn which position is the best sleeping position for you. Most studies suggest that sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs (supports the hips and lower back).


So if you’re tossing and turning and have a sore back in the morning, it might be time to get a new mattress. Good sleep is important and so is your back, make sure you choose a mattress that will help improve your sleep and lessen your back pain. Don’t forget to take your pillow(s) with you when mattress shopping. You’re going to need it for those test naps!

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