Best Mattresses For Back Pain Relief & Spinal Support
Before considering specific mattresses to help relieve back pain and morning stiffness, or just provide more restful sleep, it may be useful to review some general factors that are important for optimizing comfort and spinal alignment through the night.
The first recommendation is that most people should avoid sleeping on their stomach. The problem with stomach sleeping is two-fold; in addition to allowing the lower back (lumbar spine) to hyperextend during sleep, in requires a person to have their head turned to one side to allow them to breath. This takes the neck out of the neutral position and places unnecessary stress on spinal structures. People that prefer to sleep on their stomach can usually transition to sleeping on their side without too much difficulty. This position allows one to maintain better spinal alignment; however, the following advice applies: side sleepers generally need a pillow that is thicker than the pillow used by back sleepers. The pillow should be thick enough to allow the head to stay in line with the rest of the body - a pillow that is too thin allows the head to fall towards the mattress while one that is too thick will push the head up too high. Side sleepers may also benefit by keeping a thin pillow between their knees; this may also help avoid rolling the hips toward the mattress and twisting the lower back.
For those that sleep on their back, a thinner pillow is generally recommended; this will usually help keep the neck in a better position. A exception may be a person with a severe forward curve of the upper back such as an older person with thoracic compression fractures due to osteoporosis; this situation results in a "hyperkyphosis" of the thoracic spine which will likely require a thicker than usual pillow for back sleepers to avoid having their head hyperextend backwards during sleep. Specific requirements for this population should be discussed with their health care providers.
Finally, the degree of firmness of the sleeping surface should be considered. Many people believe that the most firm mattress possible is the best choice; however, this is not supported by the research or my own experience with my patients. For most people a mattress that is firm but not the most firm that it can possibly be is the best choice. A good starting point then would then be a "medium firm" mattress with a little more or less firmness depending on individual preferences and physical characteristics, such as bodyweight, with heavier people usually requiring a slightly more firm mattress.
As people come in different sizes, structures and preferences, the "best mattress" for one person may not be the best mattress for another. This makes it difficult to have one perfect "chiropractic recommended mattress" for everybody. However, with the above considerations in mind, I believe the following mattresses would be a good choice for a large percentage of the population to help relieve back pain and provide proper spinal support while they sleep.
Traditional "memory foam" mattresses have their supporters and detractors - the supporters like the fact that the mattress tends to mold around your body a little, the detractors will often say it is difficult for them to change position because of this. This particular mattress seems to have enough support to avoid the complaint that most detractors would typically have as evidenced by the remarkable customer satisfaction rating that this produce has. It also dissipates heat better than most similar products. If you prefer a very firm mattress that you don't sink in to at all, this is probably not the mattress for you. However, for those considering a foam mattress, this is one of the best options, especially for the price.
This is very similar in many ways to the above mattress but some may find this to be slightly more supportive. Although the reviews of this mattress are excellent, they are not quite as good as the reviews of the above mattress but I believe this may be because this may be a slightly better mattress for a smaller precentage of the population - those who enjoy the benefits of the above mattress, still want a soft top layer layer but prefer a mattress that may perhaps provide slightly more support.
This is a great mattress from a company well known and established in the industry that features their proprietary "posturepedic" technology designed to provide additional support under heavier parts of the body. This is the one I would personally choose due to the fact that it is a little more firm than most foam-type mattresses. The description of the mattress goes over the various parts that should allow for the mattress to provide support but still be comfortable. This has very good customer reviews but is still probably best for those that prefer a mattress a little more on the firm side.
Foam mattresses are so popular today that they represent a good part of the mattress market. This allows quite a bit of choice in this area so a consumer can usually find one with their specific needs at a reasonable price. This one is a good choice for someone that prefers a medium degree of firmness instead of one that is very firm. At this price, most people looking for a mattress with these features should be very happpy with this purchase.