20 Jan Choosing The Best Mattress For Spine Problems – A Medical Opinion
A MEDICAL EXPERT’S ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WITH SPINE PROBLEMS
How does a mattress affect quality of sleep for people suffering from spine problems? What kind of mattress is best for them? What about pillows? What else should they bear in mind to ensure that they sleep as well as possible?
Dormeo’s international team has worked with renowned orthopaedist Prof. Dr. Janko Popovič, and he was kind enough to share with us his expert opinions on the matter…
1. The best mattress for spine problems
For people suffering from spine problems, (perhaps unsurprisingly) it is best to sleep on a mattress that causes them the least pain. The mattress should conform to the shape of the spine, which is different for every individual.
In general, the spine is curved inward in the cervical region, outward in the thoracic region and inward in the lumbar region. The mattress should conform to this shape in order to reduce the pressure on spinal discs.
2. Test It First!
The most important thing for you to do is to spend some time lying on the mattress that you think is most suited to you. It would be ideal if you were able to use the mattress for at least a month and then return it if you find that it does not meet your needs.
3. The “Firm Mattress is Best” Myth
In the beginning of my medical career, all patients with spine problems were recommended to sleep on a firm mattress. However, medical opinion has changed recently, and now we recommend mattresses that, while still not overly soft, will provide the highest level of comfort and support during sleep to alleviate any pains and aches.
4. Your pillow doesn’t need to be so high
Your pillow should be slightly lower than you might expect and should match the curve of your cervical spine. There is a huge array of pillows available from various manufacturers but the best thing to do is to test them until you find one that’s comfortable for you. The pillow can be adapted to your specific needs, since the shape of your spine is not necessarily the same as in other people. Some people might have greater curvature than others.
5. Sleeping on Your Back and Stomach
I would recommend that you sleep on your back on a surface that conforms to the shape of your spine; you can also sleep on your stomach, but I would definitely advise against sleeping on your side for the majority of the time. However, sleeping on your side occasionally can alleviate certain spine problems, especially if the pain radiates into your leg. If your legs are bent, the nerve is relaxed and this reduces the pain.
6. Regular Physical Therapy – learn to nurture your “muscle corset!”
For better sleep, I would absolutely recommend regular physical therapy and exercises to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. You can learn these exercises in a physical therapy clinic or rehabilitation health spa. The best way to prevent back pain is to maintain a “muscle corset” – another name for strong back and abdominal muscles.
7. Morning Exercises
I would especially recommend morning exercises, which can also be repeated later, e.g. twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the afternoon. There are specific exercises intended for people with spine problems. If you are suffering from severe problems, you should consult an orthopaedist.