Are you waking up with back pain every morning? It might be time to evaluate the condition of your mattress.
Considering there is nothing else you use more than your mattress, evaluating its condition and level of comfort on a regular basis (semi-annually) should be a common practice. A mattress that is past its prime or not providing adequate support can cause issues with comfort, ability to fall asleep, and back problems.
As part of my chiropractic consultation, I commonly ask my patients about the age and condition of their mattress (especially if they wake up with back pain). A mattress that has lost its supportive properties, even if it still feels comfortable when going to sleep, can cause the spine to shift out of alignment putting pressure on the spinal joints and sensitive nerves. Done 6 to 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, this can ultimately lead to significant spinal related conditions such as pinched nerves, muscle spasms, and sciatica. For those patients that wake up with neck pain, I will also ask about their pillow. For more information on selecting the right pillow click here.
When deciding if it is time to replace your mattress, the Better Sleep Council recommends looking for the following signs:
You wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and pains.
You had a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed (such as a hotel)
Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse (it sags, has lumps, the interior is exposed)
Your mattress is 5-7 years old
Also, keep in mind that as your body changes with age, so do your levels of comfort. What you find comfortable today may be much different then what you preferred just a few years ago. So, even if you don’t have any of the signs listed above, if your bed is not comfortable any more it may be time for a new mattress.
The Better Sleep Council recommends that you replace your boxspring (foundation) when you replace your mattress. Do not put a new mattress on an old boxspring.
If your mattress does not need to be replaced, but you are still waking up with back pain, it may be time to visit your chiropractor.
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Wishing you good health,