Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When to Buy a Mattress: A “Royal” Pain

By Dr. Randall Hensley, D.C., Hensley Chiropractic

The fabled “Princess and the Pea” mattress problem can be more fact than fiction when it comes to back pain.  You may not be royalty or able to feel a tiny pea enough to disrupt your sleep but if you sleep great when you're away, and consistently wake up in pain at home, your bed may be the culprit.  Likewise, if you suffer from morning back pain, neck stiffness, shoulder pain, hip discomfort, etc., you may need to start saving for a new bed, or change sleep position. (Back or side sleeping is much better than stomach sleeping in keeping your spine aligned because lying on your stomach requires you to awkwardly twist your head to breathe.)
 Don't run out and buy a new $4,000 dollar bed just yet however.  If you think your mattress is too soft, pull off the top mattress and sleep on it flat on the floor for a few nights like a futon.  If you sleep better, buy a sheet of half inch plywood and cut it to size and slip it between the box spring and top mattress.  If you want to make a hard mattress softer, try using a pad overlay or place a number of blankets under the fitted mattress sheet.  These fixes may lesson your pain and delay your purchase date.

If you would rather buy a new mattress, remember, every person's favorite bed is different, determine your budget, do the shopping/testing yourself, lay down (yes, actually lay down) on each mattress, and try lots of beds.   A “firm” mattress classification is harder than in the past, “medium firm” is most common, and make sure the store has a home trial and return policy you like.

Some of my patients find the “Tempurepedic” thermo elastic memory foam mattress “sweaty” while others love it warm.  The highly advertised “Sleep Number” bed can be great for different size couples but I know of one that repeatedly deflated in the middle of the night.   The European sleep design system with its adjustable maple wood slat system is pricey but is made with top quality in mind.  Don't overlook the individually wrapped inner spring/coil mattresses for a more traditional support.

Fancy or plain, expensive or “frugal”, royalty or commoner, your mattress must be supportive, comfortable, and affordable in order to decrease its role in causing musculoskeletal pain.  Ask your chiropractor or health care provider to help you get the best night's sleep you can have.  Good night.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your article. Please make more interesting topics like this on.
    I'll come back for more :)

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