Checking in with yourself (and your partner) about your mattress condition is one of the fundamental proactive steps you should consider when your back has been hurting! With that said, many people are looking for ways to relieve their pain and pamper themselves at the same time. One way is getting a new bed. But while you might be excited about your new purchase, you might not realize it could make your back pain worse! Here are reasons why spending that extra money on a new mattress might end up hurting your wallet in more ways than one.
1 - IT'S TOO FIRM
If you're buying a new memory foam mattress, there's no doubt they're comfortable and responsive to your body shape. That being said, if you pick one that's too firm for your taste, it won't give in too much when you lie down or sit on it. This can put incredible strain on the spine by forcing the body to "sink" in further than it normally should. This could be one reason why your mattress is killing your back...
2 - IT'S TOO SOFT
While too-firm mattresses can be uncomfortable, so can ones that are too soft. This is because when you lie down on them, they will give in under the Weight of your body. However, this makes your spine sink downward rather than its normal vertical position. The result? An increased curvature in the lumbar area, which leads to back pain.
3 - YOU'RE USING A BOX SPRING FOR YOUR NEW BED
If you're thinking about using an old box spring with your new mattress, you might want to think again. According to OrthoPets, there isn't support beneath the softer memory foam. If you use a box spring, it creates an uneven sleeping surface on which to rest. Not only can this lead to back pain, but it could also put undue pressure on the knees and hips.
4 - YOU'RE SLEEPING ON YOUR STOMACH
While sleep experts say that it's best for your body if you sleep on your back, some of us aren't physically wired that way. But while lying face down doesn't do any favors for your spine, neither does lying on your side! That being said, the American Chiropractic Association recommends avoiding stomach sleeping because it can increase both upper backs and lower back curvature.
5 - YOU KEEP MOVING AROUND
You know how annoying it is when you keep waking up every night to find yourself on the other side of the bed. Why? Because you keep tossing and turning, trying to get into a comfortable sleeping position! While this is great for keeping your body active before bed, it's terrible for your spine because it means that muscles in your back are always slightly tense.
6 - YOU'RE USING INCORRECT PILLOWS
While everyone needs different pillows depending on their body shape, some sleepers use them all wrong. Most people use too many pillows or pick ones that are too large, making it harder for their neck and head to maintain proper alignment with their spine. If you suffer from chronic back pain at night after waking up, this might be why.
7 - YOU DON'T EXERCISE
While it may seem like a no-brainer, many people still don't exercise regularly. But if you're not staying active during the day, how can you expect your body to function properly at night? When you work out, your spine is stretched and realigned every time you move certain muscles. This helps to keep your back in its proper position while asleep, which can help relieve chronic pain.
8 - YOU'RE GAINING WEIGHT
Many experts agree that being overweight or obese puts a tremendous amount of strain on a person's spine. In fact, according to HealWithFood.org, this excess Weight changes the spinal discs' ability to absorb shock effectively. The result is painful to pressure on the hips and lower back.
9 - YOU'RE GETTING OLDER
As you get older, your muscles weaken, and bones become less dense. As your core muscles let go, this excess stress is pushed to other parts of the body, such as the spine, which can cause chronic aches and even arthritis! Both of these factors can lead to excessive back pain, especially when you spend the majority of your day sitting down, as most office workers do.
10- YOU DON'T HAVE A MATTRESS TOPPER
If you want to avoid the extra aches and pains brought on by your new bed, be sure to get one that's right for you! A mattress topper is an excellent way to add some extra comfort and support while also helping prevent back pain in your new bed. When shopping for one, though, keep in mind that not all are created equally; some types will put more pressure on certain areas while others will provide greater relief.
11- YOUR MATTRESS IS TOO SOFT
Just like with box springs, memory foam is often placed over an innerspring mattress. While this type of combo used to be popular in the last decade or so, it has since fallen out of favor because the two materials don't work well together. Instead, many sleepers today prefer using a latex mattress pad during the day because its bouncy support provides additional back support while sleeping.
12 - YOU DON'T HAVE SHEETS THAT FIT PROPERLY
If your current sheets are too loose, they can bunch up around your body while you sleep, putting pressure on the back and hips. This can often lead to chronic pain in these areas. But don't worry, investing in some higher-quality fitted sheets is super easy. On the other hand, too-tight sheets could also contribute to pain by restricting muscle movement during sleep.
13 - YOUR PILLOW IS TOO HIGH
While a pillow is designed to support the neck and head while lying down, many people use them incorrectly when making their bed. In fact, sometimes pillows are so high that they cause their heads to overextend backward at night. This will not only keep a person from getting a restful sleep but can also cause tension headaches in the morning.
14 - YOU SLEEP ON YOUR STOMACH
While sleeping on your stomach is a popular choice for many, it's not the best one if you want to avoid chronic back pain during the night. This position actually puts a lot of pressure on the lower back, which isn't ideal for those who already suffer from this type of discomfort. In fact, by switching to a different posture every few hours, you'll likely wake up with far less agony in your hips and spine.
15- YOUR MATTRESS IS TOO HARD