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A night of good sleep can do wonders to your life. It restores chemical balance, consequently, promoting better overall health. Unfortunately, for people with chronic pain caused by conditions like arthritis, falling asleep, leave alone getting quality sleep is often easier said than done. According to studies, two in every three arthritis patients struggle with insomnia or a sleep disorder. The good news, however, studies done over the years show having the right mattress can help alleviate joint pain, and consequently, promote better, quality sleep. This begs the question, is there anything like the right mattress? If yes, how do you find one?
While there’s no short answer, here’s what to look for in a mattress for back pain
1. The Firmness
When purchasing a mattress, most people often go for one with the utmost firmness. While it all comes down to your preference, if you are looking for a mattress for shoulder or joint paint, you need to go for one with medium firmness.
If the mattress is too firm, it not only distorts your back but also, distributes most of your body’s pressure to the shoulders and the pelvic area. If it is too soft, it sags and does not offer proper back support. This means that whether you opt for a soft or hard mattress, you will always wake up tired, and with debilitating joint pains. You will also find it difficult to fall asleep.
In that light, opt for a mattress with medium firmness. It offers natural spinal alignment, and optimal pressure distribution and consequently proper body support as well as proper blood circulation. As a result, you fall asleep easily, get quality sleep and you’re less likely to suffer from joint pain flare-ups. To select ideal firmness, you need to consider your sleeping position. Each sleeping position creates unique pressure points that directly impact the spine as discussed below;
If you are a side sleeper, weight is distributed to the widest areas of the body, that is; the shoulders, arms and the hips. The ideal mattress for back pain for side sleepers should be firm, and at the same time, soft enough to cushion the mentioned pressure points, so your body is properly aligned, and weight distributed evenly. In other words, you need a medium-hard mattress.
For stomach sleepers, the weight is transferred to the lumbar and neck regions. If you’re one, then you want a mattress with medium-hard firmness. If it’s too soft, the pelvis area sinks, putting too much strain on the spine, and consequently, causes joint pain. But with a medium-hard mattress, the hips, pelvis and shoulders are properly aligned, so the pressure is distributed equally.
For back sleepers, the weight is usually distributed over a larger area. This means no pressure points, and as a result, any level of firmness can suit them. But as noted earlier, it’s wise to always opt for a medium-firm mattress if you struggle with joint pain.
2. Motion Isolation
You may opt for the right level of firmness, but if the mattress you take home has no motion isolation features and you share a bed, you’ll likely wake up with joint pains. Why? Well, if your mattress has no motion isolation, you’ll feel every toss and turn made by your partner. On top of that, their movement will ruin your comfortable sleeping position.
These movements cause restless sleep and even if your body was aligned properly, you end up sleeping in the wrong formation again which worsens your joint pains. Make sure you find a mattress with motion isolation. For instance, memory foam, latex and hybrid mattress have motion absorption capabilities. This means with any of the mentioned, your partner’s movements do not affect your sleep in any way.
Another essential factor to consider while looking for a mattress for shoulder, back or join pain, is toxicity. Why is this essential? Well, research shows that people who suffer from conditions that cause chronic pain, for instance, Lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, experience more flare-ups when exposed to chemicals such as plastic or petroleum-based chemicals.
Unfortunately, most manufacturers today are only after the money. This means they may claim their mattresses are made from organic materials but in reality, they contain the earlier mentioned chemicals. To avoid such toxic mattresses, ensure the mattress you’re considering has at least one of the following certifications;
- Global Organic Standard
- Global Organic Latex Standard
- Oeko-Tex Standard 100
Finding the right mattress amidst the plethora of options available is a pretty hectic task. Add in the fact you’re looking for a mattress for joint paint and it becomes even harder. The tips above, however, make the process a tad easier.