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Do Waterbeds Help with Back Pain?

By Sara Butler

One question that the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic get often is what kind of bed is best for back pain. The issue is that this isn't a simple answer. The best bed for back pain really depends on a few factors unique to each person. One type of bed that comes up in conversation from time to time is a waterbed. While these beds may not be as fashionable as they once were, it's still worth addressing if they're good for your back or not. Here are some of the pros and cons of sleeping on a waterbed for back pain.

The Pros

There are a few good reasons to invest in a waterbed, though each person must evaluate for themselves what a pro and con are to buy one. Some of the pros to waterbeds include:

  • Soothing heat - A waterbed is heated and if you're experiencing back discomfort or pain that is soothed with moist heat, then a waterbed can be like a giant hot water bottle for your body. The heat can help to increase blood flow that helps nutrient-rich blood to reach your body's tissues -- including spinal tissues.
  • They contour to the body - One of the best things about waterbeds is how they naturally contour to the body, helping to evenly distribute pressure over your entire body. This means reduced pressure on your joints, including spinal joints, and less stress and strain on the muscles that help to support your spine too.

The Cons of Waterbeds

While there are some definite pluses to buying a waterbed, there is a downside. Namely, it's that the research makes it difficult to know if it's the right bed for those with back pain or not. In some studies, people report relief of back pain when switching to a waterbed from a traditional mattress. Yet a large percentage of people in the same study, almost 10 percent, said that their pain and discomfort was made worse.

But perhaps the biggest drawback to a waterbed is the waves it creates when you share the bed with another. If you are a light sleeper, then waterbeds will move each time your partner switches position and that can lead to an uncomfortable night's sleep.

Should You Buy a Waterbed?

There are some appealing benefits to a waterbed for back pain but it's important to keep in mind these beds do offer natural support and it's easy to sink into a position that throws off the alignment of your spine as you sleep. It's best to have an in-depth conversation with your local chiropractor about your specific needs when you're considering buying a new mattress.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.

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