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Sleeping with Back Pain: Will a Foam Mattress Help?

By Sara Butler

For people who have back pain, finding the right mattress can take quite a long time. The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic are often asked what type of mattress is best for someone with back pain. The truth is that it really depends on you and your body's special needs, but one of the most popular options is memory foam. Here's what you should know about memory foam and how it can help or hurt your back as you try to rest at night.

What is it?

Memory foam is made of, well, foam. It was created by the scientists at NASA in the 1960s to help cushion astronauts against the force of gravity during liftoff. You may not be leaving the earth's atmosphere when you sleep at night, but memory foam does cushion your body as it molds to your shape.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, memory foam mattresses may be perfect for some people since they provide just the right amount of give to help reduce back pain while you sleep and promote more restful nights. But before you invest in this mattress type, there's more you should know.

The Pros and Cons

As with anything, there are definite pros and cons to memory foam mattresses. The pros include:

  • They're made from durable, lasting material
  • They aren't lumpy since they go back to their original shape when you get up
  • They reduce pressure points since they mold to your body
  • They absorb shock waves so your partner is less likely to distract you while moving

Of course, there are cons too, such as:

  • New mattresses can off-gas and cause a smell that makes some people sick the first few days
  • Heat builds up and can make you hot, resulting in trouble sleeping
  • The mattress material is dense, making it difficult to move

What Should You Do

The chiropractors at The Joint suggest you do a little homework when buying a new mattress. Only invest in a mattress that allows you an in-home trial. That way you can sleep on the mattress for a few weeks to see how it impacts the way your body feels.

The most important thing to remember is to regularly buy a new mattress -- at least every 10 years. The manufacturer often recommends when it needs to be replaced, so take note of that and try not to let it go past its expiration or you could have an aching back!

If you need tips for how to choose a good mattress for you, then talk to the chiropractors at The Joint today!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Worth, Tex.

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