Your bed could cause back pain - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness



✗ Problem
Your bed, and getting enough time in it, can be the difference between a day free of back pain and one endured painfully lurching from one chore to the next.

Getting your bed rest right allows the spinal column to lengthen and ‘unload’ and by morning you should be a fraction taller and be at your most pain-free level of the day. By evening, of course, your spine will have again compressed, your nerves squeezed and your body will understandably be ‘crying out’ for horizontal healing.

“The bed is the most used piece of furniture in the home; however, many people underestimate the value of selecting the right mattress and pillow,” says Smith. “Without the right type of support, you may find yourself waking up with various aches and stiffness.”

✓ Solution
You can buy your bed and pillow online, from a factory outlet or department store, or you can go to a sleep science centre (yes, they do exist) who specialise in ‘fitting’ you with the best mattress and pillow combo for your body and needs. And it’s not all about finding the comfiest, fluffiest thing out there. It’s often the slightly firmer mattress and contoured pillow that provide longer-term support.

“The mattress needs to support your body in a neutral posture,” says Smith. “The natural curves of the spine should be supported while the neck and shoulders are properly aligned. Your new mattress should also come with a ‘used by date’, at which time it is recommended you replace it.” The shopping list?

“When looking to purchase a new mattress, there are a few things to consider. It’s important that you give each mattress a sleep test before purchasing. Ensure your lower back is getting enough support, and that there aren’t any pressure points that are uncomfortable. If you have a favourite pillow, take it with you as well. This is the best way to simulate your actual sleeping position that you’ll experience on the mattress.”

If the shop manager won’t let you do this, take your business elsewhere.