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Back pain and matresses

Summer is arriving and many of us are waiting for that moment where we pack our bags and take off to some place to start our well-deserved resting period. We think that there, we will be able to rest more, take better care of ourselves and because of that, those back pains, product of a sedentary lifestyle and minimum sleep hours, are going to disappear. Nonetheless, all the sudden, we find that far from disappearing, they increase in spite our 8-hour sleep nights. The cause of this problem on many occasions might be the mattress.

The study made by dr. Kovacs, with whom the “Instituto Avanzado de Columna” collaborates within the Study Group of Spanish Back Pain Research Network, about the importance of mattresses in lower back pain, demonstrates for its methodology and scientific quality that mattresses with a medium-high firmness improve the pain and functional disability within patients with unspecified chronic lower back pain. It is also important to highlight that there is a great variability within the studied population and that many patients with mattresses of an extremely high firmness or softness have practically no inconvenience.

For this reason, we have to say that there is no ideal mattress that can alleviate all back problems. The spine has a specific structure that varies in each person and in addition to that, we also must consider weight, height and sleeping habits of each subject. We spend practically a third of our day sleeping, this makes our way of resting partially adjust to what we do every day. For this reason, a significative change in the firmness or characteristics of our mattress, can provoke a situation of heightened pressure in the lumbar articulations, strain of the ligament structures, muscles or articular capsules and provoke an increase in pain or discomfort especially within the lumbar region.

Another doubt that comes to mind when choosing our mattress is their material but there are no scientific studies that show the superiority of one material over the others when it comes to our back health. Today, in the mattress material market, there are numerous options: latex, gel, wool, viscoelastic, springs… Each one of them presents determined characteristics of temperature control, breathability, hygiene, resistance, firmness, adaptability, and our choice must be based on our personal preference.

The truth is that when we travel, we cannot choose our destination, based on the type of mattress that we are going to find. Nonetheless, it is important that if we find a significant increase of our lower back troubles, we could ask for a change of mattress at the hotel we find ourselves at. Something so simple can avoid that what is supposed to be a leisure and rest trip could turn into a nightmare.

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