Can a mattress make lower back pain worse?

Last Updated on March 29, 2022

There are so many causes of back pain and body aches, it can be hard to pinpoint where they are coming from. However, to see if your mattress is to blame, there are some indications to look out for. 

The first one will be when your back pain occurs. For example, if it surfaces when you first wake up in the morning, but you can get rid of it within 15-30 minutes with some stretching, or it fades away on its own, this is a strong indication that your mattress is doing more harm than good to your body and rest. 

Also, if you wake up more frequently during the night or constantly tossing and turning in bed, that is also a significant sign. Generally speaking, even if you aren’t prone to a bad back, you should ideally replace your mattress every seven to eight years.

Back pain can come suddenly, and it can be both inconvenient and confusing for the person experiencing it. You can’t help but wonder, can a mattress make lower back pain worse even if you haven’t changed anything in your daily schedule? 

The answer might lie in your bed, and that’s why in today’s guide, we’ll take a closer look at the topic. We’ll see if a bed can be the cause of your lower back aches and see what you can do to relieve your bad back in the morning.

Can a mattress make lower back pain worse?

Can a mattress make lower back pain worse?

When we think about backaches, we don’t necessarily put our mattress as one of the main reasons for this occurring issue. The truth is that it can undoubtedly worsen or even cause your back pain. 

First ad foremost, you need to be getting the proper amount of sleep every night, which usually means around 7-9 hours. If you consistently wake up with pain in the morning or constantly toss and turn during the night, making it harder to fall asleep, you can take that as a sign that your mattress is either causing or worsening your back pain.

That’s where purchasing a new mattress can come in handy, but choosing the right one can be challenging and overwhelming. So, if you don’t know where to start, you can take a look at our selection of the best mattresses for lower back pain on today’s market. 

If yours is sagging or you’ve simply picked the wrong option when it comes down to firmness, you’re most likely not getting enough support. With that comes pressure on your joints and spine. Avoid it by looking into a new option that offers better support and relieves stress so that you can get enough zzz’s each night.

How can your mattress cause back pain?

How can your mattress cause back pain?

If you’re coping with back pain, know that you’re not alone. Overall, it’s estimated that 4 in 5 adults in the UK experiences at least one episode of low back pain in their lifetime (that’s around 80% of the adult population). 

However, if you are experiencing serious or chronic pain, we highly recommend a trip to the doctor to uncover the root cause of your discomfort. But if your aching back feels better after being up and moving, that’s a decent indication, your mattress may be the cause of your problems. Let’s take a closer look at some telltale signs. They are the following:

  • Waking up with back pain – even though it might seem obvious, morning pain is one of the first signs you and your mattress are no longer the right fit for each other. Your mattress could be a contributing factor if you wake up groaning and clutching your lower back, even though you were just fine before you got into bed. This can lead to spine misalignment, which in turn will lead to morning pain and body discomfort and stiffness.
  • Struggling to get comfortable – if you find it hard to find your sweet spot in bed all night, it could also be related to your back pain. When you toss and turn during the night, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in, it’s a sign that your mattress may not be the right fit. 
  • Constant waking up – in recent studies, over 35% of adults reported waking at least three nights a week, and 23% woke at least once every night, which means 1in 4 people. Even though nighttime wakings are common everywhere, if it’s a new or worsening problem, you should consider whether your mattress isn’t the problem and if it’s giving you the proper support.
  • Saggs and lumps – most of us love the sinking feeling into our mattress after a long day, but a saggy mattress with multiple lumps where you need support the most can cause spine misalignment, contributing to your low back pain.
  • Stiffness when laying – you need to understand that there is a difference between a supportive mattress and one that’s too hard. A too-hard bed will force your spine into an unnatural position, creating pressure points. It would be best if your mattress has some give to keep your spine neutral while being supportive.
  • Restless sleep – to put it simply, if you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll wake feeling rested and refreshed in the more. But if your day starts with “Ugh!” instead of “Aaah!” your mattress could have something to do with it. 
  • Pain fades after waking – if your bad back goes away after stretching and a good hot shower, it might be related to your sleeping surface. But if your lower back pain is a constant, there might be other causes of your pain. In that case, you should consult with a professional.

To sum it up, even if you suspect your mattress is to blame for your bad back, it’s essential to speak with your healthcare provider if your pain is persistent throughout the day and is more than a morning nuisance.

What can you do to relieve lower back pain in the morning?

What can you do to relieve lower back pain in the morning?

We understand that it can be tough on your back to start moving again after several hours of sleep. Overall, doctors voice that stretching your hamstrings can help loosen things up and lessen your discomfort. That’s why stretching the painful area will help take the pressure off your back.

One of the easiest ways to stretch without hurting your back, even more is by doing wall slides. What you have to do is stand with your back up against a wall and slowly raise your arms up and down.

For example, if you have a condition like spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spaces in your spine that puts pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves in your spine), you should try and touch your toes, as it will feel great on your back. However, if you feel any pain when stretching, you should definitely stop.

Bottom line

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the best mattress for back pain. Ultimately, the best option for a bad back is one that offers the perfect mix between softness and support while relieving pressure points and keeping your spine neutrally aligned. 

We hope we were able to answer the how and why when it comes down to ‘Can a mattress make lower back pain worse?’, and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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