Can Latex Help Manage Your Lower Back Pain?
A high-quality, all-natural latex mattress can help you improve the symptoms of many medical problems, including lower back pain. When you have pain in the lumbar region of the back, a good night's sleep can seem like an impossibility. But with the right mattress, combined with competent medical care, you can get the sleep you need to live well.
Latex as an "Orthopedic Mattress"
The first orthopedic mattresses were introduced in the 1950s as a medical aid to help patients achieve better sleep and a higher quality of life. The idea was to engineer a mattress that encouraged spinal alignment and the most comfortable sleep surface possible. Just as orthopedic shoes could improve your stride, an orthopedic mattress could improve your sleep. Unfortunately, "old-school" orthopedic mattresses could actually increase pain rather than decreasing it.
Latex foam mattresses are the "next generation" in orthopedic comfort. Latex's unique mix of flexibility, resilience, and support combines superior pressure relief with the buoyancy your body needs to maintain proper spinal alignment. It's one of the few materials that can simultaneously compress enough to truly contour around your hips while still cradling and supporting the lumbar region.
Dealing with Lower Back Pain
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, lower back pain can be associated with a range of medical conditions involving the musculature and spinal column of the lower back. Spinal degeneration and infections such as bulging discs, spondylitis, osteoporosis, and spinal stenosis can cause lower back pain. Muscular or nerve-related problems like muscle injury, sciatica, or fibromyalgia may also be the culprit.
No matter what the cause, lower back pain can be exacerbated by sleeping on a surface that allows the spine to sag and curve. A misaligned spine, over the course of eight hours, can increase pain and contribute to long-term degenerative conditions.
Conversely, sleeping on a mattress that properly supports your body and aligns your spine can minimize the pressures that lead to degenerative conditionsand the misalignments that can lead to muscle and nerve pain. Sleeping on a soft-yet-supportive surface that you find comfortable measurably improves your quality of sleep and can minimize pain.
Latex and Low Back Pain
A latex mattress:
- Cradles and supports your body, minimizing painful pressure points and maximizing the natural alignment of your spine during sleep.
- May help to alleviate symptoms of multiple medical problems, including fibromyalgia, arthritis, and even spinal injury thus increasing your chances of back pain improvement.
- Lasts. All-natural latex regularly lasts 15-20 years and may last as long as 40 years before it begins to lose its distinctive resilience and supportso you get trustworthy, comfortable sleep every night.
If you have lower back pain, a latex mattress can help you truly relax. With the right thickness and the right firmness, you can find a mattress that is soft on painful muscle tissues but offers comforting support of painful spinal elements. When the body feels that gentle support, the relief is almost instinctivea grateful relaxation that allows a sore body to rest and heal.
A 2006 study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found a significant correlation between low back pain and poor sleep. Another 2006 study in Applied Ergonomics associated higher levels of back pain with pressure points and spinal distortion while sleeping.
A study in the Journal of Chiropractic Care found that test subjects who switched their older mattresses for a new, medium-firm mattress system experienced a significant drop in back pain and stiffness. A medium-firm latex mattress can noticeably improve your symptoms of low back pain, so that you can sleep.
Lower Back Pain and Latex: The Bottom LineThe wrong mattress can exacerbate lower back pain and back pain can seriously hurt your chances of getting a good night's sleep. Picking a high quality all-natural latex mattress can help you get better sleep, alleviate your back pain, and get you on the road to healing.
If you have certain back problems that lead to pain where your back or hip contacts the mattress, try a softer Talalay "comfort layer" over a firmer foam under-layer. This combination can give you softness to minimize surface pain AND support to help align your spine.
Work with your doctor or medical professional to treat the underlying causes of your back pain, and minimize your nighttime symptoms by using a good mattress. You'll be well on your way to improved pain management and better sleep.