Back pain can be a real … pain! It has the potential to interfere with your work or daily activities, hinder your physical health, and significantly decrease your quality of life.

Sleeping on a mattress that is either low-quality or not the right fit for you can cause back and joint pain, or make an already troublesome problem worse. But it’s important to find out if your mattress is the culprit or not. So if you’re regularly suffering from back pain, the first question you must ask yourself is:

 

What’s Causing Your Back Pain?

There are a lot of things that can cause back pain. Here are a few of them:

  • sleeping on an old mattress, or a mattress that is not the right firmness for you (this is a pretty easy fix!)
  • stress, anxiety, or depression
  • poor posture or sitting at a desk all day
  • muscle strain
  • sleep disorders
  • spinal curvatures such as scoliosis
  • other disorders

You should consult a doctor to find out the real source of your pain. It can also be helpful to keep a sleep and stress journal which can help you find patterns with which to identify the source your discomfort. Things like self-care, exercise, eating well, and massage therapy could help as well, but make sure to talk with your doctor before taking action to change any of your habits.

 

If Your Mattress is the Culprit

If you believe the source of your back pain is from your raggedy old mattress, it might simply be time to get a new one! Here are a few ways to tell if you need to replace your mattress:

  • Do you sleep better when you’re away from home?
  • Are there any lumps or saggy spots on your mattress?
  • Is your mattress older than ten years?
  • Is your mattress too soft?

 

Is Your Mattress Helping or Hurting Your Condition?

Maybe your mattress isn’t the cause of your pain … but you suspect it’s not helping the problem either. Many people who experience back pain from things like stress, type of work, or a physical condition may find that their mattress is only making it worse. You may wake up feeling more tired, filled with aches and pains.

But your mattress should be helping your body and mind, not hurting it! That’s why it’s important that you have a high-quality mattress that’s the right level of support and firmness, which allows for you to have a properly aligned spine and keeps pressure off your major joints.

 

Support and Firmness Are Not the Same Thing

It’s important to understand the difference between support and firmness. A soft mattress and a firm mattress can both be equally supportive, and the level of firmness is usually a matter of preference. To know how much firmness is best for your body simply requires testing different levels and paying attention to how comfortable you are and how you feel when you wake up in the morning.

Although there is no one size fits all formula, here are a few generalizations to guide you as you investigate what kind of mattress is right for you:

  • Most people who suffer from back pain benefit from a medium to firm level mattress.
  • Many lighter sleepers find more comfort from a soft to medium level of firmness.
  • If you sleep on your side or if you already suffer from hip pain or inflammation, you might want to consider a medium level of firmness. The burden from a firmer mattress pressing up against your hips could exacerbate your problem.

 

Avocado Recommendations

If you think you would benefit from a medium to firm mattress, we recommend trying the Standard Avocado Green Mattress, which has the perfect balance of firmness and comfort.

If you sleep on your side, already suffer from hip pain, or are a light sleeper, we recommend adding our pillow-top, which combines the support of our standard mattress with plush, luxurious comfort to take the pressure off your joints.

 

Don’t Forget About Your Pillow!

Having a supportive pillow can be just as important as getting the right mattress. If you have a worn out, too soft, or too firm pillow, this can cause mis-alignments in your spine which can cause back and neck pain as well.

 

What Else Is Lurking In Your Mattress?

Sometimes, just getting the best, most restful night of sleep is all you need to help your back or joint pain. Unfortunately, most mattresses are filled with toxic chemicals like flame retardants, pesticides, and endocrine disruptors that can cause long term issues for you and your family without even realizing it. Making sure you have a mattress that is made out of all natural ingredients is essential to healthy sleep patterns.

 

Try It, Without Risk

Purchasing a new mattress is an investment — for your wallet as well as your body and mind — and you should take it seriously. Being an educated consumer is important. But before you make any decisions, be sure that you select a mattress from a company that offers a lengthy in-home trial period (at least 60 days), and choose a company that offers free returns, in the unlikely event that you’re not totally happy. (For example, Avocado features a 100-night sleep trial, free shipping, and free returns.)