Back Pain: What if It’s Related to My Mattress?

Nicknamed the “pain of the century“, back pain is now a public health issue. Nearly 80% of the population suffers from it at least once in their lives. Back pain is more common among women: 61% against 39% among men. One person in five suffers from chronic back pain, which disrupts their quality of life.

Indeed, back pain disrupts your sleep. And this lack of sleep accentuates your pain. Pain is mainly a factor in poor sleep. But, a night with poor quality sleep is followed by more intense pain the next day.

A vicious circle is thus set in motion, but how do you manage to break it?

What if your bedding is the cause of your back pain and therefore of your sleep problems?

What Is Back Pain?

Back pain is a disorder that has become more and more prevalent in recent years, hence its nickname. However, it is not a disease but a set of symptoms linked to an accumulation of different elements. Thus, by determining the origin of the causes, we can succeed in treating back pain.

But then, where can back pain come from?

Your Bad Posture

In 46% of cases, back pain is related to poor posture: at work, at home, in the car. The French stay an average of 7h30 in a seated position, so if you’re sitting badly, it’s easier to understand why. But it is not only in this position that we can cause back pain. Bad posture can also occur due to the work you have while you sleep, or even when you stand.

So, to reduce and eliminate back pain, you will have to focus on your lifestyle habits.


Can my stress be related to my back pain? Well, yes, you can!

Indeed, stress is your body’s response to a threat or constraint. Although it is essential to our survival, it can be dangerous for your health if it becomes too much. Stress causes physical tension that will be felt on the muscles of the back and neck in particular. These two sensitive areas will then tighten and become painful.

Stress is a factor not to be neglected since it represents 13% of the origin of back pain in France.

So, yes, an active life is good, but make sure you take care of yourself all the same!

Your Poor Lifestyle

Do you sleep less than 7 hours a night? Don’t you have time for sports? Do you eat on the go and snack during the day? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you’ve just found one of the reasons for your back pain.

7% of back pain is related to a low lifestyle. Being overweight and sedentary have a significant impact on our back. Fortunately, it is possible to take measures to limit these two situations: to start exercising or to decide to move more by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, by walking to the bakery instead of driving, by taking a short walk every day after lunch and finally to adopt a healthy and varied diet.

A Trauma

In some cases, back pain may be related to trauma. It may be a physical trauma associated with an inadequate warm-up during the practice of your sport. Or the back pain may be the result of an accident you have suffered: at work, at home, on the way to or from work. Finally, it is possible to hurt your back by carrying too heavy loads without taking precautions.

These phenomena are not without consequences. Indeed, even if the expression “back pain” considers all the pains in the spine, it is possible to classify these pains into three groups.

Cervical pain: this is pain generally located in the upper back, in the cervical vertebrae. It is usually associated with stress and poor posture.

Low back pain or lumbago: the pain is located in the lower back, at the lumbar vertebrae level. Caused by a sudden or prolonged effort, it is the most frequent pain.

Dorsalgia: pain is felt in the middle of the back, up to the root of the neck, at the level of the dorsal vertebrae.

Two other pathologies are frequently found but do not fall into these categories:

Herniated disc: disease related to the displacement or injury of intervertebral discs causing pain in the lumbar region. More information on herniated discs can be found in our article Herniated discs: treatment and osteopathy.

Sciatica: Also known as sciatica neuralgia, it irritates the sciatic nerve due to pressure. The pain is usually felt in the back, buttock or leg. The particularity of sciatic pain is that it is unilateral.

In most cases, to relieve these pains, your reflex will be to take painkillers. Please don’t deny it! 52% of French people take pain killers orally or take anti-inflammatory drugs in gel form.

However, there are many other ways to relieve these pains, much simpler and more effective. But above all, have you asked yourself the right questions about your habits?

An Excellent Mattress to Relieve Your Back

After taking something for your pain, you decide to lie down, hoping that the back pain will go away. But what if this reflex makes your situation worse? Indeed, if your mattress is not adapted, it will only accentuate your back pain instead of relieving you. By spending a third of our life sleeping, it is, therefore, necessary that our bedding soothes our back pain and does not aggravate it.

But to do this, we must already understand why our bedding is not comfortable. Our article How to choose the right bedding can also help.

Mattress Too Hard? Too Soft?

We often hear that a hard mattress is better than a soft one. But that’s not entirely true. It all depends on your build and possible back pain.

Mattresses that are too soft don’t help with back pain. On the contrary, the back can become deformed and in the long run, create tensions and contractures after having remained motionless for a long time.

A mattress that is too rigid; on the other hand, could awaken your back pain and also create hyper pressure on the hips and shoulders.

Do You Sleep as A Couple?

Sleeping as a couple is fine, but only if you don’t get in the way at night. Poor quality sleep accentuates back pain. So, if your mattress moves when your spouse turns over in his sleep, it may be that your bed has low sleeping independence. The best thing to do then is to find the mattress that will cushion each sleeper’s movements.

How Long Have You Owned Your Mattress?

A mattress generally has a lifespan of 7 to 8 years. When this duration is superior, the bed loses its firmness with wear and tear. It is, therefore, necessary to change it after eight years. Sleeping on a new mattress will reduce back pain and stress.

How to Choose the Right Mattress to Avoid Back Pain?

Each person is different and may prefer this or that mattress. But between latex, memory foam and springs, it is sometimes hard to find your way around without forgetting that there are now mattresses that adapt to your morphology.

So, which mattress to choose among all these offers? We’ll tell you more about the intrinsic qualities of the bed that you should pay attention to.

The Firmness of The Mattress

No more mattresses that are too soft or too firm! The problem with a bed that is too soft is that it can cause the pelvis to sag, bringing the cervical vertebrae to a higher position about the lumbar vertebrae.

Conversely, mattresses that are too firm prevent the natural curvature of the back from following the back’s natural curvature, thus increasing stiffness.

Mattress Comfort

The formula to remember: a feeling of comfort with a certain softness!

Temperature Regulation by The Mattress

A dimension sometimes neglected, reasonable regulation of the body temperature by the mattress is essential. Indeed, being too hot or conversely too cold considerably modifies your pain threshold.

The Right Dimensions of The Mattress

Keep in mind that your mattress must, as much to your partner as to you, offer a quality sleep! To do this, choose a large bed over other furniture if the space you will be settling in is not very large.

If you find a mattress that has all its qualities, then it is the right one! Go for it!

The Overlay Mattress for Back Pain

The purchase of a new mattress is not yet on the program, yet you want to limit the digging. The solution? The mattress topper!

The overlay mattress is a thin mattress that is inserted between your fitted sheet and your bed. It provides an extra layer of comfort while relieving back pain.

But then, how to find the ideal overlay mattress?

There is no such thing as an ideal mattress overlay; it’s mostly a question of what suits you best.

However, Colas Normand’s memory foam mattress topper is today’s reference in quality mattress toppers.

In addition to relieving your back pain, it offers many benefits and advantages:

In addition to relieving your back pain, it has many benefits and advantages:

  • Fits your morphology
  • Facilitates your muscular recovery.
  • Prolongs the life of your mattress
  • Improves your sleep
  • Brings comfort to your nights
  • Increases the lifespan of your mattress
  • Limits your partner’s vibrations

The Osteopath’s Advice to Choose Your Mattress

Adapt to Your Size and Morphology

Your size and build are the first factors to take into account. They help you determine the mattress size that best suits you.

Little extra: Choose a mattress length that is 20 cm longer than your height and a width that leaves some room for your movements.

Opt for A Wide Choice of Bedding

Memory Foam Mattress

Considered the top-of-the-line mattress for the bedding, this mattress weighs your weight and the contours of your body. The memory foam reacts to heat and body temperature and creates a relaxation of all your tension points. It’s very long lifespan makes us forget its relatively high price.

Latex Mattresses

Latex makes the mattress supple, soft and firm at the same time. This mattress, therefore, adapts perfectly to your morphology. The 100% natural latex can regulate itself permanently, and its elasticity allows the bed to always return to its initial shape.

All the characteristics that define it make it a more than economical and profitable purchase.

Spring Mattress

The springs have the particularity of supporting all areas of the body.

This mattress is perfectly suited for people with larger body size. Also, the springs offer better ventilation to the bed. So, if you tend to be hot at night, this mattress is made for you!

Orthopaedic Mattress

Mattress has a strong tendency to support the spine well during the night and distribute the weight of your body on the whole bed. This mattress is more recommended for people suffering from chronic back pain or people who have undergone surgery.

Test Your Mattress

It is preferable to try a mattress before proceeding with the purchase. That way, you will be able to determine which one suits your expectations. And then, to try it is to adopt it!

Note that while better bedding can offer better sleep, it cannot be the only answer to your back problems. For this, do not hesitate to consult an osteopath who will tell you more about your back pain!

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