By Nathan Reynolds: Chiropractor Victoria Point Chiropractic
Some of the most common questions asked by patients are mattress and pillow related. It is estimated that humans spend around 33 percent of their lives sleeping, so ensuring your mattress and sleep postures are correct is very important.
In regards to correct mattress choice, it will vary depending on the person. In my opinion a healthy uninjured person needs a firm mattress. Our natural spinal curves inevitably increase under the weight of gravity after being upright all day, whether sitting or standing, so sleeping is a chance for our spines to traction out. Lying on a firm surface is great way to decrease back pain generally. If the bed is too soft your curves sink into the mattress and do not get the chance to lengthen and stretch and therefore cannot break the cycle of repetitive strain on the spinal ligaments. However, most people want some cushioning so a firm mattress and medium topper for comfort is a good combination. In the case of some conditions such as osteoarthritis, a firmer mattress may not be the best option so always consult someone qualified if you have existing back or joint pain.
Pillow choice is also important. Sleeping is a great chance to reduce the anterior head carriage we develop in the day after slouching in front of a computer or getting around a worksite all day. Like the rest of our spine the neck must be allowed to traction and stretch during sleep. Pillow choice will ultimately depend on your sleep position. If you lay on your back, a low pillow with some neck support is best. If you lay on your side, you need a bigger and concave pillow to raise the distance between your head and shoulder to keep the neck aligned with the rest of the spine. If you lay on your stomach you need to learn to sleep on your side or back!
Some simple concepts to think about when purchasing you next mattress or pillow are outlined above. For a more detailed explanation and advice please visit your chiropractor.Back to Chiropractic News