Is an orthopedic mattress good for back pain?

4.3/5 - (20 votes)

In a world with inevitable hurting, physical ailments especially back pain torment the lives of millions of people all across the world. Back pain, especially in the lower part of the back, has been experienced at least once by over 80% of adults in their lifetime. 

Back pain is not a disorder but definitely makes you feel impaired and unable to function as well as you could. Lower back pain, also called lumbago, is a symptom of many different types of problems with the physical body. It usually stems from issues occurring within the body such as:

● Ligaments

● Muscles

● Nerves

● Vertebrae (vertebral bodies)

Back pain can also be caused by problems with organs nearby such as the kidneys. However, the most common causes of back pain can come from too much straining due to over-activity such as lifting too many heavy objects or sudden awkward movements. 

That stiff and sore feeling you get sometimes after a few hours of yard work or even just remaining stationary for a long time can cause back pain for a person. With over 50% of people experiencing back pain more than once within a year, it is important to do everything possible to avoid future complications with the body. Fortunately for most of the time, many complications with the back can be relieved or healed without surgery. 

Orthopedic to the Rescue

The term orthopaedic relates to the correction of deformities within bones and muscles. Orthopaedic mattresses by the very definition are excellent for any person suffering from back pain. 

They come with many benefits that can help alleviate the stress on the areas causing the pain. These minor changes from other mattresses make a huge difference in the way your body rests against the surface and brings about a dramatic change in your sleep habits and overall well being. 

What Makes a Mattress Orthopedic?

Orthopedic, as it is very general in its descriptions to help back pain, has a few key features to look out for when selecting the right mattress. Most types of mattresses can be classified as “orthopaedic” which means there should be extra care taken when choosing a mattress specifically for helping reduce back pain symptoms.  A quick look at the key components of a good orthopaedic mattress show that these make up the most effective orthopaedic mattress:

● Accurate firmness and support

● Flexibility 

● Material and construction 

 One of the most natural ways to help spinal alignment and reduce the soreness within the back is to reduce the amount that the body contours as it lays on the mattress. The firmness of a mattress affects the quality of sleep that you get no matter what type of person you are. You want to feel supported, not sunken deeply into layers and layers of material.  The mattress should be flexible enough for your body shape to fit in it but lying on a marshmallow will cause the unnatural curve of the body to be permanent. This will only carry on the tense and stiff feeling in the back after waking up and posture will further decline.

Quality of the materials is essential to any sleeper but especially to people with consistent back pain. Mattresses listed in the orthopaedic category are made from materials from latex, memory foam, fabric-covered springs, etc.  Many customers have taken a liking to latex mattresses for its springy action and a lesser chance of heating up at night. Memory foam mattresses are still one of the reigning champions in the realm of orthopaedic mattresses with their well-known support. 

What’s Inside an Orthopedic Mattress?

Orthopedic mattresses are available with different comfort and support layers made from different materials. Each type has its own special benefits that help every individual user and their special needs. 

Here are the standards types of fillings used in orthopedic mattresses:

● Standard springs

● Pocket springs

● Memory foam

● Reflex foam

● Gel foam

● Latex

● Natural fillings 

With all those layers building up a mattress of support, orthopedic mattresses do tend to be heavier than the average mattress. If you are someone who is moving around a lot or want something transportable, there are orthopedic mattresses available that come already rolled up in their packaging. This makes it easy to maneuver home from the manufacturer, from room to room, house to house. 

A quality orthopedic mattress should have at least several years under warranty to defend the integrity of the brand for its structure and support. The best mattress brands will have this readily available as they are confident in the mattress’s capabilities but want the owner to enjoy it too.

Firmness and Support

As this is guaranteed to be the secret of success for all orthopedic mattresses, it cannot be stressed enough that proper firmness and support will be the key to achieving a proper pain-free sleep. It is necessary that while laying down, the entire body and especially the pressure points in the hips, back, and neck are given the support they need. The spine should have constant support and remain in contact with the mattress at all times. 

Proper firmness across all areas of the mattress surface will distribute the weight evenly across the top and removes any unnecessary stress on the spine. The areas in which you need more or less flexibility or comfort depends on the individual user themselves. 

Is Orthopedics the Right Choice for Me?

Orthopedics are appreciated by those who either like sleeping on a firmer surface at night or for the typical user experiencing back and joint pain. The firm surface of the orthopedic mattress promotes healthy posture alignment which helps relieve the body from excess pressure. 

Some people naturally like sleeping on a harder surface. They enjoy the stability and firmness of a good support system. Orthopedic mattresses come in different levels of firmness. There is “firm” or even “extra firm” available depending on the type of user. 

How Long do Orthopedic Mattresses Last?

 Like all other mattresses, they need to be changed every so often after years of facing continuous stress. Experts recommend changing the mattress every 7-8 years especially if the mattress is intentionally used as an orthopedic mattress.

As time goes on the mattress will seem to be fine. It still has its cushion and feels the same way as it used to. Why bother getting a new mattress when the old one works just as well? When you do find yourself lying on a new orthopedic mattress, you will most likely feel a difference. 

After continual use, the springs or fillings inside the mattresses will have weakened as well. This means you are probably not receiving the orthopedic support that your body needs. Your conscious mind may not always recognize it but your body will be able to tell the difference apart from a good support system to an old, worn out one.

Top Orthopedic Mattress Brands

Sealy Millionaire Bad Backs Mattress

● 100% polyester fiber fillings

● Good for average-heavy weight people

● Hand tufted buttons to add extra tension to springs 

● Breathable and elastic thick knitted cover 

AmazonBasics Extra comfort 7-Zone Pocket Spring Mattress for Bad backs

● Affordable price 

● Recovery foam and Polyurethane foam

● 7-zone design for optimal comfort 

● Medium-firm

● Hypoallergenic mattress cover

Happy Beds Orthopedic Open Coil Spring with reflex foam for Back Pain

● Medium tension firm support

● Upper layer is softer 

● Firm core center 

● Hand tufted fillings covered with Belgian Damask fabric 

Silentnight Back Pain Dreamworld Mirapocket 1200 Moonstone 

● 1200 pocket springs system 

● Additional zonal support

● Good for weight distribution 

● Hand stitches sides 

● Hypoallergenic mattress cover 

Leesa Premium Foam Back Pain Mattress UK Made

● Premium quality 3 layer foam 

● Polyester cover with seamless edges

● Cooling foam layer 

● Supportive foam layer

● Highly breathable