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Choose a Bed for your Back & Leg Pain

Written By SunCoast SpineCare on September 28, 2017

What kind of Bed Should I Buy for Low Back Pain & Leg Pain

We spend approximately 1/3 of our lives in bed so we need to have a good supportive mattress to protect our spines.  Most traditional mattresses are satisfactory for 2-3 years.  The higher end mattresses differ in that they remain firm for longer periods of time, but usually lose their firmness after about 7 years.  Unfortunately this occurs so gradually that the average person does not realize it until years later and it could be too late.  Spinal problems could have developed in the time it takes to realize the mattress is too soft.  Before I get into the mattress that I recommend to my patients, let’s first discuss the best sleeping positions.     The two best positions to sleep are on your side or on your back.  The absolute worst position to sleep is on your stomach.  If you want to develop low back pain and herniated discs, sleep on your stomach; It may take a few years, but you will get your wish.   So obviously you are left with the first two options.  Side lying is usually the best position, but some people with acute pain may feel more comfortable on their backs.  Lying on the back is slightly more stressful to the spine and discs than lying on the side, but it is usually not a problem.

Let me preface the next comment with a disclaimer.  I am not affiliated with Select Comfort, nor do I benefit in any fashion when I recommend their beds to my patients.  I own their mattresses and highly recommend them because they are very good for the spine.  Select Comfort beds are commonly known as “the sleep number beds”.  It is an air mattress with two compartments, one for each spouse or partner.  Each individual can control the firmness of his or her side with the use of a remote control.  You start with maximum inflation and then release a little air at a time until you feel the bed conforming to your spine.  It is like lying on a custom made mattress.  They may cost a little more than traditional coiled mattresses, however it will be the last mattress you ever buy because they don’t wear out. 

Why should the mattress conform to your spine?

The human spine is made up of 28 movable bones that are straight when looking from the back and organized into three curves when looking from the side; a “C” curve in the neck, backwards “C” curve in the mid-back and a “C” curve in the lower back.  These curves must be supported when sitting or lying down.  When they are not supported, cumulative stress is placed on the spine and this can lead to spinal problems in the future.  One of the types of conditions that can develop is a problem with the spinal discs, which separate and protect the vertebrae.  Herniated and degenerated discs can cause severe pain in the lower back and radiate into the legs.  They must be properly treated before nerve damage develops. 

Dr. Schwartz is highly successful at treating disc problems with Cox Distraction and VAX-D.  What Is VAX-D?

Check out the Mattress by clicking on Sleep Number Bed.