Mattresses – Is sleeping a pain in the neck?

Neck & low back pain are common ailments.  In fact, behind the common cold they are the second most common reason for a trip to the GP.  Why is it then that in spite of spending around 1/3 of our lives in bed, we overlook our mattress & pillows as a cause for such pain?  For example when we get foot pain, one of the first places we look is at our shoes!

“What bed & pillow should I use??”  It is a question that we have all asked at one time or another.  There are still no hard & fast rules when it comes to prescribing beds and pillows.  However, just like fitting shoes to feet, we need to match beds to bodies.  Essentially we keep the same posture when we lie down as we do when we are upright.  So it should then follow that we want to support the same areas.  Generally a mattress should have varying degrees of reinforcement in order to provide support under the lower-back and thighs, as well as comfort under the head, pelvis & lower legs.

In a similar sense, pillows should maintain your head in alignment with the rest of your body.  Too hard a pillow will raise your head too high, & too soft a pillow will let you drop down too low.  A pillow should conform to the shape of our head & neck which again makes the choice of pillow very much an individual one.

Finally, everyone knows when their shoes have passed their use & all support is gone.  Equally mattresses & pillows have limited life expectancies, so if your mattress is saggy it’s time for an upgrade. 

 

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