back pain mattress

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Your Mattress and Back Pain

For many patients with chronic low back pain, the lack of sleep and sufficient rest period that allows some relaxation is a major obstacle to a good quality of life. The hypothesis is that a lumbar support will distribute the force of gravity more uniformly over the pelvic, lumbar and thoracic areas, maintaining the lumbar lordosis, in a supine posture. The results confirm the hypothesis that a lumbar support inserted in a mattress allows a more homogenous distribution of contact pressure over the pelvic, lumbar and thoracic areas during supine posture. The use of an inflatable cushion favouring a transition of the contact pressure from the pelvic to the lumbar region could potentially limit unfavourable compressive and shearing forces acting on the lumbar spine.
- JCCA J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2005 Jun;49(2):96-101. Biomechanical effects of a lumbar support in a mattress.Normand MC, Descarreaux M, Poulin C, Richer N, Mailhot D, Black P, Dugas C.

It was found that for the cheapest category of beds, lower back pain was significantly more prominent than for the medium and higher priced beds. Reduction of pain and stiffness and improvement of sleep comfort and quality became more prominent over time.It was concluded that new bedding systems can significantly improve selected sleep variables and that continuous sleep quality may be dependent on timely replacement of bedding systems.
- Appl Ergon. 2008 Mar;39(2):247-54. Epub 2007 Jun 26. Grouped comparisons of sleep quality for new and personal bedding systems.Jacobson BH, Wallace TJ, Smith DB, Kolb T.

This study tried to determine whether clinical and statistically significant changes in back pain, shoulder pain, spine stiffness, and quality of sleep may be documented after use of a prescribed bedding system. The experimental bedding system reduced back pain by 57.21% (P =.000001), reduced shoulder pain by 60.83%, reduced back stiffness by 59.12%, and improved quality of sleep by 60.73%. Results suggest that subjects obtain significant improvement in shoulder and back pain, back stiffness, and quality of sleep after 28 days of prescribed bedding system use as compared with 28 days of personal bedding use. Female subjects and those with lower body weight were more likely to significantly improve than heavier and more obese subjects.
- J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2002 Feb;25(2):88-92. Effectiveness of a selected bedding system on quality of sleep, low back pain, shoulder pain, and spine stiffness.Jacobson BH, Gemmell HA, Hayes BM, Altena TS.

This study evaluated three structurally different mattresses relative influence on patients with chronic low back pain. The beds were: (1) waterbed (Akva), (2) body-conforming foam mattress (Tempur), and (3) a hard mattress (Innovation Futon). Both the waterbed and the foam mattress seemed superior to the hard mattress, especially when using the probably most relevant "worst case" data. There were no relevant difference between the effects of the water bed and the foam bed. The Waterbed and foam mattress' did influence back symptoms, function and sleep more positively as apposed to the hard mattress, but the differences were small.
- Spine. 2008 Apr 1;33(7):703-8. Better backs by better beds?Bergholdt K, Fabricius RN, Bendix T.

References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health.

last update: April 2009

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