You might have been suffering from back and body pain for years, but maybe it's not your back or your body that's causing the issues. Maybe it's an old mattress and old pillows that need to be replaced that are causing your pain and suffering.
Hey everybody, it's Dr. Bob Salamon here with Lowcountry Chiropractic. Today we are going to talk about pillows and mattresses. I often see patients in my office who are not paying attention to their mattresses as they get old, and it creates a lot of back issues for them. Why is a mattress so important to your health? A quarter to a third of our life is spent laying on a mattress and sleeping. Think about it. If you're sleeping on a mattress 6 to 8 hours a day, that adds up to a quarter to a third of your life, so you want to make sure that you have a great mattress that takes care of your spine and allows you to get a good night's rest. Sleep is the only time our body repairs itself from all the work it's done during the day, so if you're not getting a good night's sleep, your body begins to break down and wear out quicker than it normally would. There are so many reasons why you should put emphasis on a good mattress. I hear it all the time from my patients who go to bed and they feel fine, but when they wake up their back is killing them. That is a very telling sign that your mattress needs to go.
Where do you start when picking out the best mattress? Over the last twenty years, there have been a lot of changes in the industry. There are so many more products and competitors than there used to be. This is a great thing because when you get more competition, the cost of the product comes down. So you can get a high-quality product at a lower price. You can buy a nice mattress today for not a ton of money. There are three basic types of mattresses that you need to know about to understand what you should be considering when buying your next mattress.
Let's take a moment to recap memory foam mattresses and all of these options in general. Remember, you want a mattress that is fairly firm and one that comes with a good warranty. Most mattresses come with a 20-year warranty now, and that's just fantastic! You don't have to turn or flip a memory foam mattress to get the full use out of it, which is another great advantage. Bedbugs, mites, and other bugs don't like memory foam mattresses, whereas they love those traditional coil mattresses. You can buy the perfect mattress for you online from companies like Casper or Purple. You can find them at Costco and Sams Club too. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to get a good quality mattress. Go to your local Mattress Firm and see what they have. One of my patients just bought a mattress online that came highly recommended and she loves it. It was a full-size mattress for only a couple hundred dollars. You don't have to break the bank for a great mattress.
In terms of pillows, I sleep on a contoured pillow. One end is smaller than the other, and you need to sleep on the smaller end of the pillow with it placed right under your neck. You can use the larger end to do stretches before you go to bed. For our patients who have very straight necks, we give them exercises to do using the thick end of a contoured pillow. I like the memory foam contoured pillows because they give a little bit and are more forgiving. Many different companies make these wonderful pillows; you just need to find the company that's perfect for you!
Now that you know about the best mattresses and pillows out there, what is the best posture for sleeping? The worst way to sleep is to sleep on your stomach because you have to turn your head to breathe, and when you do that all the vertebrae in your neck shift, causing irritated nerves and tightened neck muscles. Stomach sleeping also puts a lot of pressure on your abdominal contents like intestines and other vital organs, which is just not good. The best ways to sleep are either on your side or your back, depending on what you're most comfortable doing.
I hope all of this helps! If you're having problems sleeping or are waking up in pain it may be your mattress. It might also be that your spine needs to get checked. Generally, if I'm working with someone and they are still waking up in pain, it's usually not their spine that is causing the pain. It is usually their mattress, and it's time to get a new one. Come see us! We will be happy to talk you through all of this, give you proper advice, and keep your spine in good health! I'm Dr. Bob and I've got your back covered!
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