A good night's sleep on a comfortable bed is essential for optimal health, especially when low back pain is a factor. Chiropractors agree that mattresses should be neither too soft nor too firm, and that a mattress type that relieves pain for one person may have different results for another. Dynamic Chiropractic asserts that mattresses are health care products that can retain the natural position of the spine and reduce subluxations -- partial dislocations of the joints -- when properly fitted. A prescription bedding system can significantly reduce back pain, decrease back stiffness and improve the quality of sleep.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Chiropractors highly recommend memory foam mattresses because they are breathable and adjust to the individual's shape so that there are no gaps between body and mattress. The spine has optimal alignment because body weight is evenly supported reducing pressure points that cause or intensify pain. Two popular memory foam manufacturers are Tempur-Pedic, with their NASA created memory foam formula, and BioPosture BioMemoryFoam, designed in part by chiropractors and featuring two top layers of plant-based memory foam.
Inner Spring Mattresses
Chiropractors also recommend inner spring mattresses, the most commonly sold mattresses on the market. They feature a structure composed of many individual wire coils surrounded by a strong border wire that lends support and prevents sagging. The coils are padded with insulation and upholstery. Inner spring mattresses are designed for use with box springs, which add additional support. The mattress should range from soft to medium firm for best results, as chiropractors advise that a too-firm bed can worsen back pain. Chiropractors suggest adding egg crate foam or mattress pads for too-firm mattresses.
Adjustable beds allow users to adjust the head, foot and centre of the bed in different positions. The mattresses are specially built to accommodate the motions involved in bed movement and can come equipped with either innerspring, memory foam or air padding as well as massage and heat control capabilities. Besides alleviating joint and back pain, adjustable beds aid in a number of other health-related issues such as acid reflux, circulatory and breathing problems.
Waterbeds can provide relief for some types of pain, including back pain, because of their lack of pressure points. There are two types: soft-sided and the traditional hard-sided. Hard-sided waterbeds feature a bladder (water filled chamber) that sits on and is shaped by a hard wooden frame. With soft-sided waterbeds the bladder is placed in foam and upholstery, giving it the appearance of a traditional bed. Extra support from a strong frame allows a soft-sided waterbed to rest on a regular box spring.