Mattress Matters and Pillow Talk
Finding the right mattress and pillows for your body is almost as necessary as regular appointments with your chiropractor. Introducing the right mattress and pillows to your sleep set-up can relieve back and neck pain in the short and long term, especially when coupled with regular chiropractic care. Your chiropractic work doesn't end when you leave Get Adjusted Chiropractic. Daily routine and items, like the mattress you sleep on, can impact your overall health and wellness. Supporting your body with the appropriate tools elongates the effects of adjustments or specialized treatments performed by Dr. Justin Lewis.
Don't Sleep on This
An unsupportive mattress and pillow combination is one of the leading causes of back pain. Starting your day off in pain isn't setting yourself up for success! Dr. Justin Lewis explains that the wrong mattress or pillow will only intensify any discomfort you already suffer from and may cancel out any improvements made during your chiropractor appointments. Selecting the correct mattress and pillow for your body type can prevent any short or long-term pain, eliminating that morning discomfort that seeps into the rest of your day. Your chiropractic would be able to recommend the specific type of mattress for your needs.
"You want a mattress more on the firm side," recommends Dr. Justin Lewis. "You want your mattress to provide support, and you shouldn't be melting into your mattress; it should be there for support. Comfort is key, but you need rigid support!" When it comes to pillows, there are two things to keep in mind. If you are a side sleeper, Dr. Justin Lewis suggests a pillow that will allow your head to remain parallel with your mattress. If the pillow is too small, you'll bend your neck too much to find comfort. If your pillow is too large, it'll force your head in the opposite direction and cause unnecessary stress on the neck.
"For back sleepers, you should be using a thin pillow that allows the head to rest back," explains Dr. Justin Lewis. "A pillow too big for a back sleep will cause forward head posture, and that puts a ton of stress on the base of the neck." An investment in the right mattress and pillow is an investment in your spinal, joint, and overall health. If you can, budget for the mattress appropriate to support your chiropractic needs and complete that with the correct pillows.
Back sleepers need the perfect combination mattress solution. If a mattress is too firm, these sleepers could experience unnecessary tension at the shoulders and lower back. If the mattress is too soft, their hips may sink out of alignment with their shoulders — resulting in a bowed back and shooting pains up the spine. Back sleepers should find a medium-firm mattress for proper support.
Side sleepers need deep pressure relief at the shoulders and hips. You should stick with a softer mattress that contours to the curves of the body to help prevent uncomfortable jamming in the night.
Stomach sleepers provide an opposite need to side sleepers in that these sleepers should have an ultra-firm mattress that lifts the hips in line with the shoulders. A soft mattress may cause the hips to sink out of alignment with the rest of the spine, so Dr. Justin Lewis recommends highly supportive models.
Sleep Ergonomics and Chiropractic Care
"Sleep Ergonomics" references the postures and positions we take in our sleep. These sleeping postures are either supported by our mattress and pillow combination or encourage more pain than we went to bed with the night before. Sleep hygiene, or the quality of your sleep within your sleep schedule, directly affects your overall health and chiropractic work.
Your mattress and pillows should keep your body in its natural position while sleeping, allowing you to rest appropriately at the end of the day. The best mattress for you will conform to your spine's natural curve and keep your spine aligned. While there is no one "perfect" mattress, there will be the most suitable mattress for your needs based on your chiropractor's suggestions. Flip your mattress every few months as well, to avoid creating any indentations in your typical sleeping spots. You should replace a mattress every five to seven years of regular use, or when recommended by your chiropractor to replace if necessary. A worn-out mattress, or the incorrect type of mattress for your body, will impact your sleep and increase bodily discomfort.
Sleep ergonomics are also affected by your pillow choice. An ergonomic pillow will accommodate the sleeping position supported by your mattress choice. This will decrease any tension in your neck and shoulders that would otherwise accrue by sleeping in one place for extended periods. An ergonomic pillow will often be made of foam to retain your neck and head shape for better support. Like the right mattress, your pillow should keep your spine in its natural alignment the entire time you're asleep. Most people don't sleep in the most natural positions, resulting in tension points in the neck or lower back. The combination of an ergonomic pillow and mattress will correct that issue and reinforce proper spinal alignment.
Get Adjusted Chiropractic's Sleep Recommendations
The Best Mattress For You
Things to consider when replacing a mattress:
1. How old is your mattress?
2. What position do you sleep in?
3. What firmness do you need?
4. How much do you weigh?
5. What type of mattress do you need?
"For a side sleeper, your pillow should keep your head parallel with the mattress. A thin pillow is best for people that sleep on their back. Reducing stress on the neck is key!"
"Hamstring stretches are great to take pressure off of the back, whereas figure 4 stretch is a great stretch for people that sit all day. This allows you to sit longer with less stress on the body."
Prevent long term pain with Get Adjusted Chiropractic! Book an appointment online today or call our office at 845-809-8300 to schedule a visit with Dr. Justin Lewis.