Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mattresses: They Can Make or Break You

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One of my primary focuses as a chiropractor, is preventing health problems before the onset of symptoms.  During appointments with patients, examining the spine for postural misalignments, is routine.  Such misalignments, also known as vertebral subluxation, may lead to a wide range of ailments, such as back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches.  Studies have also suggested that vertebral subluxations may be related to ear infections, Parkinson's disease, high blood pressure, colic and other maladies.  In our office, I also emphasizes the power of prevention with my patients by teaching monthly wellness courses and educating patients about vertebral subluxation and how to treat them through chiropractic adjustments, as well as teaching about nutrition, stress reduction and exercise, as a means of preventative measures.

When it comes to rest, your mattress can have a large impact on the quality of your sleep.  If you suffer from disturbed sleep due to shoulder pain, low back pain or spine stiffness, here are a couple of studies to consider:

A 2002 study of 22 individuals between the ages of 25-75 took a look at individuals who had been dealing with ongoing disturbed sleep due to chronic pain of the shoulder, back or spine.  With the implementation of prescribed bedding reduced back pain by 57%, shoulder pain 61% and back stiffness 59%.  The subjects quality of sleep improving by 61%.  (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2002;25:88-92.)

A 2003 study researched mattress firmness and how subjects with back pain responded to either a firm or medium-firm mattress.  The study was conducted according to the European Committee for Standardization which places mattresses and their firmness on a scale beginning at 1.0, the firmest and ending at 10.0 the softest.  The study then took 313 adults who dealt with regular backache and/or stiffness while lying in bed and upon rising, and randomly assigned them to either a firm or medium-firm mattress for 90 days.  The study found that 95% of the subjects who used medium-firm mattresses had less pain in bed and upon rising than the patients who used a firm mattress. (Lancet 2003; 362:1599-604.)

Choosing a Mattress

There are many options for mattresses on the market.  Let's take a look at a handful of them:

Adjustable Beds 

These mattresses make a couple happy, as each sleeper can adjust the head and foot portions of the mattress.  This is definitely a selling point for someone whose spouse has a particular spinal issue.  However, be aware that sleeping with the spine on an angle can instigate vertebral subluxations.

Airbeds

Instead of being filled with springs or foam, the bed is filled with, you guessed it--air!  An airbed allows the consumer to adjust the firmness of the mattress.  This is the kind of mattress that I have and love.

Tempur-Pedic Mattresses

These mattresses are based on the material that was created for NASA's Ames Research Center in the 1970's to protect astronauts from gravitational forces experienced during lift-off.  The mattress' best selling points are it is made of open-celled, temperature sensitive and breathable material, which allows for body weight to be evenly distributed over the entire surface area.

If you are shopping for a new mattress, or will be in the near future, look at all of your options and don't be afraid to tell the sales associate your questions and concerns.  Your mattress and its quality effect both your sleep and your body!

Also, on occasion, local mattress stores offer patients of Davis Family Chiropractic discounts.  Inquire within our office to see about the latest offers.

Best in health, naturally,

Dr. Marc

5 comments:

Connie October 4, 2012 at 12:04 AM  

Wonderful information!

organic mattress san diego October 31, 2012 at 2:03 PM  

Hi, Dr. Marc, how about water bed, is that ok to use? Thanks.

Ben casey April 1, 2013 at 3:41 AM  

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Claudio Timbers April 2, 2013 at 2:22 AM  

As a Newbie, I am permanently exploring online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you best adjustable bed reviews

Calvin Brock September 19, 2013 at 4:51 AM  

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more! what is the best mattress for me

Health Disclaimer

This information on this web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting Dr. Marc, your pediatrician or family doctor.

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