Back pain is one of the most common complaints reported to doctors. It is the pain that is felt in the back and originates from muscles, joints, or other structures in the spine. Back pain can either be a one off, or can evolve into a chronic problem, causing extreme discomfort.
When you accidently cut your finger, you experience pain. This is due to pain signals, which are triggered by the damaged cells in your finger, being sent to your brain. This informs your brain that your body needs to take action to prevent further damage and/or ensure recovery from the damage. Though the sensation is painful, the pain is a useful response. Similarly, when you sprain a muscle in your back, you usually feel a snap of pain in your back, which is again, your body sending a signal, warning that something needs to be done.
However, if you experience persistent pain in your back, your body is no longer sending out warning signals and is no longer referring to damaged tissue, instead the warning system goes into overdrive, sending out repeated pain signals. Persistent pain signals, which is known as chronic pain, do not serve a useful purpose and it becomes harder to separate the useful pain signals from the disruptive ones.
Having the correct mattress, can make all the difference to how well you feel when you wake up in the morning, including whether you feel stiff and sore. Therefore it is incredibly important to choose a mattress that offers you the best comfort and support possible, both of which are provided by memory foam mattress.
What Causes Back Pain?
Your back is a complex structure, made up of bones, muscles, nerves and joints which is why is can be so difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes back pain. Yet most cases of back pain are due to minor sprains and injuries or a pinched nerve meaning that it can be triggered anyway, whether you are at home or work. Back pain can also be prompted during everyday activities, meaning it could strike at any time.
The most common causes of back pain include:
• Poor posture
• Slouching and hunching over computer screens
• Lifting objects incorrectly
• Sleeping on a sagging mattress
• Overuse of muscles, usually during exercise or repetitive movements
There are also risk factors which can increases your chances of developing back pain, these include:
• Being overweight puts extra pressure on your spine
• Smoking – damaged tissue in the back which is caused by smoking can lead to back problems
• Being pregnant places more strain on the back due to the extra weight of carrying a baby.
• Stress – it is believed that stress causes tension in the muscles of the back, which can result in back pain.
Types of Back Pain
Referring to any pain which is experienced in the area from the base of the skull to the shoulders, neck pain can even spread to the upper back or arms. Neck pain can include feelings of stiffness or tightness as well as periods of sharp pain. Severe cases can lead to a serious reduction in movement of the head and neck. It can develop from a serious accident, slouching over a computer screen or sleeping in an awkward position.
Upper and Middle Back Pain:
The upper and middle back is defined as the section of the vertebrate which runs from the base of the neck to the bottom of the ribcage. This type of back pain is less common than pain in the neck or lower back as the bones in this area are not required to move a lot. However just like other forms of back pain, it still can cause aching and stiffness or a sharp pain sensation. Usually, in this area of the back, pain is a result of pinched nerves in the spine by the ribs. The cause of pain here is often down to poor posture, so keeping your back as straight as possible is one way of preventing it developing.
Lower Back Pain:
The most common form of back pain, the lower back makes reference to the area between the bottom of the ribcage the top of the legs. Symptoms can range from stiffness and tension to soreness. The lower back is exposed to constant hard work as it supports the weight of the upper body. Often triggered by bending awkwardly or slouching, pain in the lower back is experienced by a lot of people.
Facts and Figures about Back Pain
• It is estimated that four out of every five adults (80%) will experience back pain at some stage in their life.
• Although in most cases back pain is nothing serious and disappears spontaneously, the sheer number of people affected makes it a very costly condition imposing a considerable burden on the individual and society.
• The number of people with back pain increases with advancing age, starting in school children and peaking in adults of 35 to 55 years of age. Back pain is just as common in adolescents as in adults.
• Back pain, in particular persistent back pain (i.e. <3 months), can have a significant impact on people’s lives. It frequently reduces their quality of life and adversely affects their family and social relationships.
Why is memory foam so good for Back Pain?
A mattress which is too hard or firm usually leads to aches and pains on pressure points at the heaviest points of your body. This in turn can lead to reduced blood circulation as well as increased pressure on your back and neck as the muscles work harder to keep the spine straight.
Mattresses that are too soft lack any proper support and encourage more energy to be used turning over, which can result in poor spine alignment. Again, it is down to your muscles working hard in order to support your body properly as your mattress doesn’t. This can result in waking up feeling stiff and in pain.
With a memory foam mattress however, you will not have to worry about whether your mattress is too hard or too soft, as it moulds perfectly to your body shape, creating a ‘sinking’ feeling yet still providing support. This also means that you are less likely to toss and turn at night, trying to find a comfortable position, which makes your muscles work harder, increasing the risk of developing pain. Instead memory foam allows you to rest comfortably, without putting any extra strain on your back. Overall this means that your spine is able to follow it’s natural curvature, reducing the risk of developing back pain during the day.
Memory foam mattresses also ease the pressure on joints, meaning that if you are suffering from back pain, then it will not be heightened whilst you sleep.
But don’t just listen to us, here is what our happy customers have to say…
‘I have had very little back pain since switching from my old pillowtop.’
‘After 3 weeks of use, I find that I am more apt to sleep thru the night and alot of my back pain I would have when I awoke in the morning is gone. Very worthwhile investment for the price.’
‘The mattress is wonderful and my husband and I are getting the best sleep ever with no back pain.’
‘This is the first memory foam mattress and it has been great for my lower back pain.’
‘It is so good, I want to buy another for another bed. Back pain went away and sleep is much more comfortable. It is a big YES!!!’
‘I sleep like a baby with no back pain.’
‘It is a firmer mattress than what I had which has helped my back’
‘Only had the new memory foam mattress for a month so far its awesome and my back pain is 99% better’
‘Today I was able to get out of bed normally instead if having to slowly ease out of the bed because of back pain! Very nice bed!’
‘Awesome, awesome bed. Even after one night, our back aches were gone!’
‘I really love this bed! I have struggled with neck and back and pain , and migraines for many years now and could not find a bed that would allow me to sleep only a few hrs at a time....until now!’
‘my back doesn't hurt so much when I wake up so it's all worth it.’
‘Mattress is absolutely wonderful. For the first time in years I woke up without lower back pain.’
‘Back pain in the morning vanished after one night on this mattress!’
‘Have slept on the new mattress for 3 nights and find it to be very comfortable. No aches and pains.’
‘no more pressure points and uncomfortable joints!’
‘My husband was wakeing up with such a back ache! Before springing for a whole new mattress we decided to try this Zen Mattress, and we sure are happy. two nights on this and already hubby is sleeping like a baby and awaking like a young lamb, he's so relaxed and guess what "No more back ache" Great Bed! Thanks you guys.’
‘The bed is wonderful, I woke up for the first time without back pain’
‘I used to have trouble sleeping and complained about how uncomfortable my mattress was now I l I have psoratic arthritis and this bed has cut my daily pain down trimendously.ove getting in bed ‘
‘Most comfortable sleep of my life! I was starting to worry that I might need to see a specialist about the hip discomfort I had been having, but it turns out I just needed a new mattress. The Zen is wonderful. I am comfortable on my back, side, or stomach.’
‘The bed is comparable to temperpedic’
Preventing Back Pain at Work
Back pain is the second most common reason for long term sickness being taken at work. The main causes of back pain developing at work are strained muscles, wear and tear, bad posture or stress. Usually back pain does not last long but it can cause a lot of discomfort, especially at work. There are a couple of suggestions which could help you improve your posture at work, which in turn could help prevent back pain from developing.
At your desk:
Most people, who have desk jobs, spend hours hunched over a computer screen, which can mean trouble for your back. The body can only tolerate being in one position for a short amount of time before it needs to be adjusted.
Factors that can affect your back include:
• Seating posture
• Position of your computer screen
• Chair height
• Keyboard and mouse position
If you work in an office environment and work on a computer, you can avoid injury by sitting in the right position. Good posture can help to prevent repetitive strain injury, which is the cause of back pain. Sitting up straight and making sure that your lower back is supported are all ways of helping to prevent pain from developing.
Adjusting your chair
Ideally the back rest on your chair should move independently of the seat to allow a comfortable position to be reached. You know if your chair is properly adjusted, your feet should be firmly on the floor, but a footrest may be more comfortable. The basic rule is to plant your feet on the floor and support your back.
Lifting heavy objects incorrectly, is one of the main causes of back pain, especially at work. Learning and following the correct way to lift should help to prevent back pain from developing.
Here are some key points for lifting safely:
• Start in a good position
• Keep the load close to your waist
• Keep your back as straight as possible
• Avoid twisting your back or leaning to the side
• Keep your head up
• Know your limits
• Push heavy objects, don’t pull
Take regular breaks
Sitting in the same position for long periods of time is not a good idea. Therefore always make sure you change your position often. Frequent short breaks are also better for your back than fewer long ones. This gives the muscles a chance to relax while others take the strain which can prevent you from feeling stiff and tense.
A lot of jobs provide opportunities to take a break from your computer screen. Getting a drink, getting some fresh air, filling or photocopies can all provide a quick break from your desk.