Loren Middag from Marketplace Physical Therapy Redlands moves beyond the clinic to help patients get lasting results. As a Physical Therapist I get various types of injuries at different levels of severity. Appointments last between an hour to an hour and a half for 2-3 times a week. We can attain signficant results during these sessions but I am always trying to achieve maximum results by looking at every facet of my patients lives. One way I have helped patients signficantly is educating them on the importance of choosing the right mattress.
At Marketplace Physical Therapy Redlands we feel it is very important to examine the mattress you spend 6-8 hours on daily. You must consider the type of injury or pain you have when choosing a mattress. Below I give some examples of injuries and mattresses that would help that condition.
Lower Back Pain
Patients suffering with lower back pain (LBP) most often prefer beds that are firmer. Hard beds should be the first choice for LBP sufferers, but if that does not help then they should try waterbeds for needed support. A firmer bed prevents the low back from sinking deeply into the bed and irritating the facet joints. Higher-end luxury beds can provide plenty of support along with comfortable padding, while lower end discounted beds can provide the firmness, but with less comfort.
Upper Back and Neck Pain
Patients who are sufering from upper back and neck pain often prefer softer or plusher bedding. The plusher cushioning in the bed allows the head and thoracic area to sink into the bed to support the cervical area. A pillow-top mattress or one with softer foams, padding and quilting can be a good recommendation. There are also serveral types of pillows that can provide extra support for the neck.
Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
Patients suffering with multiple painful joints often prefer bedding with cushioning that disperses and weight across the greatest body surface. Frequently, such patients also have spinal complaints. Balancing cushioning with proper support for the spine requires a higher-end mattress. Since fibromyalgia is related to stress levels, it also is important to review pre-sleep rituals with patients to help relax them before going to bed.
Sleeping on the stomach in a soft bed can stress the thoraco-lumbar spine. The weight of the belly and pelvis also compress the bedding. To provide support to the stomach, pelvis and thoraco-lumbar areas, a firmer mattress is necessary.
This does not mean that they should sleep on a rock-hard bed, but rather, that they provide the best way to maintain the natural shape of the spine and the curves of the hips and shoulders while sleeping. Plush bedding will cradle the body and help disperse theweigth of the body across the maximum surface area, instead of creating pressure points at the hips and shoulders. Special pillows also may be necessary to support the neck in a position parallel to the ground.
Most seniors grew up sleeping on extrremelly stuff beds, because that was what manufacturers made at that time. Having slept on firm mattresses their entire lives, many prefer firmer bedding, even if their health conditions indicate that plushier bedding would be better. Some education may be necessary to convince a senior of the need to change mattresses.
Use the following article as a guide when choosing your next mattress. If you would like further information about an injury you might have, you are welcome to set up a free consultation with a Physical Therapist from any of our five locations in the Inland Empire. Set up your free consultation at 951.684.22874