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What Mattresses do Chiropractors Recommend?

June 03, 2021

What Mattresses do Chiropractors Recommend?

Pain affects more people in the United States than medical ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. And, back pain is one of the most common types of pain people experience, impacting about 8 out of every 10 people.

Many factors come into play when determining the cause of pain from an injury to the type of mattress you own. There are also chiropractor recommended mattresses to consider.

Back Pain

More than 80% of American adults will be afflicted by back pain at some point throughout their lives. The third most common reason people visit their doctor is back pain. Back pain is reportedly the leading cause of missed work among adults.

Back pain is associated with aches, strains, or discomfort located in one or more areas of the back. While underlying conditions or trauma contribute to the source of back pain, it is not always caused by an underlying condition.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain may be associated with many things, including a lack of exercise, excess weight, improper lifting, age, or diseases. As mentioned above, back pain is not always associated with underlying conditions, however, many ailments inflict back pain on a person. The following medical conditions are a few common diagnoses that contribute to back pain.

Muscle Strains

Muscle strains are a common culprit of back pain. Strained muscles occur when an unexpected twist, force, or pull is applied to one or more muscles. It results in the extreme stress of the muscle, leading to moderate or severe pain. More than 200,000 cases each year are reported in the United States, and often can be treated at home with self-care.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs, also known as slipped discs, are not always symptomatic. They are most commonly associated with the natural aging process, however, and can occur due to injury from lifting a heavy object improperly. The herniated disc(s) can compress spinal nerves, causing severe back pain. More than 200,000 cases are reported each year among those located in the United States.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is very common, and affects more than 3 million people each year in the United States. It is more commonly found in those aged 50 and older. Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes a narrowing of the spinal column, compressing the nerves and even the spinal cord. Severe back pain is a commonly reported symptom associated with spinal stenosis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects any joint within your body, including those in your back. It is the result of increased inflammation causing swelling, stiffness, and pain. It is often caused by degenerating cartilage between spinal discs. Osteoarthritis primarily affects those aged 50 and older. There are more than 3 million cases reported each year within the United States. While there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, there are ways to manage symptoms.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bone begins weakening, resulting in increased susceptibility to fractures and broken bones. While both males and females can suffer from this condition, it is more commonly seen in females over the age of 50 years old. Back pain is commonly reported with osteoporosis.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition affecting muscles and soft tissue within the body, including the back. It is attributed to multiple pain sites, and is characterized by soft tissue pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, or unevenly distributed weakness. It is a common condition with more than 3 million cases reported each year in the United States.

Types of Back Pain

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to back pain. Back pain is a personal, complicated experience. Being able to manage the pain differs greatly from person to person as well. Back pain must be well described for a proper physician diagnosis as there are many different types of back pain.

Axial

Axial pain, also referred to as mechanical pain, is typically confined to one area. It is described among patients in a large variety of ways. Sharp or dull, constant or comes and goes, and even throbbing pain. Common conditions associated with axial pain include muscle strains and annular tears in discs. Axial pain is the most common source of back pain among Americans.

Referred

Referred pain is a type of pain that moves around, and varies in intensity. It is commonly described as dull or achy pain. Referred pain is often reported with a condition known as Biliary Dyskinesia, or a nonfunctioning gallbladder. While the source of the pain originates in the gallbladder, it is often felt, or “referred”, in the right shoulder.

Radicular

Radicular pain is often caused by a compression or increased inflammation of a spinal nerve root. Many patients report the feeling of an “electric shock”. Radicular pain in the back follows the path of the affected spinal nerve, until it exits the spinal canal. Common conditions associated with radicular pain include sciatica, radiculopathy, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.

Most forms of back pain are alleviated over time through physical therapy, the use of a chiropractor, and plenty of rest.

How can a Mattress Help with Back Pain?

A good mattress can help with a lot of things, including reducing or eliminating back pain. When choosing a mattress, you should find one that provides support, keeps the spine in proper alignment, and relieves the body’s biggest pressure points, including the shoulders and hips.

Best Mattress for Back Pain

There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to a best mattress for pressure relief or back pain. The best type of mattress is one that supports the proper alignment of the spine and hips and shoulders while sleeping. Good posture while sleeping aids in alleviating back pain.

The two most commonly recommended types of mattresses are memory foam and latex mattresses.

Memory Foam

Memory foam becomes softer when it comes into contact with heat, allowing it to conform closely to your body “hugging” you as you sleep. The high-density memory foam alleviates pressure points, and holds your spine in the proper spinal alignment allowing you to rest easier, and wake without pain.

Latex

Latex is a more natural alternative mattress. It is made from the sap of a rubber tree vs the memory foam mattress made from various chemicals. Similar to memory foam, latex gently conforms to your body, but has a little more bounce.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Mattress for Back Pain

Many factors come into play for chiropractor recommended mattresses. As mentioned before, there is no one-size-fits-all mattress. Purchasing a mattress requires consideration of the individual's age, weight, height, and sleeping position.

The brand mattress chosen is entirely dependent upon personal preference. It is important to inquire about the physical components, which make up the mattress. One must consider what they wish to gain from the mattress, in this case, to alleviate back pain. Of the three types of thickness, the use of “medium-firm” is most recommended for back pain.

Mattress Materials

The best mattresses come in all shapes, sizes, brands, and materials. The type of material is dependent upon personal preference, an individual's sleeping position, and a budget.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress, commonly referred to as a coil mattress, was developed in the early 1900s. It is made of steel coils designed to compress when weight is placed on them. The more coils the mattress contains, the higher quality and more support it offers. Innerspring mattresses are often more affordable than the leading alternatives; however, the spring coils wear much faster, resulting in the mattress needing to be replaced more often.

Memory Foam

The memory foam mattress was invented in 1966 by NASA to improve comfort among astronauts in space. It is now available in the form of a mattress, pillows, blankets, furniture, or even shoes. Memory foam mattresses are designed to hug your body as you sink into comfort. Once a person's weight and body heat is removed from the mattress, it returns to its original form.

Memory foam is great for those who experience aches and pains as it alleviates pressure points, maintains proper spinal alignment, and is a motion-isolation mattress. It is also resistant to dust and mites. A common complaint among users is that this specific mattress holds heat due to its density.

There are several types of memory foam mattresses, including gel-infused memory foam.

Latex

A latex mattress offers a more natural mattress alternative as it is made of sap from rubber trees. Latex mattresses provide pressure relief, and gentle body contouring. It is more “bouncy” than a memory foam mattress, and retains far less heat.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress provides the support and bounce of a coil mattress, combined with the comfort and softness of a memory foam or latex mattress. The hybrid mattress is made with a layer of coils on the bottom with 1-3 layers of memory foam or latex on top.

Hybrid mattresses are more customizable than any other mattress, as you can get it with or without a gel topper for a cooler mattress, and choose the denseness by the different options of layers.

Support

A supportive mattress can hold the body in place, with proper spinal alignment, throughout the night. Comfort level is not associated with support, and support is not associated with the comfort level. Foam mattresses have the best support because they hug the shape of your individual person each time, and offer alignment of your hips and shoulders.

Comfort

As mentioned above, the comfort level of a mattress differs from the support. The firmness of a mattress is imperative in consideration when looking for a new mattress. Each individual's comfort level differs.

The firmness of a mattress is rated on a scale of 1-10.

  • A soft mattress is ranked 3-4 on the firmness scale
  • A medium mattress ranks 5-6, and is the preferred mattress among many. It is ideal for all sleeping positions
  • A hard mattress, ranking 7-8, offers a little less hug and sinkage as a medium
  • An extra hard mattress, ranking 9-10, is extra firm, and not preferred by many.

Pressure Relief

A comfortable mattress should provide pressure relief across your entire body. The memory foam mattress is best for pressure relief, as it cradles the body and provides a great amount of support. An innerspring, or coil mattress, has been known to worsen pains as it does not conform to your body, or provide pressure relief.

Spinal pressure may be attributed to several factors including stress, anxiety, and poor posture while both awake and asleep. There are also many medical conditions that are known to cause back pressure, like spinal stenosis, lumbar herniated discs, osteoarthritis, a compression fracture, trauma, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease.

Sleeping Positions

The position we sleep in has a great amount of impact on our lives. There are three basic types of sleeping positions: back, side, and stomach. In addition to these, there are combination sleepers who do not commit to one sleeping position, and change their sleeping position throughout the night.

Back

Back sleepers lay supine, with their back touching the surface of a mattress. Sleeping on your back is the safest, healthiest, and most recommended. It helps to maintain the natural alignment of your spine. Although back sleeping is the safest, only 8% of people report sleeping on their back. Back sleepers should consider a mattress thickness of 6-8”.

Side

Side sleeping is the second-best position, next to back sleeping. Side sleepers lay on either their left or right side while asleep. It is the most common sleeping position, as 74% of people report sleeping on one side or the other. Overall, side sleeping is good for the heart and cardiovascular muscles; however, sleeping on the right side may increase the risk of acid reflux. Side sleepers should consider a mattress thickness of 8-10”.

Stomach

Stomach sleeping is the least recommended sleeping position. It offers no benefit, and can lead to back problems, hip pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and even headaches. It does not allow for proper spinal alignment, and oftentimes your neck is turned in an unnatural position, leading to neck problems. Stomach sleepers should consider a mattress thickness of 10-15”.

Memory Foam

Memory foam was first designed in 1966 by NASA to be used in spaceship seats and seatbelts for the comfort and safety of astronauts. The main ingredient in a memory foam mattress is polyurethane, along with other chemicals mixed in. It is known as “low-resistance” foam, designed to slowly contour to a person's body in response to pressure and heat.

There are three types of memory foam, including traditional, open-cell, and gel.

Traditional

Traditional memory foam, also known as classic memory foam, was the first available form of a memory foam mattress.

Open-cell

Open-cell memory foam has internal “pockets”, allowing air to flow through, reducing the amount of heat held in the mattress.

Gel

Gel memory foam mattresses contain microbeads. The microbeads create a pocket, similar to that of the open-cell mattress, but the microbeads actively absorb heat from your body, giving you a cooler night of rest.

There are many pros and cons to memory foam.

Pros:

Memory foam provides pressure relief, allows for proper spinal alignment, is hypoallergenic, and reduces motion transfer.

Cons:

Memory foam holds heat, has a higher price tag, is not waterproof, may emit odors, and is extremely heavy when moving.

Mattress Thickness

While mattress shopping, there are many things to consider to determine the right amount of thickness that is right for you. These include height, weight, mobility issues, medical conditions, and the mattress type. The thicker the mattress, the higher the price.

Mattresses are composed of many layers to get the thickness it offers. These layers include a support layer, a comfort layer, and cover finishes.

Below are the 4 most common thicknesses among mattresses.

1. Luxury mattresses are extra-thick at 20 or more inches. These offer comfort, and a luxurious look and feel. They are ideal for high spenders as they are quite pricey.

2. Affordable luxury mattresses offer a medium thickness at 12-20 inches. These mattresses are great for those looking for luxury, with a slightly lower price point. Medium thickness mattresses are good for individuals with sleep disorders and back pain. There are many different options for medium thickness mattresses, and they are long-lasting. The downside to these mattresses is that they can become pricey.

3. Standard mattresses are the most popular among families. They offer a thickness of 8-12 inches. Unlike other thicknesses, standard mattresses are offered with three different materials: latex, memory foam, and spring coils. Standard mattresses can be purchased in different firmness levels, are durable, and very affordable. The cons to a standard mattress are that they are one-sided.

4. Thin mattresses, coming in at 5-8 inches, are typically made of foam material. Thin mattresses are great for a youth or baby bed. They are easy to fold and store; however, they often have a much shorter lifespan than a standard, affordable luxury, or luxury mattress.

Mattress Size

While all mattresses are rectangular in shape, they come in many different sizes for different stages of life. Below you will learn more about the different sizes of mattresses, and when they are good to use.

Crib mattresses are 27” x 52”. They comfortably fit one baby in a standard size crib. Crib mattresses are usually firmer than the average mattress, and made of foam or innerspring coil for safety.

Twin mattresses are slim mattresses measuring 39” x 75”, and comfortably fit one person. Twin mattresses are often used as a toddler, or youth-aged bed.

Twin XL mattresses measure 39” x 80”. While still narrow like the traditional twin, a twin xl offers more length. These mattresses are typically used in college dorms, and can fit smaller adults that are less than 6’.

Full-size mattresses measure in at 54” x 75”. They comfortably fit one adult with a pet, a child, or two adults, with no pet or child. Full-size beds are often seen in teen rooms, or small spaces. They offer a competitive price range as well.

Queen mattresses are 60” x 80” in size. They comfortably fit one adult with pets, or children, or two adults, with no pets or children. Queen size mattresses are the most versatile beds, as they offer a good amount of space, but can still fit into smaller spaces.

King mattresses measure 72” x 84”. They can comfortably fit two adults, with a pet or child. King size mattresses offer the feel of luxurious space in most master bedrooms. The king mattress sits on two twin box springs, side by side.

California King mattresses are the largest mattress available on the market at 72” x 84”. It comfortably fits two adults, with multiple pets and children. California King mattresses are great for taller people over 6’. It can often fit into more narrow spaces than a traditional king as it is a few inches slimmer.

Sleep Trial

A sleep trial is a predetermined amount of time, set by the manufacturer, that a customer has to adjust or “try-out” their new mattress. It is essentially risk-free, and more of a “money back” guarantee.

If you purchase a mattress that offers a sleep trial and do not like it, simply contact the manufacturer of how to initiate a return. It is often a nominal fee to return.

Manufacturers came together, and decided that the standard return period was not long enough for someone to determine if a mattress was the right fit for them or not. It can take several weeks for a person to adjust to a new mattress. The average trial period is about 100 days; however, there have been trial periods as short as 30 days, or as long as 365 nights.

It is imperative to know a few things before making a purchase of a mattress with a trial period such as:

  • How to initiate a return
  • Are there any conditions that void the mattress warranty?
  • Does the customer or manufacturer pay the return shipping cost?
  • Is the customer responsible for packaging the mattress being returned, or will that be handled by the team removing it?

Warranty

A warranty is a guarantee from the seller to the buyer that a product will meet the perceived specifications. Mattress warranties state a period of time of which the company who sells the mattress, under certain circumstances, will provide the “3 R’s”: replacement, repair, or refund.

Companies cover certain things including manufacturer defects, physical defects, xsagging of a specific amount, the object not performing as intended, coils breaking, coils popping out of the mattress, the top foam bunching up, the seams coming out of the mattress, or even a broken box spring.

Companies do not cover things such as comfort issues or damage caused by the owner. This can range anywhere from a spilled drink, a rip in the mattress from a pet, or even normal wear.

Warranties may be voided for certain reasons. Should the owner of the mattress remove the “do not remove by law” tag, the warranty is voided. Stains, improper support such as the wrong size box spring, or even not being the original owner of the mattress also void the warranty.

The Eco Terra Hybrid Latex Mattress

With Eco Terra, you can say goodnight to synthetic foams. Our team has hand-crafted a 100% eco-friendly hybrid latex mattress right here in the United States. The Eco Terra hybrid latex mattress has been named America’s best natural mattress. Our mattress, made of 100% organic wool and cotton, passed the rigorous Global Organic Textile Standards.

At Eco Terra, you get a mattress that offers:

Hybrid Latex Mattress Components

Eco Terra differs from the leading competitors as we believe in complete transparency. All components of our mattresses are provided to each customer prior to purchase. Our mattresses are manufactured with 100% natural latex Talalay from tree-sapped, sustainable sources, GOTS organic and OEKO-TEX standard 100 certified wood, GOTS organic certified cotton, and quantum coils for breathable dynamic spinal support.

The ratio of materials is 73% latex, 21% wool, and 6% certified organic cotton. The Eco-Terra Mattress is available in Medium and Medium-Firm.

We partner with sustainable farmers, and handcraft in-house, being able to cut unnecessary costs. The result? An eco-friendly mattress that lets you rest easily. We strive to provide customers with absolute satisfaction, which is why we are happy to offer free shipping within the United States, a 90-night trial period, and no-hassle returns.

Should you find yourself not 100% satisfied, we will pick up the mattress for a full refund. Our mattresses are backed by a 15-year limited warranty.

Companies are legally required to label their mattresses for customers to be informed. However, very few manufacturers provide this information before the sale is complete. Here at Eco Terra, we are different as we want to provide you with all information before making a final decision.

Eco Terra Law Tag

The law tag on our Eco Terra natural latex mattress says: Made in California with internal materials (based on weight) consisting of Natural Latex (73%), Wool (21%), and Certified Organic Cotton (6%). NO polyurethane foams, NO memory foams, NO synthetic foams, NO latex blends, NO chemical adhesives, and NO chemical flame retardants.

Our chiropractor recommended mattresses are designed to provide you with the best quality in both sleep and health, at an affordable price. The team at Eco Terra values quality over quantity.

Take a good look at the Eco Terra Hybrid Mattress or Eco Terra 100% Natural Latex Topper, and give us a call at 1-888-605-0096.

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 11 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.



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