Can A Sagging Mattress Cause Back Pain?

Updated May, 2021
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Sagging mattresses can cause back pain. Your spine's alignment is thrown off balance, going into an unnatural position for hours on end. Over time, this can lead to a bulged or herniated disc, which results in a great deal of discomfort and pain.

Is your mattress to blame for your back pain?

There can be many sources of back pain. But the following signs indicate your mattress is primarily to blame:

1. Sagging

Your mattress should provide a smooth surface for you to sleep on. When it sags, your spine dips down with it. This throws off its natural alignment, resulting in severe pain over time.

2. Old age

Most mattresses are only designed to last for 8 to 10 years. It's a good idea to replace it at that point even if it seems fine. It may not be long until you start noticing the symptoms of a bad back.

3. Trouble staying asleep

A comfortable mattress actually helps you fall asleep and stay that way all night long. When it starts to deteriorate, you often find yourself struggling to go to sleep easily. And without sufficient rest, you wake up feeling tired and groggy. You can't concentrate as well during the day.

4. Tossing and turning

You should stay one way the entire night. If you find yourself tossing, turning, and waking up in an awkward position, then it's often a sign of a bad mattress. Your body couldn't get comfortable, so it attempted to adjust itself for hours.

5. Painful mornings

While there can be multiple sources of back pain, you should pay attention if the discomfort is prominent when you first wake up. It's a sign the pain developed in the evening. A bad mattress doesn't just impact your night. It affects how you feel all day long.

Sleeping on a bad mattress isn't good for your health

The impact of a poor mattress doesn't end with a bad back. There are many other ways it affects your health.

1. Memory problems

Sleep deprivation causes you to have trouble remembering or concentrating. Sleep plays a crucial role in the formation of memories. This negatively impacts how well you perform at work or school.

2. Heart conditions

Sleep deprivation also impacts your cardiac health. Studies have found that people who don't get enough sleep are 48 percent more likely to develop heart disease. You also have a greater risk of high blood pressure or having a stroke.

3. Weakened immune system

Not getting enough sleep due to an uncomfortable mattress also opens you up to getting sick from the common cold and flu. Insufficient rest compromises your immune system. And when you're sick, all you want to do is sleep in bed, which you have trouble doing on a worn-out mattress.

How to fix a sagging mattress

Luckily, there are some easy fixes when you have a sagging mattress. You don't want to delay on any of these. The longer you wait, the more you open yourself up to back pain and other health problems.

1. Buy a mattress topper

Mattress toppers are thin layers of foam you can place on top of your mattress. They help provide support when the normal surface of your mattress has been compromised. It contours to your body, giving your spine the alignment it needs at night. It's a temporary solution as most toppers tend to only last a few years. But for the time being, it helps prevent developing sore and achy areas on your body.

2. Add a firm base under your mattress

When you have a sagging mattress, you require extra support. You can add a thin piece of plywood between your box spring and mattress. This gives you extra stability to prevent the mattress from sagging. You just need to ensure the piece of plywood is the same size as your mattress or else your bed merely sinks around the side.

3. Invest in a new, supportive mattress

At the end of the day, most people are better off simply buying a new mattress. This is the most permanent solution as many mattresses are designed to last up to 10 years. It's the most surefire way to alleviate back pain as the materials are brand new. Your new mattress supports your body and contours to the natural curves in your back. You just need to make sure you buy the right mattress that supports your sleeping position and weight.

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