What's the best mattress for lower back pain? What options do you have?

There is no single type of mattress that's a cure for back pain. The truth is that no mattress can miraculously cure a bad back, but very often an old or uneven mattress will be making things worse.

So a new, well made mattress that you're comfortable on, that supports you properly, and which allows you to get a good night's sleep, is the first step towards helping with your lower back pain. 

There are numerous companies that advertise their products as being the 'best' for back pain, but there is very little clinical data about mattresses. Buying a mattress that has a good internal structure and which has sufficient upholstery to cushion you is the key. There have been a few studies done that found that a medium firm mattress actually provides more relief for a bad back than a firm mattress, so don't buy anything that's too hard. Side sleepers are better off with a mattress that's a bit softer, while back sleepers usually need something that's on the firmer side of medium, if you have lower back pain, it’s a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether. 

So here are a few tips that may help if you are prone to back pain: 

  1. Maintain correct posture while you're working or exercising
  2. Maintain correct posture when sitting, don't slump
  3. Use ice or heat on your back to ease the pain
  4. Stretch your muscles regularly with some simple exercises
  5. Wear proper shoes that support your feet properly, especially if you have to stand a lot.
  6. Maintain a healthy weight so that there's less strain on your back.
  7. Stay active, walk whenever you can rather than taking the car

Most importantly, if your back pain doesn't clear up after six weeks or so, visit your doctor.