Adjustable Beds and Back Pain

Adjustable beds help eliminate backpain

Over the past few decades, home adjustable beds have continued to grow in popularity as people become more familiar with the products and their potential benefits. The ability to customize one’s sleeping position beyond the traditional flat surface offers convenience and pain relief for many. In particular, one of the leading benefits of adjustable beds is back pain relief. In this article, we will consider the subject of back pain and how adjustable bases can help reduce symptoms.

Adjustable Beds for Back Pain Relief

By some estimates, back pain will affect over 80% of US adults at some time in their lives. At any given time, at least 30 million Americans are presently suffering from back pain and about half of working Americans will experience back pain this year1. This condition is brought on by numerous factors, ranging from work habits to injury, and poor posture to unsupportive mattresses. To combat this problem, people spend well over $50 billion dollars per year on medical visits, surgeries, lost work and medications.

At least 30 million Americanas suffer from back pain and spend $50 billion in medical expenses
Adjustable bed feature positions from flat, to raising the head and feet individually

How an Adjustable Bed Can Help Reduce Pain

Adjustable beds help relieve pain in areas such as the shoulders, hips, and knees

For many symptoms of back pain, like compression and muscle tension, an adjustable bed can offer some relief since it allows the user to customize their position. Certain adjustments work to reduce pressure on the back by distributing weight more evenly and allowing the spine to decompress. In addition to general back pain relief, elevating the upper body (and legs) can provide symptom relief for degenerative spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis, and spinal stenosis4.

However, on a flat mattress, especially non-contouring types like innersprings, pressure is concentrated on the hips and shoulders while the lower back is left unsupported. This serves to compound the tension from daytime activities, and can lead to less restful sleep and pain or stiffness upon waking. Here are few of the top ways adjustable base beds aid with back pain.

Neutral Resting Positions

Adjustable beds allow users to achieve a “zero-gravity” which proves ideal for back pain relief and circulation. In this neutral position, both the head and feet of the adjustable bed are slightly elevated, pressure is more evenly distributed across the length of the body, and tension on the lower back is eased allowing the muscles to fully relax and decompress. Increasing convenience, the Amerisleep Adjustable Bed has a built-in zero gravity position button for precise, instant comfort.

The Ergo Invincible adjustable bed features a one-touch zero gravity option
Adjustable beds help with activities like reading, working, or watching tv

Ergonomic Relaxation

Activities like reading, working, or watching television in bed are made more ergonomic on an adjustable base bed. Rather than than strain your neck and back or mess with pillows, you can simply adjust the head of the bed upward. Adding slight elevation to the knees can can further improve comfort during waking activities, similar to relaxing in your favorite recliner.

Support Getting In & Out of Bed

Many back pain injuries are also attributed to twisting and turning in a way that strains the spine or muscles. Adjustable beds make it safer to get in and out of bed, reducing risk of injury. Raise the head of the bed fully upright, sit on the edge of the bed, bring legs up, and gradually lower the head of the bed to lie down. To get out of bed, reverse the process.

Raising the head of an adjustable bed can help with getting in and out of bed
Some adjustable beds feature built-in massage options to reduce tension and stress
Adjustable bed massage icon

Built-in Massage

Some adjustable bed models come with built-in massage features that can help relax sore muscles and improve circulation. This wave-type massage vibrates muscles, increasing blood flow and reducing tension and stiffness.

More Ways to Reduce Back Pain

  • Get in and out bed slowly and carefully.
  • Use a medium to medium firm mattress1.
  • Pair your adjustable bed with a supportive mattress like memory foam or latex, which contours to your body and the base, and maintains the pressure relieving benefits.
  • Keep a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side, or one below your knees if you sleep on your back (or slightly elevated with an adjustable bed). The ACA recommends avoiding stomach sleeping altogether3.
  • Perform light stretching before bed and first thing in the morning, and work on back-strengthening exercises such as those offered by the National Institutes of Health2.
  • Always practice proper lifting techniques and work with your physician or workplace safety advisor to develop back-friendly work environments and habits1.
  • Work on proper posture, including keeping both feet on the ground and a straight back while standing and sitting3.

Back pain can significantly disrupt your daily life, making difficult to work and uncomfortable to do the things you want to do. On top of that, managing pain can become quite costly between doctors visits, lost wages, and other expenses. Combined with healthy prevention techniques, adjustable beds can help prevent lower back tension and relieve existing pain by allowing users to take control and customize their bed to meet individual needs.

An adjustable bed can help with back pain for a better night's sleep An adjustable bed can significantly reduce back pain related issues and give you a great night's sleep

Resources:

1The American Chiropractic Association. http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68

2National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/backexercises/htm/index.htm

3The American Chiropractic Association. http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=3124

4Spine Health. http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/using-adjustable-bed-back-problems

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