An adjustable bed frame can help relieve back pain
Whether or not you choose to add a box spring to your mattress, you probably don’t prefer sleeping on the floor. So, a bed frame is an important decision. We’re all familiar with the standard thin steel folding frame, but for chronic back pain sufferers, this may not be enough.
Adjustable bed frames have been around for two centuries, and they can support the curves of the spine and relieve pressure on the entire body.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, ask yourself if you feel better sitting in a reclining chair? If you prefer having your knees elevated? If so, an adjustable bed frame might be worth considering.
An adjustable bed frame is often cited for alleviating certain types of back pain. It can help target pain in your lower and upper back. This is accomplished through the bed frame’s ability to correctly position you in the ultimate reclining position. People with specific back problems might benefit from sleeping at an incline of 30 to 45 degrees. In this position, the upper body is inclined, and together with the bed’s knee support, it can reduce the stress placed on the lower back.
In sleep therapy, there is a tension relieving position where you lie flat on your back. Your back is flat, your legs are raised to a ninety-degree angle, and your knees are bent. In this position, your back can fully relax, while your pelvis tilts, reversing normal daily pressure. This can also help build strength in your lower back muscles. This is a common position on an adjustable bed.
Your upper back also can feel the benefits. Less pressure is placed on your back, neck, and shoulders the more vertical it is. Your vertebrae are able to gently realign, and the pressure they exert on your delicate nerves, that causes pain, is reduced.
Chiropractors have said that post-op low back surgery patients report adjustable beds being more comfortable than flat beds. Below are the back pain conditions Spine-Health recommends for an adjustable bed:
Degenerative spondylolisthesis. For some people with degenerative spondylolisthesis, sleeping in a reclining position with support under the knees can reduce some of the pain in the lower back, making it easier to sleep through the night.
Osteoarthritis. Individuals with osteoarthritis in the spine, or facet joint arthritis, often wake up feeling quite stiff and sore in the morning. Sleeping on an adjustable bed may provide better support and therefore decrease the irritation by minimizing joint compression.
Spinal Stenosis. People with spinal stenosis most often feel more comfortable when bending forward instead of standing up straight. Likewise, sleeping on a flat mattress can sometimes be less comfortable for people with stenosis than sleeping in the reclining position, such as that afforded by an adjustable bed.
Bedroom Solutions published a comprehensive review on the Best Adjustable Beds. In the review, they base their findings on 7 criteria: (1) strength of the bed frame/chassis, (2) necessary, must-have features, (3) non-essential bells and whistles, (4) customer reviews, (5) price, (6) manufacturer reputation, and (7) warranty.
“Modern-day adjustable bed foundations come with dozens of features. While some of them are useful and necessary, others are highly advanced, and not everyone needs them,” said Rand Harding, a spokesperson for Bedroom Solutions. “For example, some models cost as much as an extra $1000 simply because they’re equipped with built-in Bluetooth speakers, under-bed lighting, USB charging ports, alarm clocks etc. These are nice add-ons to have, but considering that they do not contribute towards relieving people’s stiff necks, backaches, frozen shoulders, osteoarthritis, degenerative spondylolisthesis etc., not everyone can justify spending that extra cash towards such non-essential features.”
Learn More About Saatva Mattresses and Adjustable Bases
Loom & Leaf Memory Foam
Premium memory foam, handcrafted with eco-friendly materials. Organic cotton, cooling spinal gel, and layers of high-density support foam assure a comfortable night’s sleep.
Lineal Adjustable Base
With weightless, Zero Gravity support, the Lineal adjustable base allows you to set your ideal position for sleeping—and living—with one touch of the remote.
Memory foam mattresses also relieve back pain
Memory foam mattress are all foam and can contour and form specifically to your body. “ A bed that self-adjusts and reacts to the body relieve stressed areas while promoting a deep, REM sleep. This is critical for the body’s self-repair mode, and, as studies show, improving mental alertness and the body’s tolerance to pain and discomfort” said Dr. Bill Charschan, a chiropractor. Memory foam mattresses are often recommended by doctors for patients with chronic back pain.
Many memory foams are now being made with the latest gel technology, which helps you sleep cool throughout the night. (And this has been a serious complaint against memory foam for years, the problem of sleeping hot.) A safe and cutting edge cooling gel is very effective when combined with memory foam. Look for memory foam mattresses that display the CertiPUR-US® seal, because these foams are strictly tested to be non-toxic and safe, as well as good for the environment.
But keep in mind that adjustable bed frames can be expensive, often are filled with extra bells and whistles that aren’t necessary to relieving back pain, not to mention they require more maintenance than just a flat bed frame. Bedroom Solutions rated this Leggett and Platt (pictured above) adjustable bed frame very highly, but you may be spending upwards of $1,000 before you even buy the mattress.
If that brings you to a brick wall, know that there are many great premium mattress options without the adjustable base that also specifically target lower back pain. While these can also retail for thousands of dollars, there are many new (and highly reviewed) online mattress companies that offer premium mattresses for an affordable price.
Check out our guide for how mattresses can relieve back pain.