How to Choose the Right Mattress for Your Back

Woman sitting on bed stretching

Back pain can wreak all kinds of havoc in your personal life. It can stop you from being active and enjoying your free time, it can be one of the biggest distractions when you’re trying to get work done, and the discomfort it causes will generally ruin your mood.

With so much at stake, you may be wondering what you can do to stop back pain. Regular visits to the chiropractor are a great way to get some instant relief as well as put you on the road to recovery. Our clinics in Falmouth and Bridgton, Maine offer the best treatment for back pain around. It is also important, however, to attack the problem at its source.

Your Way of Sleeping Is Unique

You will spend almost a third of your life asleep, so it makes sense that you should spend that time wisely. This means finding the best possible mattress to fit your sleeping style.

As a general rule of thumb, you should base the firmness of your mattress on your preferred sleeping position. If you tend to sleep on your side you should try to get a softer mattress that will support your shoulder and hips without hurting them. Firmer mattresses are for stomach sleepers, as they give plenty of support. However, if you like to sleep on your back, you need to find something in between. A soft mattress will not give you enough support with your spine directly on it, while a firm mattress won’t offer enough leeway to fit the curvature of your spine.

About Memory Foam

While it’s good to know about mattress density and how it relates to your preferred sleeping position, the truth is that most of us don’t know how we end up sleeping during the night. Many of us are very mobile while we sleep, meaning our sleeping positions are hardly ever the same night-to-night.

Memory foam is perhaps the best solution for this, as long as it is good quality. The foam provides mattress flexibility that metal springs just can’t compete with. It supports the natural curves in your spine, without putting too much pressure on it. Memory foam mattresses come in a wide variety of densities, so if you do sleep on your side or stomach, you can still find one that suits your needs and provides the benefits of the foam.

Good Spinal Health Starts at Home

You can also relieve chronic back pain by practicing good posture or being more physically active. To find out exactly what your spinal needs are, set up an appointment with Heritage Health and get your back looked at by a chiropractic professional!

Boost Spinal Health with Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a drug-free, non-surgical approach to relieving chronic back pain, neck pain, or pain associated with muscles, joints and spinal disorders. Chiropractic is considered a safe, effective treatment for optimal spinal health.

The Human Spine

Besides being the center of our physical structure, the human spine is a powerful nerve center that houses the infrastructure for our brain to send electrical signals to many other parts of our body.

The spine is made up of 4 groups of individual bone segments called “vertebrae”. These groups in order from the top of the spine to the bottom are:

  • the “cervical vertebrae” (7 total)

  • the “thoracic vertebrae” (12 total)

  • the “lumbar vertebrae” (5 total)

  • the “sacrum” (1 total)

  • and the “tailbone” (1 total)

Altogether there are 26 vertebrae with 23 spinal disks in between most of them (the exceptions being between the skull and the top vertebrae, and between the next two vertebrae). The disks are made up of a flexible cartilage that allows the spine to bend and flex, not only allowing us to stretch and turn with relative freedom but protecting our backs from breaking from even just a moderate amount of force.

As you can see, the spine is a fairly complicated body part and is very important to take care of. The most popular method of spinal care is through a chiropractor.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help Me?

“Chiropractic” stems from the Greek words “cheir” and “praxis”, which mean “hand” and “practice”, respectively. This is appropriate as chiropractors use a literal “hands-on approach” when adjusting your back.

An adjustment consists of your chiropractor performing an examination to determine the right course of action to correct your back trouble. The chiropractor may assess your range of motion, analyze your posture or perform hands-on spinal manipulation to relieve pressure from joints and nerves. Manipulation of the spine must be done slowly and carefully in order to be safe, so it may require several visits to get long-lasting relief from back pain.

Your chiropractor may utilize any number of the aforementioned techniques. It is important to be honest and realistic about the amount of pain or discomfort you are experiencing when going to all follow-up visits so the chiropractor can keep a close eye on your progress and make changes to your treatment plan as necessary.

Your chiropractor will also educate you on ways you can protect and treat your spine through nutrition, stretches, and general prevention techniques.

Professional Chiropractic Care in Southern Maine

Mainers have a fantastic option when it comes to chiropractic care. Heritage Integrative Healthcare in Falmouth, Maine uses the most effective chiropractic methods to ensure amazing results for a wide variety of muscular, joint and spine problems.

Schedule an appointment now to see how you can end your back pain once and for all!

Back Pain: When Is It Time to See a Doctor?

The occasional sore back, especially after a long day doing any kind of physical labor, is common and not a cause for concern. However, if you find yourself frequently complaining about a stiff or sore back, or if the pain is severe and coupled with other symptoms, it could be time to see a doctor.

Chronic back pain is common and it’s notoriously hard to fix, but it’s not always cause for immediate concern. Visits to your chiropractor can go a long way in managing these problems and improve them over time. However, there are some occasions when back pain is an indicator of a larger problem. Here are a few things you should look out for.

Fever and Back Pain

Back pain coupled with a fever can indicate a serious infection. If you have an achy back and fever during the flu, you may not need to worry. But if the fever does not break, you may be dealing with something more serious than the flu. Be sure to see your doctor immediately if you experience an unresponsive fever and back pain.

Trauma and Back Pain

This may be obvious, but if you are experiencing back pain as a result of trauma (a car accident, for example) you should see a doctor. The problem may be a simple fix, or it may need a more comprehensive course of treatment. Be sure to get this taken care of quickly so the problem does not get worse.

Numbness or Tingling

If that “pins-and-needles” feeling won’t go away, it could indicate some pretty significant back problems. The presence of numbness and tingling is a sign of nerve damage. This means you should have a herniated disc or spinal stenosis causing pressure on the nerves in your back. Be sure to report these feelings to a specialist.

Night Back Pain

If you are experiencing no back pain during the day but find yourself woken up by back pain in the night, you could be dealing with disc degeneration or a sprain. In some cases, this can be a sign of a serious problem like a tumor or cancer. Be sure to get this problem checked out by a specialist.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Unexpected or unexplained weight loss coupled with back pain could indicate possible infection or cancer in your back. Be sure to get this problem looked at immediately.

Are you experiencing chronic back pain? Here at Heritage Integrative Healthcare, we employ a number of treatments and management methods to help you get back to your life – without back pain. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with our chiropractors here at Heritage IHC, contact our Falmouth office today!