Air Mattresses for Back Pain

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There is always a wide selection of air mattresses claiming to be the best for your back but often cause more pain than relief. Quality air mattresses that will relieve your back pain are rare, but with a few guidelines, you can find an air mattress that relieves your back pain with every use.

Guidelines to Follow

  • There are many different brands to suit individual tastes and styles, but following a few overall guidelines should narrow the selections. First, make sure that you invest in a raised air mattress. They are the best for your back when you are getting in and out of bed, and distribute air evenly throughout the entire mattress. Second, find one that has a built-in pump and controlled airflow. This will eliminate the strain of pumping air into it yourself and allow you to adjust the airflow to your individual comfort. Lastly, look for an offering comprising a durable material.

Benefits of the Raised Air Mattress

  • Air mattresses that are low to the ground create strain on the lower back through getting in and out of bed. A raised air mattress should be higher than your knee and lower than your hip. At the recommended height, the pressure on the lower back and knees are relieved because there is less crouching down. Also, a raised air mattress has more air in the mattress, which adds more support to the back when lying down.

Identifying Durable Materials

  • The materials that make up an air mattress can impact the airflow and the comfort on the back. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the best material for an air mattress. It is waterproof, grips to any surface below and is difficult to puncture. Air in a PVC mattress will not escape or shift throughout the night, and keeps your back straight and even. Nylon is a slippery material that will shift and move every time that you shift and move throughout the night. This will constantly put uneven pressure on your back. Nylon can also be punctured on any rough terrain; this will let air out all night and only give half support to the back.

Benefits of the Built-In Pump

  • A built-in pump, rather than a manual pump, can greatly reduce the pressure on your back. The downfall of manual pumps is that you have to pump it either with your hand or leg, which can not only be time-consuming but a danger to the lower back. If not enough or too much air is manually pumped into the mattress, when you lie down, there could potentially be too much or not enough pressure distributed throughout the back. A built-in pump can be plugged into the wall and, with one flick of a button, can pump up the air mattress to its exact weight. A built-in pump also allows a more controlled airflow depending on individual back problems.

Relief for Specific Areas of the Back

  • Tension on the upper spine, shoulders and neck calls for an air mattress that has a pillow top. This is an inflated pillow that is attached to the top of the air mattress. The pillow top offers more support to the neck, relieving pressure on the shoulders and upper spine.

    Tension on the middle spine, shoulder blades and rib cage calls for an air mattress that has memory foam layers built into the mattress. These layers will mold to the weight and curve of the spine and, most important, support the spin with even weight throughout the night.

    Tension on the lower back, tail bone and hips calls for an air mattress that is firm and doesn't have any foam layers inside it. The firmer the mattress, the less likely the spine will sink into the mattress, which puts more pressure on the lower back than the upper. A firm mattress allows the spine to be straight and even.

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  • Photo Credit Sleeping image by Clark Duffy from Fotolia.com
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