I see a lot of young individuals with low back pain and somewhere in the process of history taking and clinical examination this question usually pops up, “Which mattress should we sleep on?”

Knowing the age-old suggestion that the mattress should neither be soft or hard but it should be firm but I, being a student of human sciences, thought to do some research myself. The recent literature reviewed was both confusing and inconclusive but I did find a paper from a prestigious South Korean University. In the study, they measured study participants’ spinal curvature and pressure on different mattresses and then asked the subjects to evaluate the mattresses. They found that the participants preferred mattresses on which the spinal curvature when lying down was similar to their spinal curvature when standing. Koreans also looked at pressure differently, examining the range of distribution of body pressure rather than maximum pressure. Participants were more comfortable when this range was narrow. They found that when the participants slept on mattresses that were deemed “comfortable,” on the basis of spinal curvature and distribution of pressure, their sleep efficiency and percentage of deep sleep were higher, and the percentages of time that they woke up after going to sleep were lower.

In a nutshell, the mattress which compresses by your body weight n takes the shape of your back when you lie down and changes back to the flat surface when you get up is perfect for you.

To explain this, I tell the patients to press their forehead (hard), the centre of the upper lip (soft) with their dominant index finger and ask them to avoid such mattresses. And then, to press the tip of their nose (firm) and buy this one.

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