Physicians often get frustrated when patients ask them what type of bed is best for their lower back pain. Few studies have been done on this issue to support their answers. Therefore, researchers in Spain conducted a study to test the effectiveness of a firm vs. a medium-firm mattress when it comes to lower back pain.
The study included 313 people who had their own bed mattresses replaced with either a firm or a medium-firm mattress. The participants did not know what type of mattress they were given. The individuals reported the degree of low back pain experienced while lying in bed, and after waking up in the morning as well as their degree of disability before and three months after the start of the study.
Study authors say the people who used the medium-firm mattress had more of their back pain symptoms alleviated. Specifically, those who slept on a medium-firm mattress were twice as likely to report improvements in low back pain while lying in bed, when getting out of bed and in disability associated with back pain. The participants who used the medium-firm mattresses also reported a decrease in the need for pain killing drugs.
Researchers say, their findings stress that recommendations for daily living, such as what kind of mattress to use, may have a relevant effect on the clinical course of low-back pain.