Hard Mattress Good for Backache?

The Lancet Medical Journal published a report about a study conducted on a random sample of over 300 people in Spain who complained of back pain and the findings revealed that those who used medium-firm mattresses for a period of three months, recovered faster from back pain than those who stuck to firm ones. Thus the myth that firm mattresses help treat back pain gets debunked completely.

This is just one of the myths associated with firm mattresses and there are many more. Myths get perpetuated generation after generation because few try to reason out the scientific basis of the myth and it is so much easier to blindly believe what others say. Some of the most common myths associated with firm mattresses include:

1.A bad back needs rest only on a very firm mattress. Bad backs with pain need firm support but not too hard or too firm a mattress since it will damage the other parts resting on it. Firm mattresses are particularly harsh on the shoulders and hips and most people wake up in the morning feel sore instead of rested.

2.Firm mattresses bring better sleep. This is a far fetched statement since sleep is the byproduct of the interplay of a series of factors including the person’s health, fitness, stress and mental state, height, weight and so on.

3.Firm mattresses last longer. While firm mattresses do not easily sag or get a depression like the softer mattresses, they certainly have a limited life span. Mattresses made from cotton or jute would get lumpy after sometime and inner springs also tend to wear out. The life span of a firm mattress is not very different from other mattresses.

4.Firm mattresses are suitable for anyone and every one. This is a generalization that cannot be made about any type of mattress. All individuals have different preferences, sleeping postures and body contours, and each of these has a role to play in determining the most suitable mattress for him.

5.Tired bodies need firm support for rest. This is not true because a firm mattress exerts pressure by not supporting the various parts of the body in an even manner, leading to aches and pains in a few parts of the body.
Thus it is extremely difficult to follow the myths about firm mattresses and get influenced by them.

The matter of selecting a mattress is a very subjective one and must be led by personal preference rather than mythical statements.