While a soft pillow-top mattress might vary well be the bed you fell in love with at the mattress store, it might also be the one causing your back pain. When a mattress is too soft it will sag under the pressure of your body weight, leaving your spine to struggle to feel supported. This saging causes a “hammocking” effect where the hips and rearend, as well as the abdominal region sag lower than the head and the feet. The result effect is a progressive tightening of the paraspinal muscles of the back, in an attempt to straighten the spine.
When this happens, the paraspinal muscles or large muscles that run parallel to the spine become fatigued and began to ache. This will cause you to toss and turn frequently during the night and quite often leaves you with the tell tale sign of the morning stiff back.
As a Chiropractor, one of the first couple questions I ask patients with low to mid-back pain is how firm their mattress is and do they awake feeling sore. Another side effect of a soft mattress is poor sleep due to not only the pain but the need to wake up to turn the body from side to side on a soft mattress. A firmer mattress will allow you to roll side to side naturally while in a deeper state of sleep and not make you wake up slightly to more consciously turn oneself from side to side.
Remember, when selecting a bed, go as firm as you dare and avoid the overlying cushy pillow top mattresses. Happy Dreams