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How I Solved Some of My Back Pain Problems

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The BCA - that's the British Chiropractor's Association, not the British Cheerleader's Association - is urging people to check their mattresses after it was found that one in three people wake up with back pain.

Even without the stats, it's evident that back pain is a really common and prevalent problem. I know more people in my circle of friends and family who do have an issue with back pain than those who don't, and what seems really evident is that not many of them really know what to do about it.

But - I empathise. When you've got a daily ache and pain, you just start to think it's normal after a while, rather than actually getting off your butt to do something about it.

I've been trying to get to the root of my back pain for a while, and while I've pin-pointed - with the help of a physiotherapist - what type of stretches I should be doing, how my posture should look when I'm at my computer, the answer was actually much, much closer to home.

Beneath me, in fact.

I'd been feeling the twinge of various springs underneath me for a while, but when I asked my husband how long we'd had our mattress (he bought it before we met), the response usually came: "Not long - a few years?"

But now I've come to the conclusion that like central heating (men seem to only want to turn it on once an icicle has formed at the end of your nose) and like dishwashers (they stack them in a way that means they end up both dirty and soaked), changing a mattress is something they shy away from because if it ain't broke, why fix it?

The problem with knowing when to change your mattress is that mostly, it's your own judgement, unlike a very obviously broken appliance. Or butter dish. Yes, I'm looking at you, Mr Bell.

And usually by then, your back would have been silently abused by it into a state of knots and bumps.

But after one uncomfortable night too many, I stamped my foot and insisted we were going to get a new mattress.

We settled on a Rest Assured latex mattress, after a lifetime of sleeping on spring mattresses.

When it arrived, it looked about a foot thick and it was very firm, but not uncomfortably so. I was beyond excited about the new mattress, and when I crawled into bed, it was love at first snore.

The mattress is made with springs, but it has a latex topping means that it is very uniform in pressure, so for those of us with back complaints, it helps to have consistent pressure due to the way the body positions itself when you sleep.

We'd toyed with memory foam but had heard that they can create a lot of heat due to the way it shapes around your body, and with my husband being an insomniac, we couldn't have anything that messed around with the temperature of the room.

After four weeks of testing it, I've got to say that I'm gutted I didn't think of doing this any sooner. The mattress has literally changed our lives and it makes going into bed a pleasurable thing. I don't think I realised how much I started started to dread bedtime because it meant waking up with a sore back.

Of course changing your mattress won't solve all your back woes. But it seems a bit crazy to put off buying something that makes such a crucial difference to how you sleep and your back, because it's never going to seem like a good time to spend a wad of cash on something you can simply 'put up with'.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to bed.

 
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