Have you felt that nagging pain in your back after lugging around a heavy backpack on your weekend trip? Or after cheering for your team while sitting on uncomfortable seats at the weekend football match? Or even after walking around exploring that delightful flea market?
While for a lot of us, soreness and stiffness in our back and legs are just temporary aftereffects of standing or walking for a long time, for many it is an occupational hazard.
Teachers, policemen, healthcare professionals, security guards, retail staff, cashiers, catering staff, assembly line workers, and many such vocations demand that professionals stand or walk for extended periods.
And, as 58-year-old S K Rudre Gowda, Head Constable at the Police Headquarters in Bengaluru will tell you, backaches are not new to them. “Our jobs involve a lot of standing and walking around. We work for more than 10 hours every day and barely manage to sit for a few minutes. So the physical strain adds to the mental strain that we face of being in a very demanding occupation.”
What causes back pain when you are upright for too long without a break
Mr Rudre Gowda’s first-hand account only testifies what many studies around the world have stated time and again. People who stand for more than four hours continuously have a higher amount of musculoskeletal disorders than those who don't. The reason why standing causes so much pain is because of the constant pressure from gravity to keep you upright when you are standing, causing certain muscles, like those in the hips, trunk and spine, to work a lot harder than they should.
And, constant exposure to the pressure in these areas leads to back pain (especially in the lower back), fatigue, cramps, joint problems, and in some cases even varicose veins and cardiovascular problems.
While nothing much can be done to change the nature of work for these professionals who need to stand or walk for extended hours, it can be mitigated by moving around, changing positions, getting supportive shoes, and using a mattress that gives adequate spinal support.
Of all these options, one tried-and-tested solution that is sure to work, is using an ergonomic mattress.
What should one look for while opting for an ergonomic mattress?
Mr Rudre Gowda relied on trustworthy word-of-mouth and brand assurance to make his decision. He says, “My son-in-law had bought a mattress from Wakefit.co. After seeing the impact, he suggested that I buy a Wakefit Orthopedic Memory Foam Mattress and Wakefit Sleeping Pillow. I was initially apprehensive about the idea. For one, I was unaware of how a wrong mattress aggravates back pain and did not want to change the mattress I was already using. And, second, I had to buy it online. Initially, I spoke to the sleep expert who helped me understand why a mattress could help me and which mattress I could opt for. While I was convinced, I was still unsure about buying it without seeing it and feeling it. But, since Wakefit.co offers a 100-day trial period and a full refund if a customer is unhappy, I decided to take it.”
So did the mattress help reduce his back pain? Mr Rudre Gowda says, “Yes, the back pain has lowered significantly. Earlier, I would wake up in the middle of the night because I wouldn’t be able to sleep comfortably. Now that is a thing of the past. My body feels so much more at ease when I wake up in the mornings now.”
His satisfactory experience with the mattress has led to him recommending Wakefit.co to colleagues in his Department. Keeping in mind the high-pressure job of the Police Department, that requires long hours of standing and walking, he vouches for Wakefit.co’s memory foam mattress to relieve back and body pain.
Watch this video to understand why the right mattress is vital to your health.
So what’s the best mattress for back pain?
A poor mattress is often the key reason why people wake up with backaches. And, for those who already have backaches, it aggravates their condition further. In the process, it also negatively affects sleep, health and productivity.
The mattress industry has numerous types of products including PU foam, memory foam, latex, pocket spring and bonnel spring. This can be a confusing decision to make for anyone. Memory foam is a relatively new technology that was developed for NASA and has then found usage in the mattress industry.
Memory foam mattresses are recommended for those with back pain because it provides lumbar support by keeping the spine aligned with the mattress, without any gaps in between. Choose a memory foam mattress that is firmer towards the hip area and softer towards the ankle and shoulder area through transition foam of different firmness, as this would provide enhanced support given the structure of the human body.
Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Director and Co-founder of Wakefit.co, a sleep solutions company, says, “A wrong mattress can worsen back pain due to poor sleeping posture, thereby straining the muscles further. This is where a mattress like Wakefit’s Orthopedic Memory Foam Mattress, that provides both comfort and back support, helps. The memory foam helps to keep the spine in alignment by distributing the body weight uniformly across the mattress and thereby provides adequate rest. This helps to reduce the back pain.”
That said, there is no single best mattress and it depends entirely on an individual. Wakefit.co offers sound advice by connecting you to sleep experts, who understand your needs and suggest what could work for you. And, since the mattress comes with a 100-day trial option, it’s easy to try and see if the ergonomic mattress suits your body.
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