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Aging brings its own emotional and physical challenges. Back pain and spinal issues are among the top for seniors when it comes to physical challenges.
In this article, we will look at some solutions to help you sleep better if you suffer from degenerative disc disease.
What is a Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)?
It is associated with old age, but degenerations start long ago and can be caused by multiple factors. Common factors include stress, a back injury, poor posture, or lack of physical activity for most of life.
When you’re young, these factors affect your spine, but our body responds better to physical stress on the spine. As you get older, the effects begin to show. Aging along with weakness of the muscles that support the spine can lead to damage to the intervertebral discs.
Common symptoms of DDD include numbness, throbbing pain in the extremities. This pain can be in the cervical region (neck) or in the lumbar region (back). These are two parts of the spine that are mainly under pressure.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not a disease, but a condition resulting from long-term degeneration of the intervertebral discs.
It is important to note that if the degeneration continues, it can lead to other diseases related to the spine such as spinal stenosis, scoliosis, osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis, etc.
Top Mattress Recommendations
Best Mattress for Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease
- 10” thick with double folding strength.
- Firm memory foam mattress.
- For people who sleep on their stomach and have a heavy back.
- Bio-Core® as the core of the mattress.
- 20 year warranty.
Amerisleep is recommended for people who suffer from back pain. AS1 is the strongest mattress in its range and is best for those who sleep on their stomach and with a heavy back.
It is a two-layer memory foam mattress with a soft and breathable cover. The top layer is a 2”Bio-Pur® vegetable comfort layer that feels soft but does not let your body sag.
The core of the mattress is made of 8” Bio-Core® which adds firmness to the mattress. The open cell structure ensures breathability of the bed.
In combination with a pillow under the stomach it works wonders for a good night’s sleep.
Best Mattress for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
- Mattress divided into 13” thick zones.
- Designed to help people with back pain.
- Best at providing support.
- 10 year limited warranty.
Casper is a well-known brand in the American market and needs no introduction. Casper Original is the preferred choice for many customers. But if you suffer from back pain or have problems with the spine, the Wave mattress is what you need.
Wave is a zoned mattress, i.e. divided into three zones for specific support in the lumbar region, but also in the upper body and leg area.
The mattress has 5 layers. The top layer is a thin layer of cooling gel with the second and third layers made of patented breathable AirScape™ foam responsible for keeping the body cool.
The fourth layer is where the magic happens. It has gel capsules that support the lower back and help align the spine. These gel capsules are housed in a Zoned Support™ Max memory foam layer that helps relieve pain.
The core of the mattress has a base layer of foam that supports the body weight and does not sag.
This zoned mattress effectively helps DDD sleep better by supporting the spine.
Plank by Brooklyn Bedding
- 11.75” thick.
- Foldable design with two levels of strength.
- 10 year warranty.
Brooklyn Bedding’s Plank mattress is one of the strongest mattresses on the market. While it may not be ideal for side sleepers in most cases, but with the double firmness option, it is soothing for many people with back pain.
It has enough quilted top layer to give you comfort without unnecessary body sag.
Like every mattress from our recommendations here, the mattress base is important again. It has a 7″ high-density foam base with a 2″ TitanFlex™ transition layer for support.
Ideal Mattress Type for Degenerative Disc Disease
The ideal type of mattress for this condition is the one that keeps the mattress firm. Does that mean you have to sleep on the floor?
Not really, when we say firm, it has to be the core that is firm and supports the weight of your body. Many people confuse this with a firm mattress surface.
The hybrid mattress works best, but you have to be careful that the top layer is soft but also thin. Preferably choose a hybrid mattress with a latex layer.
Memory foam mattresses are often recommended, but they tend to sag and trap heat sooner or later compared to latex mattresses. The loss of shape of the mattress affects your already sensitive spine.
Why you need a firm mattress?
It is a proven fact that for better back health you should choose a medium firm mattress. However, the firmness depends on your body weight, body shape and sleeping position.
The situation is changing and another factor comes into play when looking for the best mattress for back pain. Extra precautions should be taken to support the spine. With a condition like DDD, you need a firmer mattress to relieve the pressure.
Avoid the mistake of buying an extra firm mattress as it may not support the shape of your spine and conform to the shape of your back. The idea of a firm mattress is to adopt a mattress with a firm core and a thin layer of comfort. Don’t go for a soft or soft mattress.
The thickness and firmness of the mattress should also make it easier to get in and out.
How to Sleep Better in DDD?
People with DDD and a paracentral hernia get relief when they sleep on their stomach. It is largely due to the reduced pressure on the intervertebral discs.
How to reduce pressure on disc space?
In this condition, where disk space is compromised, the mattress and sleeping position should help reduce the pressure.
In most cases, sleeping on your stomach helps to relieve pressure. Use a thin pillow under your stomach on a firm mattress for a better night’s sleep. Back sleepers can get relief if the torso is raised a few degrees with the wedge pillow or an adjustable bed. Make sure you support your knees with a knee pad.
For cervical or neck-related pain caused by degeneration, the role of a pillow is critical. It is extremely important to sleep on the best pillow recommended for degenerative disc disease.
Best Pillow for Degenerative Disc Disease
- Made in USA (avoid cheap imported helmet from China).
- Organic buckwheat and millet shells.
- Works well with all sleeping positions.
- Bamboo woven.
- Sleep fresher.
Orthopedic pillows or contoured pillows to provide extra neck support while keeping the neck aligned with the spine.
It is also important to note that buckwheat hull pillows are effective in relieving pain in people with DDD and are preferable to other pillows. We recommend that you include the following pillow in our top mattress recommendations.
Is Adjustable Base recommended for someone with Degenerative Disc Disease?
As mentioned above, adjustable beds are known to provide more support as they help change the sleeping position by lifting the body to the desired degree. Also, most of the best adjustable beds have additional features such as massage, the ability to operate with a remote control, etc.
Many chiropractors recommend an adjustable base over a regular bed for better support and a good night’s sleep.