Nov 04, 2015
WHAT IS THE BEST MATTRESS FOR SCOLIOSIS?
What is the Best Mattress for Scoliosis?
If you or a loved one is suffering from the condition of “scoliosis”, you probably are wondering what other factors can improve the curvature of the spine -and the bed is a very good, and probably the most important place to start. Just a reminder, as you probably know, scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine in the frontal plane. This means that if one was looking at a person’s spine from the back, you could see either an S-Curve or sometimes a simple C-Curve. Oftentimes, and especially with the more severe scoliosis, there is also a one-sided (unilateral) additional roundedness of the ribcage that is a result of the spinal curvature, especially the rotational component, called a kypho-scoliosis.
So the important thing is that scoliosis needs SUPPORT. Much like any abnormal curvature of the spine, the mattress that you select needs to support the spine to help correct and resist the force of gravity. Since scoliosis is primarily evident in the mid back (thoracic spine), I always explain to my patients that the best position to sleep is on one’s back. Since the thoracic spine usually has a rounded component, the right idea is to give the spine “push back” and generally be on the firmer side. This will in essence help to straighten the spine or at least give it the support whereby the muscles, tendons and ligaments don’t have to be as stressed being in an uncomfortable position.
If a person with scoliosis sleeps on their side, its’ okay but care must be given to understand which side is the high side (the convex side) and remember to attempt to sleep on that side so one doesn’t exacerbate the abnormal curvature. Remember, as a rule of thumb, the high side (convex) should be down on the firmer surface. If one is a side sleeper, he or she should most likely get a medium mattress firmness. The reason is that one needs some upper surface “give” but also needs the “push back” support to fill in the lumbar spine and hip curvature. By far, the best foam for “push back” support is Talalay Latex, one that I have designed as an integral foam product in every mattress that I have created.
The most important concept in mattress selection is to get a mattress that has “push back” and is generally on the medium or firmer side, depending on the sleeping position and the person’s body weight. You can go on the website JUSTSLEEPbeds.com and find “Dr Hall’s Firmness Chart” and check out and confirm the recommendations based on my experience of treating over 10,000 patients in over thirty years of clinical practice.
Wishing you the best of sleep,
Dr Raymond Hall, DC