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Medical Beds

Can Adjustable Beds Cause Back Pain?

One of the most frequently asked questions about home hospital beds is this: “Do adjustable beds cause back pain?” As with any medical question, the answer is not straightforward. The back and neck are large and complex systems of bones, tendons, nerves, and muscles. Problems with any of these can lead to pain.

Sleeping position is one of the most common contributing factors to back pain. A home hospital bed helps people with back pain to sleep in positions that alleviate pain and promote healing. But can home hospital beds also cause back pain?

In this article, we discuss the causes of back pain, how an adjustable bed helps with back pain, and why some adjustable bed users may not get the relief they expect.

Can Adjustable Beds Cause Back Pain?

The simple answer is yes. Sleeping on an adjustable bed can worsen back pain. There are three main ways in which a home hospital bed can make back pain worse:

  • The bed’s adjustments are not used to distribute forces in a way to relieve pressure on affected areas of the back.
  • The mattress does not provide adequate support.
  • The bed is low-quality and does not offer the correct range of adjustments or support people with back pain need.

The adjustments on a home hospital bed make it easier, safer, and more comfortable to sleep in a back-friendly position. But you can also use an adjustable bed to sleep in a position that is not good for your back.

The most flexible home hospital beds can be adjusted into many different configurations. Some of those configurations provide relief for back pain sufferers and promote healing for the injuries that cause back pain. But some positions have the opposite effect.

How Can an Adjustable Bed Cause Back Pain?

An adjustable bed can move into positions that help people with back pain to lie in a position the causes the least amount of discomfort. But it can also be put in a position that makes things worse.

An adjustable bed is a flexible piece of medical equipment. Like all medical equipment, it is important to follow medical advice when using a home hospital bed. Because there are many different types of back pain, you should also be careful to use the bed in a way that is suitable for your condition.

Consider a person with degenerative spondylolisthesis, a common back condition in older people caused by the misalignment of vertebrae, usually in the lower spine. Elevating the upper body can help to relieve the discomfort caused by this condition. But too much elevation may focus excessive force on the affected area, increasing discomfort.

This is one of the reasons that people with degenerative spondylolisthesis are advised to sleep with both a moderately raised upper body and additional support for the knees. This position is sometimes called the zero-gravity position because it evenly distributes weight and ensures that joints are not subject to excessive strain.

Transfer Master home hospital beds feature head, foot, and tilt adjustments, allowing them to take on positions suitable for a wide variety of people and conditions, including the zero-gravity position.

Can the Mattress on an Adjustable Bed Make Back Pain Worse?

Mattresses play a vital role in distributing pressure. A well-designed mattress ensures that your body is adequately supported and that pressure is not concentrated in joints or other sensitive parts of the body. A mattress can make back pain worse if it is too soft, too hard, or does not have the right amount of support for the parts of the body that need it.

Many consumer mattresses and even some low-cost mattresses designed for hospital beds do not provide the best support for people with back pain.

The mattresses in the Supernal Sleep System are designed to provide just the right amount of support. The Ascent Hospital Bed Mattress uses progressive laminated foams to manage pressure distribution. The Soft Touch Memory Foam Mattress uses form-fitting memory foam so that it adjusts to the shape of your body.

If you would like to talk to an expert about how an adjustable bed can help with your back pain, contact us today by phone or email.

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About Transfer Master

Transfer Master has built electric adjustable hospital beds for the home and medical facility since 1993. We started with a simple goal that hospital beds should allow wheelchair users to transfer independently in and out of bed. Twenty-five years later, our customers are still at the center of everything we do. You’ll feel the difference.