Pillows, Mattresses and How They Affect Your Back

Woman Sleeping On White Bedding, WIth Soft Pillow, Mattress

There are few things more inviting after a long day then a bed that’s piled high with pillows. Unfortunately, what is supposed to provide comfort and renewal may actually be causing your neck and back pain.

There are plenty of potential reasons for back pain, but if your mornings are notably difficult because you’re waking up with a stiff, aching back or neck, there’s a good chance that you’re using the wrong pillow, sleeping on the wrong mattress, or both. 

Your Mattress

Of all the pieces of furniture in your home, your mattress is the most important to your health. Ironically,  it is also the one that gets the least attention.

Mattresses can be expensive, and many people start their adult life trying to save money by either purchasing the cheapest mattress they can find or accepting a hand-me down that’s been sitting in a family member’s basement.

Unfortunately, in the case of the first option you get what you pay for, and for the latter, mattresses have a shelf life. In both instances you can end up with a chronically sore back that affects the quality of your sleep and the way you feel when you get up each day.

If you’ve been waking up with a bad back and you haven’t injured yourself, the first thing you should do is take a closer look at your mattress, especially if your pain goes away as the day goes on, or is relieved by stretching. That’s a sign that your pain is more muscular then arising from your spine.

Another indication that your mattress is the root of your problem is that your pain is felt in the middle of your back. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How old is your mattress? Depending on whether you have a traditional inner spring mattress or a memory foam mattress, the shelf life is between 5 and 10 years. Most people make the mistake of keeping their mattresses twice as long as they should.
  • How has your body changed? A mattress that was purchased when you weighed forty pounds less is not going to provide you the same support that it once did.

Your Pillow

Let’s return to the initial image that we presented of a bed piled high with pillows. Sounds nice, but laying propped up that high is not the right position for your neck and back. What you need is a single pillow that is appropriate for the position that you prefer for sleep.

The goal of a pillow is to help keep your head in alignment with your neutral spine. That means it shouldn’t be tilted to the side, or too high, or bent too low.

When positioning yourself and putting your pillow beneath your head, try to get a sense of how your spine would look if an X-ray were to be taken while you are lying there.  A side sleeper needs a plusher pillow that will hold their head up more, while a person who sleeps on their stomach needs a flat pillow under their head and another pillow positioned under their body in order to keep their spine in alignment.

If you believe that your mattress or pillow are contributing to your back pain, go to a knowledgeable retailer to find the right solution.

If your pain continues, it may be time to contact our office to set up a time for a pain consultation.

Patient Reviews

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  • "Amazing healthcare. I cannot express enough how well I was cared for by Dr. Callewart, Joe and their team. The office staff are lovely and helpful and patient. Neck surgery feels a little frightening, but no fear here, not one detail of your care will be overlooked."

    Hope Banks

  • "I’m weighed over 220 lbs and had a train wreck of a back. Almost 1 year ago I had to have 2 surgeries 4 days apart. As you can see, what Dr. Callewart and Joe were able to do is simply amazing. I highly recommend Dr. Callewart and his team for any of your surgical needs!"

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  • "I have had 2 surgeries by Dr Callewart. The last one was 3 years ago. He gave me a good part of my life back. I will always have mobility and loss of motion issues but my quality of life is good. I cannot say enough good things about him and Joe Nagy. At some point (hopefully not soon)know i will have another and really hope i can go back to him."

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  • "Dr.Callewart and Dr.Joe are the best Dr.s around.Very attentive,patient and kind.Always a professional and they take great care of their patients.I've had several surgeries and they have taken great care of me.Recommend HIGHLY.Thanks for all you do."

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  • "Trust them completely!!"

    Dora Ward

  • "Amazing doctor and staff!!! He and Joe truly care about their patients and has awesome personalities! You go in pain and leave smiling confident that your pain will soon be gone!"

    Candace Williams

  • "Have seen Dr Callewart and Joe for about 20 years! They are ALWAYS helpful and listen to any concerns I have! Could not be happier with Dr. Callewart and Joe Nagy and all of the staff I see. They are a great staff and of course Dr and P.A. He took over after 4 surgeries by someone else and have done everything possible to help correct the problems in my neck! I would recommed this Doctor to anyone having spinal problems!"

    Dianna Montgomery

  • "Dr Callewart is such a great well rounded dr. Love his staff .. even dr joe... the new chairs are not my favorite to sit in with my back issues and its alwayyssss hot. But i wouldn't trade him for any other dr.."

    Kelly Sullivan
  • "I love the professional environment and services they provide. My Dr. Callewart is very warm and friendly. Sometimes I forget that I'm talking to my Dr. because he makes me feel like we're old high school buddies! Lol! Couldn't have asked for a more Professional Dr. than Dr. Callewart who knows what he's doing! Thank you for all you do!"

    Rico Da Don
  • "Dr Calawart and Joe are the very best back doctors in the Dallas area. They are so kind and caring and the staff is awesome. When you have a problem they get you an appointment right away no waiting for days or weeks Love this group."

    Linda Jennings
  • "Dr Calewart and crew are very good at what they do. Carrying and compassionate are virtues that are hard to find in specialties, I have never found them to be anything less. Great bedside manor, and both Dr Calewart and Joe Naggy know their stuff. Great Team, with great suport from their staff."

    Rick Sims
  • "Dr. C. and Joe Nagy are the best doctors I have ever had. They have a wonderful staff including radiology , his dictationist, his scheduler and all the front desk staff. Thanks for taking such good care of me."

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  • "The dr. & jo are the greatest I need one more fix.....please Lol Sonia"

    Sonia Myers
  • "Wouldnt go any where else. The staff is so friendly and doctor callawart is great but doc Joe is my favorite. So nice and listen to all your problems and his sense of humor is the best."

    Sheila Curry
  • "Dr.Callewart and his staff are always at there best when it comes to his patients ."

    Fida Fira
  • "I got an appointment quick and everyone was so helpful and nice. I tell anyone with back problems to call Dr. Callwart and get his help. He is very good."

    Gloria Shepherd
  • "I couldn't ask for a better Doctor. He cares about his Patients..."

    Sheryl Miller

Are you in pain?

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