- What is a Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)?
- Top Mattress Recommendations
- Ideal Mattress Type for Degenerative Disc Disease
- Why you need a firm mattress?
- How to Sleep Better in DDD?
- Is Adjustable Base recommended for someone with Degenerative Disc Disease?
- Related FAQs
Growing old comes with its own set of emotional and physical challenges. Back pain and spine-related issues are among the top for elderly people when it comes to physical challenges.
In this article, we will look at some solutions for better sleep when you are suffering from degenerative disc disease.
What is a Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)?
It is associated with old age but the degenerations start way back and can be caused by multiple factors. The common factors are stress, an injury to the back, bad posture, or lack of physical activity for the major part of life.
When you are young these factors affect your spine but our body has a better response to the physical stress on the spine. As you grow older, the effects start surfacing. Aging along with weak muscles holding the spine can lead to damage of discs in the spine.
The common symptoms of DDD are numbness, shooting pain towards your limbs. This pain can be in the cervical region (neck) or lumbar region (back). These are two areas of the spine that are majorly under the stress.
Against popular belief, it is not a disease but a condition that surfaces due to long term degeneration of discs in the spine.
Top Mattress Recommendations
Best Mattress for Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease
- 10” thickness with flippable dual firmness.
- Firm memory foam mattress.
- For heavy back and stomach sleepers.
- Bio-Core® as mattress core.
- 20-year warranty.
Amerisleep is recommended for people suffering from back pain. AS1 is the firmest mattress in their lineup and is best for heavy back and stomach sleepers.
It is a two-layer memory foam mattress with a soft breathable cover. The top layer is a plant-based 2” Bio-Pur® comfort layer that provides a soft feel but does not allow your body to sink.
The core of the mattress is made with 8” Bio-Core® that provides firmness to the mattress. Its open-cell structure provides breathability to the bed.
When combined with a pillow under the stomach, it works wonders for a night of quality sleep.
Best Mattress for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
- 13” thick zoned mattress.
- Designed to serve people with a backache.
- Best in providing support.
- 10-year limited warranty.
Casper is a well-known brand in the US market and does not need any introduction. Casper Original is a go-to choice for many customers. But if you suffer from back pain or dealing with spine-related issues, the Wave mattress is what you need.
Wave is a zoned mattress i.e it is divided into three zones for targeted support at the lumbar region as well as upper body and leg area.
The mattress has 5 layers. The top layer is a thin cooling gel layer with the 2nd and 3rd layers made with proprietary AirScape™ breathable foam responsible for keeping the body cool.
The 4th layer is where the magic happens. It has gel pods that provide support to the lower back area and help in the spine alignment. These gel pods are on Zoned Support™Max memory foam layer that helps in alleviating pain.
The core of the mattress has a layer of base foam that holds the body weight and does not allow it to sink.
This zoned mattress effectively helps in sleeping better in DDD by supporting the spine.
Plank by Brooklyn Bedding
- 11.75” thick.
- Flippable design with two firmness levels.
- 10-year warranty.
Plank mattress by Brooklyn Bedding is one of the firmest mattress available in the market. Although it may not ideal for side sleepers in most cases but with the option of dual firmness, it is soothing for many people with back pain.
It has a quilted top layer sufficient for you to provide comfort without unnecessary sinking of the body.
Like any mattress in our recommendations here, the base of the mattress is again important. It has 7” high-density base foam with a 2” TitanFlex™ transitional layer for support.
Ideal Mattress Type for Degenerative Disc Disease
The ideal mattress type for this condition is that keeps the mattress firm. Does that mean you should sleep on the floor?
Not really, when we say firm, it has to be the core that is firm and holds your body weight. Many people confuse this with a firm mattress surface.
The hybrid mattress works best but you need to be careful the top layer is soft but also thin. Ideally, select a hybrid mattress with a latex layer.
Memory foam mattresses are a common recommendation but they tend to sag sooner or later and retain heat when compared with latex mattresses. Mattress losing shape will affect your already sensitive spine.
Why you need a firm mattress?
It is a proven fact that one should opt for a medium-firmness mattress for better back health. Although, the firmness is dependent on your body weight, body shape, and sleeping position.
The situation changes and another factor comes into play when you are looking for the best mattress for back pain. One has to take extra precautions to support the spine. With a condition like DDD, you need a firmer mattress that provides pressure relief.
Avoid the mistake of buying an extra firm mattress as it may not support and conform to the shape of the spine. The idea of a firm mattress is to adopt a mattress with a firm core and thin comfort layer. Don’t opt for a plush or soft mattress.
Also, the thickness and firmness of the mattress should promote easy getting in and out of the bed.
How to Sleep Better in DDD?
People with DDD and paracentral disc herniation get relief when they sleep on the stomach. It is largely due to the reduced pressure on spinal discs.
How to reduce pressure on disc space?
In this condition, where disc space has been compromised, the mattress and sleeping position should aid in reducing pressure on them.
In most cases, sleeping on the stomach is helpful in reducing pressure. Use a thin pillow under the abdomen on a firm mattress for better sleep. Back sleepers can get relief if the torso is raised by few degrees using the wedge pillow or an adjustable bed. Don’t forget to support the knees with a knee pillow.
For cervical or neck related pain caused by degeneration, the role of a pillow is critical. It extremely important to sleep on the best pillow recommended for degenerative disc disease.
Best Pillow for Degenerative Disc Disease
- Made in the USA (avoid cheap imported hull from China).
- Organic buckwheat & millet hulls.
- Works well with all sleeping positions.
- Bamboo fabric.
- Sleeps cooler.
Orthopedic pillows or pillows with contour shaped to provide extra support to the neck as they keep the neck aligned with the spine.
It is also important to note that buckwheat hull pillows are effective for pain relief for DDD sufferers and should be preferred over other pillows. We urge you to include the below pillow along with our best mattress recommendations.
Is Adjustable Base recommended for someone with Degenerative Disc Disease?
As stated earlier, adjustable beds are known to be more supportive as they help in altering the sleeping position by elevating the body to the desired degree. Additionally, most of the best adjustable beds have additional features like massage, the ability to control with remote, etc.
Many chiropractors recommend an adjustable base than a regular bed for better support and quality sleep.