By Muhammad Auwal
A Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at National Orthopaedic Hospital (NOH), Lagos, Dr Adetunji Toluse has recommended firm mattresses to avoid low back, hip and knee joint pains.
Dr Toluse, who is also a Spine Surgeon, made the recommendation in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
“Low back and neck pains are quite prevalent and epidemiological studies have shown that up to 80 to 85 per cent adults will experience low back pain at one point or another in their lifetime.
“So, it’s quite important that the mattress an individual sleeps on is firm; we don’t want a mattress that the body sinks into.
“If it’s soft, the body sinks into it and adopts abnormal posturing; in the morning, you wake up with low back, hip and knee joint pains,” he said.
Toluse explained that the need for individuals to use firm mattresses was what gave rise to the idea of orthopaedic ones.
“From studies, the term orthopaedic mattresses are not strictly defined, even by industries that produce them.
“Orthopaedic surgeons can vouch that people sleep on firm mattresses to give adequate support for their body,” he said.
Reiterating the importance of good mattresses, the doctor noted that one’s sleeping posture wasn’t the main issue, as nobody sleeps in a single position throughout the night.
“There’s no strict rule to say, ‘this is the posture you must adopt to get a good sleep;’ we change or roll from side to side.
“Even without waking up, out of reflex, the body will change position; intuitively, the spinal reflex will tell you to change position.
“What is important is the quality of mattress being slept on,” he added.
Toluse further explained that mattresses such as orthopaedic and water beds were not for general use, except when needed.
He noted that firm mattresses isn’t recommended for people suffering from paralysis or those who lack feelings in certain parts of their body.
“For such individuals, we recommend water beds for those individuals, so there’s less pressure on their body when they lie on it,” he said.
Besides, the expert advised that children’s mattresses be changed when they outgrow the length.
He further advised using soft pillows to give better support to the neck.