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What is lumbar support? And why have it in your bed?

Incorrect postureIf you suffer from back pain, you’re not alone. The American Chiropractic Association says that 31 million Americans are having back problems at any given time. Low back pain in particular is the leading cause of disability worldwide. There are a lot of options to find relief, including adjustable beds that move your head and foot to relieve pressure and align your spine. For long-term or more serious cases, people might need extra-targeted support to the lower back. That’s why manufacturers like Rize started adding lumbar support to some of their bases. What does lumbar support really do though?

What is lumbar support?

“Lumbar support” can refer to anything that provides extra support to the lumbar region, which most people just call “the lower back.” The lumbar region is generally the five vertebrae in the lower spine between the sacrum and diaphragm. Correct posture keeps this area aligned in its natural curvature and there are plenty of products out there to help: back braces, pillows, chairs, car seats, and, of course, beds. 

All of these can help the back to stay in line, usually by providing additional padding where the lower back will rest - or by trying to stop you from slouching in the first place! If the natural curvature of the spine isn’t being supported, too much pressure goes onto the lumbar area, which leads to pain.

Why have lumbar support?

The lower back is already prone to injury because we use it so much, but our poor posture can make the chances of pain and strain worse. When sitting or standing in the right position, the spine can maintain the natural curvature without adding anything extra. Unfortunately, most of us end up slouched forward. This pushes the lower back out so that the natural inward curve of the spine goes in the opposite direction. 

This leads to strain and unnecessary pressure on the lower back. If you do this for long periods of time - like being in the incorrect position while working at a desk or sleeping – it can mean that the pain keeps coming back and can get worse. Most people spend most of their hours either in their office chair or in their bed, so these are the most important places to add in lumbar support to help correct and maintain the natural spine alignment.

Correct sitting posture

Correct sitting posture with lumbar support.

How does lumbar support work on an adjustable bed?

Adjustable beds in general can be good for people with back pain and problems. To help with the troublesome lower back area, manufacturers have started adding different forms of lumbar support to adjustable beds. This is generally a segment of the base that moves into place when needed for added comfort - and yes, you can feel the difference through the mattress! This can be a bar or an entire section of the bed and acts a lot like a lumbar support pillow by pressing on the lower back to get the spine into alignment. In some models this support is either up or down, and in some (like Rize) it can be adjusted. With this feature, the level of support can be increased by raising the lumbar section higher, or decreased to your comfort level.

And adjustable base with added lumbar support that can be adjusted as needed.

Spinal support is important, so if you're suffering from lower back pain, make sure you're getting the right support.