What determines the fate of your spine?

The use of a good a quality mattress will help avoid back problems.

Momina Sibtain July 21, 2013
The use of a good a quality mattress will help avoid back problems.


According to studies, the average person spends at least a third of his or her life sleeping. This clearly implies that our sleeping habits and what we sleep on – bed, couch or mattress – will determine the fate of our spines.

“The use of a good mattress can actually help not just eradicate, but avoid back issues,” says Shahzad Malik, Managing Director Master Celeste. “95% of orthopedic surgeons believe that lower back pain can be managed simply by switching to the right mattress.”

The Express Tribune speaks to the representatives of KKT Orthopedic Spine Center in order to understand why back issues prevail and what can be done to curtail them. KKT is a cutting edge global healthcare organisation dedicated to scientific and medical advancements. One of their most significant breakthroughs would have to be a device that can realign the spine non-invasively.

“Orthopedic problems are caused when minor aches and pains are not treated. Our health, physical and mental, is affected by our lifestyle, posture, diet and for a third of our lives, the position of the body while sleeping,” says Dr Afzal, Chief Orthopedic Surgeon and consultant KKT. “Many patients with orthopedic problems give importance to their diet and lifestyle but they overlook the importance of the mattress.”

CEO KKT Pakistan Javed Qureshi elaborates on how a person can maintain a healthy spine. “It is all about the alignment of the spine,” he says. “If the alignment of a car is not proportional, it will fail to function. And just like that if the spine is not aligned, it will begin to wear and tear.”

Most people end up spending hundreds of thousands on mundane activities and in beautifying their lives but many shy away when the time comes to spend on a good mattress. “We recommend memory foam mattresses to people,” says Qureshi.

When the body lies in a certain position for a long period of time, the blood vessels are not oxygenated and as a result, start getting numb. This lack of oxygen sends a signal to the brain that makes us rotate or change position. If your body is resting on the right mattress, it will reduce the frequency of the times you change positions during one sleep cycle. Memory foam, first designed in the ‘60s for Nasa airplane seats, moulds to the body in response to heat and pressure, and evenly distributes body weight.

“We suggest and recommend memory foam mattresses to people because this technology helps memorise one’s sleeping posture and does not distort the alignment of the spine while sleeping.”

Memory mattress is a new frontier as far as mattress technology goes and surely, they are slightly costly when compared to normal spring mattresses. “It is important to ensure that the mattress remains harmonised,” continues Qureshi. “If you have an ordinary mattress, you should flip it every six months to ensure that it remains harmonised.” Experts say that normal foam mattresses available in the market come with a marketing gimmick of ‘lifetime warranty’ and since they are cheaper, they wear out faster, and once worn out, they become detrimental to the spine. “We still believe that a foam mattress is better than a simple spring mattress. Just because the density of the foam is really high, it wears out much faster.”

The advantage of the memory foam, as the name suggests, is that it memorises your body patterns and hence, keeps your alignment intact night after night. “We have seen significant changes in people’s back alignments after they switch to memory foam,” concludes Qureshi. “It is a healthy and safe way to ensure the health of your spine.”

Tempurpedic is a world-renowned mattress company known for its memory mattresses but its products are not readily available in Pakistan. However, Master Celeste remains to be one of the only companies across the country that manufactures mattresses of similar quality.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.

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