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Abstract

Background Humans spend around a third of a lifetime in bed[1]. Sleep disturbance is becoming increasingly recognised as a clinically important symptom in people with chronic low back pain[2]. There are a variety of mechanisms that reduce back pain and improve quality of sleep by decreasing spinal muscle activity, improved spinal alignment, and reducing pressure at main contact areas between the body and the sleep surface[3,4,5]; one of which involves mattress comfort layers. Methods Twenty participants volunteered for this study. Ten QualisysTM cameras recorded movement of the spine in 6-degrees of freedom using a multisegment spine model[4] during side-lying on three visually identical mattresses. Internally all mattresses contained an identical zoned 1000-count spring configuration with three different comfort layers of equal depth (Geltex, Latex and Memory Foam). Peak pressure distribution was measured at the hip and shoulder and additional comfort and firmness ratings were recorded. Results A statistically significance difference was seen in the peak pressure of the shoulder between mattresses. A Pairwise comparison showed that the Geltex was significantly different than Latex (2.36kPa) and Memory Foam (2.41kPa). Within mattress peak pressure at the shoulder also changes significantly over time for the Geltex and Latex mattresses but not Memory Foam. Lower peak pressures were shown at the hip for Geltex (2.17kPa) when compared to Latex (2.39kPa) and Memory Foam (2.51kPa). Though Geltex was perceived the most firm, hip peak pressure changes significantly over time in Latex and Memory Foam but not in Geltex. In the coronal plane there was a statistically significant difference between the mattresses at the upper lumbar to lower lumbar segment with differences shown between: Geltex and Latex, Geltex and Memory Foam and Latex and Memory Foam. The lower lumbar to pelvis segment also showed significant difference between: Geltex and Latex against Memory foam. In the sagittal plane the lower thoracic and upper lumbar segment showed statistically significant differences between mattresses shown between Geltex and Latex and Geltex and Memory foam. Discussion Evidence suggests that a Geltex comfort layer will disperse pressure at the hip and shoulder more effectively than either Latex or Memory Foam comfort layers. Geltex showed significantly less deviation from the spinal neutral position in key areas around the lower lumber suggesting a more neutral spinal posture to afford improved relaxation. Acknowledgements Staff time for this project was funded by Silentnight Group Ltd.,UK. References 1. Gordon,S,J., et al., (2011)Physio Canada, 63(2), p183-190. 2. Hurley,D., et al., (2010)J Musc Skel Dis, 11(70). 3. Lahm,R., et al., (2002)Ergon, 45(11) p798-815. 4. Verhaert,V., et al., (2011)Ergon, 54(2), p169-78. 5. Lee,H., et al., (2006)Int. J Ind Erg, 36, p943-49.

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