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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Should I have a firm mattress if I have ankylosing spondylitis?

Q) I wonder if you have any advice for the degree of mattress firmness for someone with ankylosing spondylitis? My back aches first thing in the morning but improves as I become more physically active. I believe this is normal. Recently we had a holiday and my back was much better when I got up. I don’t know if this was due to a more suitable mattress or because I was free from my usual manual labour on our farm!
M K Milner, Wimborne, Dorset (Winter 2009)

A) Ah holidays! They always make you feel better. That's why we take them. I hear this many, many times a year, usually after the summer period. I don’t know of any studies on mattress firmness in ankylosing spondylitis. The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis tend to be worse first thing in the morning. In fact, patients usually tell me the worse the night they have, the less stiff they are in the morning. So maybe that disco down below your hotel room was keeping you awake to good effect!
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