My spine curves around the bottom 3rd part of my torso. I’m a side sleeper that spends roughly 2/3 of my sleeping time on the left side. My spine curves towards my left side.
My question is regarding spinal alignment. Should I shoot for a truly straight spinal alignment, or should I shoot to get aligned as my spine actually curves? Considering that I do spend about 1/3 of the time on my right side, is it even possible to get aligned properly from both positions?
While I’m not a healthcare professional, I don’t know that there is really one certain “tried and true” answer to your question, and it may be something that you’d first want to speak about with your physician.
With a lateral (scoliotic) curvature, attempting to “straighten it out” when sleeping on alternate sides would in effect requite two different mattresses, or one with incredible adjustable zones, and even then there would be no guarantee that enough resilience would be available to produce a more “natural” alignment, and even if it did there is no guarantee that this would be “natural” for you, comfortable or even medically desirable.
A forum search on scoliosis (you can just click the link) will bring up all the forum posts and topics that mention it (along with any linked posts that mention scoliosis in the title) but I would always keep in mind that there is no such thing as a mattress that is “best for scoliosis” or lateral curvature or any other health or medical condition … there is only a mattress that is “best for YOU” in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences). Each person is unique and a mattress that is perfect for one person with scoliosis may be completely unsuitable for someone else with scoliosis to sleep on if they have a different body type, sleeping style, sensitivities, preferences, or differences in the severity of their scoliosis.
The steps involved in finding the best mattress for anyone with any specific health or medical condition would be the same as my reply in post #2 here and are also the same steps as choosing a mattress for someone that has no health or medical conditions because the two main functions of any mattress that would apply to anyone are to keep your spine and joints in neutral alignment (whatever that may be for you) and to provide good pressure relief in all your sleeping positions.
Sleep ergonomic research will generally point to something that offers good deep down support, and surface materials that are thick enough that are both point elastic and resilient, such as high-resiliency polyfoam and latex. Some people respond well to a bit of memory foam on top of a mattress using these materials for point elasticity, but memory foam alone is not resilient.
As with any other mattress system, while I can certainly help with “how” to choose, the first “rule” of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which level of “straight” spinal alignment would be the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, or PPP or how a mattress will “feel” to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here ).
I know this answer may sound like a non-answer, but with specific health conditions it really does come down to finding quality materials and then careful personal testing within the guidelines of your healthcare professional.