While NASA is given the credit for inventing what we now know as memory foam, the application it has been most utilized in over the years is in the medical community. With its body heat-activated contouring, memory foam is used in medical settings as bedding, due to its pressure reduction and weight-spreading capabilities. People who are recovering from surgeries or confined to bed are prone to pressure sores, where the weight of the body reduces or cuts off circulation to a particular area. At the time, periodically moving patients to shift their weight distribution was one of the few ways of coping with the issue. The introduction of memory foam as a medical foam product has made a difference in helping these patients, and in many other ways as well.
Cervical bed wedge pillows are one of memory foam’s most popular current applications, helping individuals suffering from neck pain or injuries. The visco-elastic foam molds to the head and neck for pressure-free comfort, while helping to keep the neck and spine aligned at a comfortable angle. Even for people without structural or health issues, improved alignment can offer a much more restful night’s sleep.
Memory foam mattresses for home use offer the same pressure reduction characteristics as their medical counterparts, even if there isn’t concern over pressure sores from a single night’s use. We do, however, toss and turn if we’ve wound up in a position where circulation is cut off or we’re resting on a pressure point. The body is able to identify this and re-situate, sometimes snapping you out of a sleep. Better circulation means better comfort and sounder sleep. Memory foam also makes great topper pads for pain sufferers who may have a sound bedding foundation and don’t want to splurge on a whole new mattress. Sometimes it seems things work out in ways they were never expected to, more often than planned results occur. Memory foam taking hold as an important material in the medical and health world is a prime example.