Orthopedic Pillow For Neck Pain
- 0.1 Is orthopedic pillow good for neck pain?
- 0.2 What is the best way to use a pillow for neck pain?
- 1 What pillow do chiropractors recommend for side sleepers?
- 2 Do chiropractors recommend neck pillows?
- 3 Should I sleep on hard or soft pillow during neck pain?
- 4 Do doctors recommend orthopedic pillows?
- 5 Should I buy an orthopedic pillow?
- 6 Should I put my shoulders on my pillow?
- 7 Why does my neck hurt no matter what pillow I use?
- 8 Why are hotel pillows so comfortable?
- 9 Why does my neck hurt when I wake up?
- 10 Do side sleepers need firm or soft pillow?
- 11 What position pillow is best for neck support?
- 12 What is the best way to sleep so your neck doesn’t hurt?
- 13 Why is stiff neck worse at night?
What pillow do doctors recommend for neck pain?
What to Consider When Purchasing a Pillow for Neck Pain – Most people don’t give much thought to their pillow, beyond choosing a pillow that’s nice and squishy for immediate comfort. This means that when we do realize our pillow may be contributing to our neck pain, we may not know how to go about choosing the best pillow,
- Loft : The loft determines the angle of your head in relation to your spine. A pillow that’s too high or too low can force your neck to bend at an unnatural angle, causing strain and discomfort over time. That’s why sleep experts recommend choosing a pillow loft that keeps your head and neck aligned with your spine. When choosing your pillow, don’t forget to consider the width of your shoulders and size of your head. If you’re not sure of your ideal loft, you may wish to purchase a pillow with an adjustable loft.
- Support: In addition to being the right height under your head, a pillow should also adequately support your neck. This is most often seen in cervical pillows, which contour to the neck instead of leaving a space where the neck is unsupported. This design is especially helpful for side and back sleepers.
- Firmness Level: The pillow firmness will determine where your head comes to rest, so it’s important to give this aspect careful consideration. The right pillow firmness for you will depend on how heavy your head is, how high the pillow is, what position you tend to sleep in, and the firmness of your mattress. Pillows that are too firm may cause pressure points, for example in the ears when side sleeping. On the other hand, pillows that are too soft may sag under your head and fail to provide proper support.
- Pressure Relief : A good pillow provides pressure relief by taking strain off your neck and contouring to reduce pressure points. For the best pressure relief, choose a pillow that’s the appropriate shape and size for your sleeping position, and the appropriate firmness to alleviate pressure at contact points.
- Shape: Today’s manufacturers offer a varied assortment of ergonomic pillows that provide enhanced support by adapting to the shape of your head and neck. Some people also choose to add another pillow to their setup, one popular choice being a small roll under the neck in addition to the main pillow. Pillow shape is a matter of personal preference, but if you can’t find relief from your neck pain, one solution may be to try a cervical pillow. This type of pillow is specifically designed to offer strong cervical support, which can help reduce neck pain and improve sleep quality.
- Price: Investing in a good pillow is crucial to your overall health and your neck health in particular. Pillow prices vary widely depending on their materials and design. When shopping for a pillow, keep in in mind that certain types of pillows will last you for years, while others may need to be replaced after a year or two as their materials wear out and lose their loft or conforming abilities.
- Quality Materials: Within broad categories such as memory foam or feather pillows, the quality of your individual pillow plays a significant role in determining its longevity and comfort. Some pillows can be washed occasionally and properly dried to fluff them up and increase their lifespan.
The best pillow for neck and shoulder pain is firm enough to hold your head at a healthy angle, but soft enough to alleviate pressure points. Most sleepers find success with either a memory foam, latex, buckwheat, or feather pillow, as these materials offer the best balance of support and pressure relief. Shredded memory foam is known for offering close contouring around the head and neck.
- Memory Foam: Memory foam molds in response to heat and pressure, contouring to form a supportive cradle around your head and neck. Memory foam pillows are allergen resistant, cheap, and widely available, either in solid or shredded form. However, they have a limited lifespan, and the material’s slow response to pressure may be frustrating if you’re a combination sleeper. The material is also prone to trapping heat.
- Buckwheat: Buckwheat hulls naturally interlock and hold their shape, making them a great choice for head and neck support. As a natural material, buckwheat is naturally breathable, resistant to allergens, durable, and environmentally friendly. On the downside, buckwheat pillows tend to command a high price-point, and they may take some getting used to as they aren’t as soft as other traditional pillow types and do make some noise as you change positions.
- Feather: Good quality feather pillows are soft and offer excellent conforming. They’re also often customizable, allowing you to adjust the loft by taking out feathers or adding more. Unfortunately, feather pillows tend to lose their loft as the feathers get compressed over time. Many people also find that the feathers may become displaced under the weight of their head, affecting the support they provide.
- Latex: Natural latex has a buoyant feel that holds your neck in place while minimizing pressure points. Many latex pillows feature pincore holes for improved temperature regulation. The major downside to latex is that latex pillows usually come in one solid piece, so you can’t adjust them into a customized shape. While many people turn to latex as a natural and sustainable option, organic and other certifications tend to raise the price tag.
- Down: Made from the inner feathers of ducks and geese, down is exceedingly soft and lightweight. Down pillows can be reshaped to suit your preference. Due to down’s high price tag and ability to provoke allergies in some people, many sleepers opt for down alternative pillows, made from polyester fibers. Unfortunately, both down and down alternative pillows easily lose their shape and tend to be too soft to adequately support the neck.
- Polyfoam: Most polyfoam pillows offer some contouring and boast a quicker response to pressure than memory foam, although, like memory foam, they will trap heat. Polyfoam pillows are lightweight, affordable, and resistant to common allergens. However, they develop permanent indentations over time and will need to be replaced more often than other pillow types.
Sleep experts recommend either back or side sleeping if you experience neck pain. Sleeping on your stomach causes your head to bend at a sharp angle and arches your spine, which puts unwanted pressure on your neck. If you strictly sleep on your stomach, you should choose a pillow with a low loft to minimize pressure.
- Side with Elevated Neck: In order for side sleepers to avoid neck pain, it’s important to keep your head in line with your spine. The best pillow for side sleepers with neck pain should have a loft that equals the distance between the ears and the edge of the shoulders. This means that if you have bigger shoulders, you’ll usually need a higher loft. Since your neck sits naturally higher than the head, cervical pillows have an elevated area under the neck that helps support the neck and encourage proper alignment.
- Back with Two Pillows: Usually, pillows for back sleepers should have a medium loft that raises the head just enough to sit in line with the neck. But back sleepers face a similar problem to side sleepers in that most pillows don’t support the higher curve of the neck. If you have trouble finding a properly supportive pillow, you may opt for a small rounded pillow under the neck for added support in addition to the main pillow.
In addition to choosing the right pillow, you can reduce neck pain through lifestyle changes like adopting proper posture, taking stretching breaks, and generally being more active. People who experience neck pain should avoid shoulder bags, slouching, and long periods of sitting at the computer.
- Choose the Right Mattress: Your body’s overall position is influenced not only by your pillow, but also your mattress, Plusher mattresses allow your body to sink down further, meaning you’ll need a lower-loft pillow. The opposite holds true for firmer mattresses, which will require a higher pillow to maintain proper alignment of the neck and spine.
- Engage in Physical Therapy: From daily habits to more serious regimens, there are plenty of exercises you can do to relax your neck muscles and relieve strain on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. A certified massage therapist or chiropractor may also be able to help. Always consult a health professional before starting any kind of treatment.
- Use Ice or Heat: Many people with neck pain receive instant relief from a hot or cold compress, or from taking a warm shower. This may not cure your neck problems, but it can be a helpful short-term solution.
Is orthopedic pillow good for neck pain?
Orthopedic pillow for neck pain and better sleeping posture April 1, 2022 Often when people suffer from back or, the first instinct is to blame one’s posture. However, what most people don’t realize is that your posture is a function of many things including the that you sleep on! Though it is not one of the typical concerns for many, back and neck pain due to aging is more common than we think.
- Are you doing all to make sure that you are not a future patient of this ailment? One way to do it is by investing in a good that takes the pressure off your neck when you sleep.
- Not only will this help prevent pain and discomfort, but it will also ensure a restful slumber! Ways to Keep Your Back & Neck in Ideal Shape To minimize pressure on your neck, you should use a pillow that supports the contours of your neck according to your sleeping position.
You can also tuck a small neck roll into your pillowcase or use a customized pillow with built-in neck support. Here are some more tips on how to choose the right pillows and ways to keep your back and neck in good shape:
If you are seated for long hours while traveling on a train or a plane, use a horseshoe-shaped pillow that supports your neck and stops your head from falling to one side. Side sleepers should use pillows that are higher under their neck than their head to support their spinal alignment when sleeping. Avoid stiff pillows that could keep the neck stretched overnight and lead to pain and stiffness in the morning. A conventionally shaped memory foam pillow adapts to the shape of your neck and head and helps foster correct spinal alignment. There are pillows for neck problems, and using them can relieve any pain or discomfort in your neck.
How Does Orthopedic Pillows Act as a Remedy for Back Pain? Orthopedic pillows are built to minimize your head, shoulder, and neck pain. They offer sufficient support to your body at different sleeping positions. The support that the pillow provides to your head and neck ensures that your spine is straight and in correct alignment.
Improves breathing: You will experience an improvement in your breathing after using an orthopedic pillow as it lets you sleep in a comfortable position and enables a stable breathing pattern. Provides uninterrupted sleep: An offers neck support and pain relief and reduces joint pain. They keep motion disruption under control, so you won’t toss and turn while asleep. No dust mites: Dust mites can trigger itchy eyes, rash, runny nose, asthma and more. Thankfully, these mites cannot survive on orthopedic pillows. Offers maximum comfort: Orthopedic pillows take the shape of your body, thereby enabling you to fall asleep in no time and prevent body heat buildup.
Orthopedic pillows are intended for people with all types of sleeping positions, but based on your sleeping position, you must consider the material and thickness. Being aware of using an orthopedic pillow is as significant as knowing which one to purchase, so do a thorough study before purchasing. : Orthopedic pillow for neck pain and better sleeping posture
What is the best way to use a pillow for neck pain?
Best Pillows for Sleeping Positions – Sleeping positions are a major factor in determining the best kind of pillow. Sleeping on the back or side, if possible, is advised for those with neck pain.
When sleeping on the back. A fairly low pillow is better in this position. Extra support can be provided by adding a small rolled towel or small roll-shaped pillow positioned under the neck. The rolled towel or pillow can be put in the pillowcase. Some pillows combine both these elements by including a roll-shaped area for the neck and a deeper, lower area for the head. Some people find it beneficial to try and change the position of the pillow to be more comfortable. For example, many people find that sleeping with the pillow tucked under the shoulders a bit can be more comfortable. Tucking the pillow under the shoulders will position the head further up on the pillow, so the neck is not flexed (bent forward). This position may feel as though the head is more extended slightly, and may be more comfortable for those with muscle pain in the neck. When sleeping on the back, it is best to place a pillow under the knees to minimize strain on the lower back as well.
When sleeping on the side. A higher pillow is advised in this case, so the neck and head are aligned straight over the shoulders as they would be when standing with good posture. A rolled towel or roll-shaped pillow should be put under the neck and supplemented with a pillow for the head. See Ten Tips for Improving Posture and Ergonomics Resting one arm on a pillow and adding a pillow between the knees offers additional support for the spine. Some body pillows may provide support similar to this mix of pillows.
When sleeping on the stomach. This position is not recommended because it tends to make the back arch and the head turn, stressing the neck. Changing sleep patterns can be a challenge, but trying to fall asleep in another position is suggested. If that is not possible, a flat pillow should be used for the head, or no pillow at all. Another option is to try positioning the pillow under the forehead so the nose is lifted off the mattress and the head and neck can remain in a more neutral position In addition, the hips and abdomen should be supported with a pillow to maintain the natural inward curve in the lower spine. When sitting up. Horseshoe-shaped body pillows can be helpful in avoiding neck strain for sleeping in a sitting position, such as sitting on a plane or in a car, or while sitting in a recliner. These small pillows support the neck so the head doesn’t fall too far to one side. The pillow should be small enough that the head is aligned squarely over the shoulders and not pushed forward. For anyone who is more comfortable sleeping at an incline in an adjustable bed or propped up on pillows, it is worth considering this type of pillow to support the head and neck.
Many people change positions as they sleep. Pillows designed for both side sleeping and back sleeping feature a lower center area for sleeping on the back, with fuller areas on each end for side sleeping. Ron Miller is a licensed physical therapist with more than 20 years of experience specializing in spine care. He helped develop the physical therapy department at the NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin, where he focuses on manual therapy, spinal stabilization, and therapeutic exercises.
What pillow do chiropractors recommend for side sleepers?
From memory foam to down. – By, a Strategist writer covering kids’s gear, mattresses, and pillows. She previously covered parenting for five years at BestProducts.com and Verywell. Dreaming of a just-firm-enough side-sleeper pillow. Photo: Marcus McDonald Dreaming of a just-firm-enough side-sleeper pillow. Photo: Marcus McDonald If you like sleeping on your side, you’re in good company — it’s the sleep position preferred by 60 percent of adults. But side-sleeping is more than a comfortable way to cozy up; according to Keith Cushner, a product expert at SleepFoundation.org, and his colleague Logan Foley, a sleep-science coach and the managing editor at SleepFoundation.org, it can “improve spinal alignment, reduce the risk of snoring, and reduce back pain,” Cushner tells us.
And to achieve the perfect spine, neck, and head alignment, choosing the right pillow is key. Dr. Rennes Toussaint-Keshinro, a chiropractor and mental-health coach, says side sleepers should aim to “maintain a neutral position and posture of the back,” with a pillow that lifts their head high enough to line up with the neck and spine, but not too high.
That means the loft, or height, of your pillow, is more important if you sleep on your side. “Side sleepers usually need thicker pillows to fill the space between their head and neck, but a pillow that is too thick may cause neck pain and put pressure on the spine,” Foley explains.
We spoke to Cushner, Foley, Toussaint-Keshinro, and three more experts about what to look for in pillows for side sleepers and which ones they recommend. And as a side sleeper myself, I’ve tested several pillows to find the best ones that meet our experts’ criteria and included my favorites below. The loft, or height, of your pillow is a crucial factor for side sleepers to consider.
Dr. Toussaint-Keshinro explains that “if a pillow is too flat or too high, it can create an uneven muscle tone in the neck and shoulders, leading to spasms over time.” While there isn’t a formula to figure out the ideal loft of your pillow, Dr. Dennis Colonello, celebrity and professional-athlete chiropractor at Peak Wellness, suggests that it should rise about four inches off of your mattress.
But don’t go breaking out your ruler just yet, as there is wiggle room with this number. For taller people with broader shoulders, a higher loft may be more comfortable, and conversely, a petite person with more narrow shoulders will likely rest comfortably with a lower loft. All of our experts agreed that medium-firm pillows tend to be the best option for people sleeping on their side.
While there is room for personal preference here, a medium-firm pillow helps your head stay in the right position without sinking while you sleep. For people who prefer a softer, plusher feel over a firmer one, gusseted-down and down-alternative pillows can be a good compromise.
- Additionally, Cushner and Foley suggest memory foam pillows, as they sort of mimic the softness of down by contouring to your body, while still providing support.
- Specialty pillows for side sleepers come in various shapes to help position your shoulders, neck, and head while you sleep.
- Whether these pillow shapes actually make a difference in your sleep quality is up for debate, and Dr.
Thomas Schuler, chairman of the National Spine Health Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Board and founder of the Virginia Spine Institute, explains that “these pillows are a relatively new product without much academic research examining their effectiveness.” However, he adds that “if a person tries one and finds that it seems to give some pain relief, then that’s excellent.” For people navigating chronic pain, a specialty pillow with a unique shape may be worth a shot. Fill type: 75 percent latex, 25 percent polyester fiber fill | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Adjustable | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover With a unique curved design, Eli & Elm’s side-sleeping pillow nestles into the space between your head, neck, and shoulders to help you achieve ideal spine alignment.
It’s filled with a blend of soft and supportive noodled latex and polyester fiber, and you can adjust the height and firmness by removing or adding filling. According to Cushner, most side sleepers need medium-to-high-loft pillows that provide “enough cushioning for the head and neck without sinking too low,” so the customizable fill level will let you figure out the loft that works best for your body.
The filling is encased in a liner that is protected by a machine-washable exterior cover; the brand also sells a special pillowcase that fits the shape of the pillow seamlessly (and which you can bundle with the pillow at the time of purchase). Fill type: Microfiber fill | Loft: High | Firmness: Medium-soft | Care instructions: Machine-washable Covered in silky-smooth microfiber material, this set of two pillows is filled with CertiPUR-US & GREENGUARD Gold downlike microfiber fill. The fluffy fill, combined with the bowed pillow shape, creates a plump and springy surface to support your head and neck. Filly type: Shredded memory foam | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Adjustable | Care instructions: Spot-clean Memory-foam pillows are ideal for side sleepers, according to Cushner and Foley, owing to their dense filling and ability to contour to a person’s body.
- The Nectar Sleep Resident pillow has a pillow-in-pillow construction that provides the contoured support of traditional memory foam surrounded by a cushy outer layer to add plushness.
- The pillow will arrive intentionally overstuffed so that you can remove fill as necessary to adjust it to fit your sleeping needs.
Dr. Janet Kennedy, clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, advises that memory foam can trap heat, making temperature regulation more challenging. However, thanks to the shredded-foam filling, the pillow is still breathable. Fill type: Memory foam | Loft: High | Firmness: Firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover The logic behind the bricklike Pillow Cube is that its 90-degree angles will completely fill that essential space between your head and your mattress to keep your neck aligned.
- I’ve tested this pillow myself and found that it does what it says on the tin, nestling along the side of my head, the crook of my neck, and the top of my shoulder.
- It’s made of solid viscoelastic polyurethane and nanofibers (read: sturdy memory foam), so it’s on the firmer side, but it still has the satisfying squish that you’d expect from a foam pillow.
The design is ideal for side sleepers who hardly ever sleep in other positions, as its angles and loft aren’t really compatible with back or stomach sleeping. You can choose from two sizes that coincide with your height — the standard size is meant for people who are six-feet-three or shorter (that’s the one I have, as I am five-feet-ten), and the thick size is for people who are six-four or taller. Fill type: Shredded latex fill | Loft: High | Firmness: Soft | Care instructions: Machine washable cover Cushiony and responsive, the Saatva latex pillow is filled with springy, shredded natural latex that Colonello says “offers a cooler sleep by promoting superior breathability.” I’ve been sleeping on this pillow for the last five months and it is one of the pillows that I use most often.
- While I wouldn’t say the latex is overtly cooling, it doesn’t make me sweat or overheat.
- The shredded latex fill makes it softer and springier than the Pillow Cube, almost like a denser, bouncier version of a down pillow.
- And although you can’t unzip an inner case to adjust the fill, it isn’t too flat or overly stuffed.
As a combination sleeper, I like that I can comfortably use this pillow on my side as well as on my back or stomach. Fill type: Molded latex | Loft: Medium | Firmness: Medium-firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Organic, sustainable, and vegan, the Avocado Molded Latex pillow is crafted with charcoal-infused, naturally sourced latex. The pillow is on the firm side, and the latex is infused with charcoal to help with temperature regulation, moisture-wicking, and odor control. Fill type: Cross-cut memory-foam and microfiber fill | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Adjustable | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Like our top-pick Eli & Elm pillow, Coop’s cutout pillow leaves space to accommodate your shoulder so that it can fit more easily and snugly under your head and neck.
- Coop’s cutout pillow has a more pronounced curve than Eli & Elm’s, with an overall blockier shape.
- The effect is similar to that of the Pillow Cube, with good support in the space between your head and neck, but the Coop pillow is much fluffier and softer than the Pillow Cube.
- This pillow comes in two sizes, queen and king.
I tried the king size, and though it is technically an inch smaller in length and width than Coop’s king-size Original pillow, it feels more substantial because the center cutout pushes filling to the sides and a gusset around the perimeter of the pillow creates a more even loft across the whole pillow, without any tapering at the edges.
- There is plenty of space in the cutout for me to move around or roll over.
- Like other Coop Sleep Goods pillows, this one is filled with crosscut GREENGUARD GOLD– and CertiPUR-US–certified memory foam and microfiber, and you can unzip an inner case to add or remove fill to adjust the loft and firmness.
(The pillow comes with a bag of extra fill, or you can buy more in medium or firm densities.) Fill type: Gel-memory-foam fill | Loft: Medium-high | Firmness: Medium-firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Dr. Kennedy calls temperature regulation “a key factor” when choosing a pillow, regardless of your sleeping position. This memory foam Ghost Pillow has aerated gel memory foam and an aerated inner-mesh cover that work together to respond to your body’s temperature and maintain a cool sleeping surface. Fill type: Memory foam | Loft: Medium-high | Firmness: Firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Designed to relieve pressure, the singular piece of memory foam inside Allswell’s side-sleeper pillow has a cutout similar to the Eli & Elm and Coop pillows but offers a more structured and firm sleeping surface like the Pillow Cube. Fill type: Water-and-fiber fill | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Adjustable | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Yes, water beds went out of style a few decades ago but Alanna McGinn, the founder and CEO of Good Night Sleep Site, and Dr. Toussaint-Keshinro agree that water pillows are the gold standard for people in need of more neck support.
Water pillows are “perfect for any type of sleep position and many are chiropractor-approved, as the firmness provides the support for head, neck, and spine alignment that will help individuals with chronic pain,” explains McGinn. A favorite of Dr. Toussaint-Keshinro, the Water Pillow by Mediflow has a soft layer of fiber that sits atop a water reservoir that you fill yourself, creating a responsive pillow that can help reduce neck pain,
The adjustable pillow can be made firmer by adding more water or softer by removing some. Fill type: 85 percent down, 15 percent down plus feather fiber fill | Loft: High | Firmness: Medium-soft | Care instructions: Dry-clean or machine-wash the entire pillow Down pillows are known for their luxurious comfort and cloud-like softness. Without skimping on plushness, thanks to its 750-fill-power European white down, the Parachute Side Sleeper pillow has a high loft and medium density to cradle your head and neck comfortably. Fill type: Polyester fiber fill | Loft: Medium | Firmness: Medium-firm | Care instructions: Entire pillow is machine-washable For those who want all the perks of down without the down itself, this pillow by Nestwell is filled with polyester fibers to create a similar feel. Fill type: Single piece of Melofoam | Loft: Medium | Firmness: Medium-firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Schuler tells us side sleepers should focus on having proper support not only under their head but also between their knees to “keep the spine in a neutral position, reduce malalignment, and relieve pressure placed on the neck and back.” While body pillows are often thought of as a pregnancy essential, they can also provide head-to-toe support for anyone who needs it.
The Bearaby Cuddler, which the brand sent to me to test out, is my favorite body pillow of those I’ve tried so far. The cylindrical, noodlelike Cuddler is extra long at 75 inches with a uniform eight-inch diameter that takes up far less space in my shared bed than other body pillows on the market. But it’s the squishy Melofoam material that really sets this body pillow apart.
Bouncy and responsive, the Melofoam is breathable, naturally weighted, and provides continuous support without losing its shape over time. Even with daily use and constant twisting and bending, the Cuddler’s buoyancy has held up. The pillow comes with a white, organic-cotton cover that can be washed with your regular laundry, or you can upgrade to a knitted cover that comes in several colors for an additional $125. Fill type: Shredded memory foam | Loft: Medium | Firmness: Medium-firm | Care instructions: Entire pillow is machine-washable Filled with shredded memory foam and covered in breathable bamboo fabric, the Snuggle-Pedic full-body pillow supports your knees, legs, and back while you sleep by helping to evenly distribute your weight. From $55 $100 now 45% off • Dr. Dennis Colonello, celebrity and professional-athlete chiropractor at Peak Wellness • Keith Cushner, product expert at SleepFoundation.org • Logan Foley, sleep-science coach and managing editor at SleepFoundation.org • Alanna McGinn, founder and CEO of Good Night Sleep Site • Latifah Miles, Strategist writer and tester • Dr.
Rennes Toussaint-Keshinro, chiropractor and mental-health coach • Dr. Thomas Schuler, chairman of the National Spine Health Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Board and founder of the Virginia Spine Institute • Dr. Janet Kennedy, clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape.
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Do chiropractors recommend neck pillows?
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your pillow very often. But the fact is, your pillow can have a big impact on your health. If you’re struggling with neck and shoulders pain, it may be time to invest in a new pillow. In this blog post, we will discuss the best pillows for neck pain, according to chiropractors.
We’ll also provide some tips for choosing the right pillow for you. One of the best things you can do for your neck is to choose a pillow that provides proper support. If your pillow is too soft, it will allow your head to sink in too far, which can cause pain. On the other hand, if your pillow is too firm, it can put pressure on your neck and shoulders.
The best way to find the right balance is to consult with a chiropractor. Another important factor to consider is the size of your pillow. If you sleep on your side, you’ll want a pillow that is tall enough to support your head and neck. If you sleep on your back, you’ll need a thinner pillow so that your head isn’t tilted too far forward or backward.
- If you’re dealing with neck and shoulder pain, it’s important to choose a pillow that will support your neck and spine.
- Chiropractors often recommend pillows made from memory foam or latex.
- These materials mold to your body and provide gentle support.
- You may also want to consider a pillow with a built-in neck roll.
This can help keep your spine aligned while you sleep. When choosing a pillow, it’s important to consider your sleeping position. If you sleep on your side, you’ll need a firmer pillow to support your head and neck. If you sleep on your back, you’ll need a softer pillow so that your head isn’t tilted too far forward.
Should I sleep on hard or soft pillow during neck pain?
Side Sleepers – For the 70 percent of us who sleep on our sides, firm pillows work best to ensure proper neck and head alignment. The pillow should be no more than 4 inches from the mattress and have foam or latex filling to keep its shape. You don’t want a down pillow, because it will sink too far down.
Do doctors recommend orthopedic pillows?
Neck pain can be a minor problem, with muscle soreness or stiffness, to a chronic condition that causes much distress and disability. Whiplash injuries, irritated nerves from herniated discs and disc degeneration can make sleeping a nightmare. With sleep so important for healing, orthopedic pillows can help provide a solution to standard type pillows.
- Doctors often recommend pillows that are orthopedically designed to provide a stable and ergonomically correct posture for side and back sleeping.
- This can help reduce strain on painful muscles, joints and discs to allow for better sleep.
- Since much of the time is spent in a sleeping position, it can have a great influence on pain and overall health.
Sleeping is restorative; it can help reduce stress and give our bodies a chance to rest and heal from the demands of everyday life. These pillows can not only help with neck pain, but may allow one to relax better and feel more refreshed in the morning, ready for a new day.
Should I buy an orthopedic pillow?
Should You Buy an Orthopedic Pillow or Not? – If you’re considering purchasing an orthopedic pillow, you should keep a few things in mind. First, orthopedic pillows are designed to support your neck and spine. This can help to improve your sleep quality by preventing pain and stiffness. Additionally, orthopedic pillows can also help to reduce the risk of injuries. By supporting your neck and spine, orthopedic pillows help to keep your body in alignment and reduce the strain on your muscles. As a result, orthopedic pillows are an excellent investment for your health and well-being. An orthopedic pillow may be suitable if you’re looking for a way to improve your sleep quality and reduce pain.
Orthopedic Mattresses Any Good? When choosing a mattress, orthopedic mattresses are often considered suitable for people suffering from back pain. But are they any better than a regular mattress? The answer depends on what you’re looking for. Orthopedic mattresses are designed to provide support and alignment for the spine and relief from pressure points.
This can be helpful for people who experience discomfort or pain in their back, hips, or shoulders.
Is my memory foam pillow hurting my neck?
Memory Foam – Many people experience neck pain, and various factors can cause it. One common cause of neck pain is sleeping on the wrong pillow type. Memory foam orthopedic pillows are designed to support the neck and spine but can do more harm than good. The problem with these pillows is that they are too soft and lack the necessary support for the neck.
Should I change my pillow if my neck hurts?
Conclusion – If you are experiencing neck pain, it might be time to switch your new pillow for an even newer one. Make sure to do your research and choose a supportive pillow with good pressure relief. The new pillow may take a little while to break in, but it will be worth it in the end!
Should I put my shoulders on my pillow?
Using a Pillow While Sleeping on Your Side – Sleeping on your side, in what resembles the fetal position, keeps your body in a naturally comfortable position. Your head and neck should lie comfortably on the pillow to ensure that the spine is elongated.
Why does my neck hurt no matter what pillow I use?
Wrong Firmness – As I have mentioned, most pillows have poor responsiveness meaning they do not respond to the pressure applied. This means they are often either too firm or too soft. A pillow that is too firm will create pressure points and can be uncomfortable.
Why are hotel pillows so comfortable?
Hotel pillows are softer, fluffier and more luxurious. Their fill material is usually 100% genuine goose down or feathers. Hotel pillows offer long-lasting support for the head and upper body. The cloud-like feel of hotel pillows is amazing for keeping your head, neck and spine healthily aligned.
Why does my neck hurt when I wake up?
In most cases, a sore neck in the morning results from your sleeping position, the type of pillow you use, or other sleep issues. It could also be related to an underlying condition like an injury or osteoarthritis. Waking up with a sore neck is not how you want to start your day.
- It can quickly bring on a bad mood and make simple movements, like turning your head, painful.
- In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the causes of morning neck pain and what you can do to feel better.
- You may not give much thought to your body position while you sleep or the kind of pillow you use.
But both your sleeping position and pillow can trigger a stiff, sore neck, and also lead to back pain and other types of pain. Research shows that sleeping problems may be at the root of up to 5 percent of new cases of chronic pain. Many of these factors are controllable, which means that by making some changes you may be able to alleviate your neck pain, and other types of pain, too.
Do side sleepers need firm or soft pillow?
Is It Better to Have a Soft or Firm Pillow? The Best Pillows For Your Sleep Style – When deciding between a firm or a soft pillow, the single most important factor to take into account is your sleeping position, Your preferred sleeping position will likely fall into one of four categories, each of which can benefit from a certain degree of pillow firmness:
Side sleepers – Side sleepers need a firmer pillow with medium loft to support their cervical spine at rest. Pillows that are too thick or too thin will disrupt the natural curvature of their neck, and can lead to cramps and pain over time.1
Stomach sleepers – For the stomach sleeper, low loft, soft pillows offer the least amount of resistance and ensure a barely-there angle between the neck and the rest of the spine.2 A stomach sleeper tends to build heat during the night, and should opt for a well-ventilated pillow like Casper’s Foam Pillow to stay cool.
Back sleepers – There are two varieties of sleepers who sleep on their back : “soldier” sleepers, who lay their arms by their sides, and “starfish” sleepers, who splay them overhead. Back sleepers of all stripes are best supported by medium-firm pillows, and an option like the Original Casper pillow will lend them the most consistent support throughout the night.3
Combination sleepers – Combination sleepers have the most nocturnal flair of the bunch, and tend to assume many different positions while unconscious. Soft, versatile pillows are best suited to adapt to the myriad poses they animate in the wee hours, which makes a plush pillow type option like Casper’s Down pillow ideal.
Choosing the right pillow loft and firmness also plays a significant role in ameliorating neck pain. Sleeping on your stomach is one of the most common culprits for chronic neck discomfort, and a low loft option with maximum give can alleviate acute distress.
Do chiropractic pillows work?
Conclusion – Orthopedic pillows are designed to help you sleep better and alleviate pain. They work by supporting your head and neck in a neutral position, which helps keep your spine aligned. Orthopedic pillows can help reduce or eliminate pain in the neck, shoulders, and back by keeping your spine in alignment.
What position pillow is best for neck support?
What is the best sleeping position for neck pain? – Two sleeping positions are easiest on the neck: on your side or on your back. If you sleep on your back, choose a rounded to support the natural curve of your neck, with a flatter pillow cushioning your head.
Try using a feather pillow, which easily conforms to the shape of the neck. Feather pillows will collapse over time, however, and should be replaced every year or so. Another option is a traditionally shaped pillow with “memory foam” that conforms to the contour of your head and neck. Some cervical pillows are also made with memory foam. Manufacturers of memory-foam pillows claim they help foster proper spinal alignment. Avoid using too high or stiff a pillow, which keeps the neck flexed overnight and can result in morning pain and stiffness. If you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head. When you are riding in a plane, train, or car, or even just reclining to watch TV, a horseshoe-shaped pillow can support your neck and prevent your head from dropping to one side if you doze. If the pillow is too large behind the neck, however, it will force your head forward.
Sleeping on your stomach is tough on your spine, because the back is arched and your neck is turned to the side. Preferred sleeping positions are often set early in life and can be tough to change, not to mention that we don’t often wake up in the same position in which we fell asleep. Still, it’s worth trying to start the night sleeping on your back or side in a well-supported, healthy position.
What kind of pillow should I use for my neck?
Because who doesn’t have tech neck? – By, a Strategist writer covering kids’s gear, mattresses, and pillows. She previously covered parenting for five years at BestProducts.com and Verywell. Photo: Marcus McDonald Whether you’re navigating post-injury neck pain, a scrolling-induced achy hunch, or something in between, supporting your neck while you sleep can make a huge difference in your quality of rest, not to mention how much neck pain you feel when you’re awake.
- Eith Cushner, a product expert at sleepfoundation.org, and his colleague Logan Foley, a sleep-science coach and the managing editor at sleepfoundation.org, agree that the right pillow is pivotal in this regard.
- A person’s sleep setup can play a crucial role in pain recovery, specifically neck pain,” Cushner tells us.
Neck pain can strike whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper, stomach sleeper, or a combination of all three. However, Dr. Rennes Toussaint-Keshinro, a chiropractor and mental-health coach, advises that people with neck pain should stick to their side and back as much as possible to ensure that their head, neck, and spine are supported in a neutral position.
Dr. Thomas Schuler, chairman of the National Spine Health Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Board and founder of the Virginia Spine Institute echoed this suggestion, noting that there are three natural curves in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spines “which go in opposite directions to balance each other.” These curves can decrease in size due to age, poor posture, or injury, “making it all the more important that they are supported while sleeping,” and the right pillow can help with that.
We talked to Cusher, Foley, Toussaint-Keshinro, Schuler, and four more experts, plus a lifetime back sleeper who finally found a pillow that eases her consistent neck aches, to determine the best pillows for people who are managing neck pain. Supportive pillows, which the experts we spoke to agree are the best option for people with neck pain, tend to be on the firmer end of the pillow spectrum.
According to Dr. Schuler, “Those with neck or back pain will find that both medium-firm mattresses and pillows provide the best support at night.” Medium-firm pillows cradle your head and help your body stay in a neutral position and alignment while you sleep. However, Foley explains that “the right pillow firmness for you will depend on how heavy your head is, how high the pillow is, what position you tend to sleep in, and the firmness of your mattress.” The type of fill your pillow has will also affect the firmness level.
Memory foam, latex, and wool tend to create a firmer sleeping surface while down, feather-fill, polyfill, kapok, and cotton materials are softer and more plush. The loft, or height, of your pillow is a critical factor, according to Dr. Schuler. He explains that “the neck shouldn’t be elevated higher than the rest of your spine” which means people managing neck pain should avoid pillows that are overly lofty (typically higher than five inches) to ensure that their head isn’t forced into a painful angle.
Dr. Toussaint suggests starting with a medium-loft pillow with a height between three and five inches. Finally, Foley says to be mindful of your body type: “The ideal loft for neck pain is one that aligns your neck with your spine,” he says. “It’s important to consider the width of your shoulders and the size of your head.” Neck pillows come in various shapes and sizes ranging from standard rectangular forms to more specialized options that are designed to address neck pain in one way or another.
Cervical pillows feature bolsters —or cylinder-shaped portions of the pillow — that nestle into the natural backward-C-shaped cervical curve of your neck to add support. Orthopedic pillows have a more detailed shape with several contours and cavities to support your cervical curve and align your spine with your neck and head. Fill type: Polyfill | Loft: Medium | Firmness: Firm | Care instructions: Hand-wash only Cushner says the best pillow for neck and shoulder pain is “firm enough to hold the head at a healthy angle but soft enough to alleviate pressure points.” Ideal for back and side sleepers, this cervical pillow from Core Products has two different-sized bolsters on either side that offer more or less neck support, depending on your preference.
If you’re a back sleeper, the valley in the middle cradles your head while the bolsters support your neck, keeping your upper body and spine in the right alignment. If you’re a side sleeper, you can lay your head on the pillow’s raised sides. Since this type of pillow shape can take some getting used to, the brand suggests that you acclimate to the smaller-diameter bolster first, even alternating between this pillow and your current pillow at first, and adjust from there.
The pillow comes in three sizes and two colors. Fill type: Memory foam | Loft: High, medium, or low | Firmness: Firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Alanna McGinn, the founder and CEO of Good Night Sleep Site, likes memory foam because it is hypoallergenic and “provides support to individuals suffering from neck, upper-back pain, or degenerative conditions.” Contoured for ergonomic support, this Tempur-Pedic neck pillow has a firm memory-foam interior that conforms to the natural curvature of your head, neck, and shoulders.
- Similar to the Core Products pillow above, the Temper-Pedic Neck Pillow features two different-sized bolsters designed to nestle under your neck to provide varying levels of support.
- The major difference here is this pillow has a slight slope in the middle for your head to rest on instead of a deeper cutout.
For side sleepers in particular, this may be a more comfortable option. Depending on your body type and overall preference, you can choose from three pillow profile sizes — small, medium, and large — with the large having the highest loft at 4.75 inches and the small having the lowest at three inches. Fill type: Memory foam | Loft: High | Firmness: Firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover One of our favorite pillows for side sleepers, the Pillow Cube’s defining characteristic is its square shape, designed to maintain a 90-degree angle between your head and shoulders and relieve pressure on your neck.
- Made of structurally firm carbon-core memory foam that is naturally antimicrobial and designed to cradle your head while holding its shape, the Pillow Cube is encased in a cooling, machine-washable cover.
- You can choose from three sizes — standard, thin, or thick — depending on your height.
- The standard size can accommodate people who are six-foot-three or shorter, the thin size is ideal for people under five-foot-three, and the thick size is for people six-foot-four and taller.
If you sleep exceptionally hot and need a bit more in the temperature-regulation department, the brand also sells a cooling version of the pillow that it says will help you sleep up to ten degrees cooler. Fill type: Gel-infused memory foam | Loft: Low | Firmness: Medium-firm | Care instructions: Machine washable cover Thick, fluffy pillows can actually lift your neck out of alignment, exasperating further aches. Amanda Kruel, VP of Innovation Merchandising at Mattress Firm, recommends a lower-loft, medium-firm pillow for this reason.
And Dr. Janet Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and the founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, explains that for back sleepers especially, neck support is essential “to minimize snoring and keep the airway open.” After Strategist senior editor (and back sleeper) Crystal Martin noticed that higher-loft pillows put strain and stress on her neck, she switched to the super-slim Blue Wave pillow.
“I like that it’s still supportive even though it’s thin. I sleep with it turned vertical, so it’s underneath my shoulder blades and it supports my neck enough, so it’s not dipping too far back,” she says. Available in three lofts — super-slim (3.25 inches), ultra-slim (2.75 inches), and hyper-slim (2.25 inches), the brand suggests the ultra- and hyper-slim pillows for stomach sleepers and people who sleep with their arm under their pillow, and the super-slim for back sleepers (the brand also notes that all three pillows are too thin for side sleepers). Fill type: Solid memory-foam fill | Loft: Medium-high | Firmness: Firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Similar to the Core Products and the Tempur-Pedic pillows that feature built-in bolsters for neck support, this cylindrical bolster pillow by AllSett can be used as a companion to a standard bed pillow to relieve stress on your neck.
- The machine-washable plush cover is soft and cozy, while the sturdy memory-foam interior is firm and responsive.
- To create a combination pillow setup, you can slide the bolster pillow into the space between the base of your head and your shoulders while placing an adjustable-loft pillow underneath your head.
Additionally, you can use the bolster pillow between your knees for extra spine support. Fill type: Kapok fiber and shredded memory-foam fill | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Adjustable | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Derived from the pods of the kapok tree, kapok fiber is a fluffier, airier alternative to wool or cotton. The Layla Kapok pillow combines kapok with shredded memory foam for a plush yet supportive feel. Fill type: Copper-infused gel memory foam | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Adjustable | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover If you’re a side sleeper or back sleeper who needs extra neck support and shoulder pressure relief, a curved pillow like this one by Scrumptious can help you achieve pain-free alignment. Fill type: Chopped memory-foam and microfiber fill | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Medium-soft | Care instructions: Spot clean Filled with a proprietary blend of chopped memory foam and down-alternative microfiber, the Marlow pillow has two compression zippers on either side, and when they are unzipped, the pillow expands vertically, adjusting the loft instantly and without the hassle of adding or removing any filling. Fill type: Shredded latex fill | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Adjustable | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover If you can’t fully claim a single sleeping position, you’re in good company. JD Velilla, the head of sleep experience for Serta Simmons Bedding, says, “An individual’s ideal sleep position is guided by their own personal preference, with most people not remaining in one position all night.” This latex-filled adjustable pillow from Saatva has buoyant responsiveness that is useful when you are moving from your back to your side throughout the night.
While the latex core responds to your tossing and turning, the micro-denier fiber-padded inner pillow creates a soft plushness. For a lower loft, you can remove the inner pillow, and for a higher loft, you can adjust the filling to sit more in the center of the pillow. Since this is a plusher pillow instead of the firmer options we’ve included on the list, it may not be the best choice for those struggling with chronic neck pain, as all of our experts agree firmer is better for neck injuries, pain, and recovery.
Best Pillow for Neck Pain and Headaches | 3 Recommendations from a Mississauga Chiropractor
However, this pillow could be ideal for people with minimal neck discomfort who need a bit of extra support. Fill type: Molded foam | Loft: Medium | Firmness: Very firm | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover If you have severe neck pain, talking to a doctor about your treatment options is the best first step. But if you suspect your sleeping position is to blame, a corrective pillow like this highly structured one might help.
It is designed to align your neck, support your thoracic spine, relieve jaw pain, and comfort your head. There are four sizes to choose from — average, petite, large, and extra-large — and the optimal sizing is determined by the horizontal measurement from the base of your neck to the tip of your shoulder.
This pillow is also made by Core Products, maker of our top pick, and the brand warns that your neck pain may actually increase as you get used to the Therapeutica pillow’s rigid shape. However, over time, it can help reduce stiffness. As you use the pillow, the firm molded foam will soften a bit while maintaining its supportive structure. Fill type: Hyperelastic polymer, latex, polyester knit | Loft: Low, medium, or high loft | Firmness: Medium | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Waking up in a pool of sweat is equal parts gross and annoying. The innovative honeycomb-core interior of the Purple Harmony pillow creates a well-ventilated sleeping surface, while the GelFlex and latex work together to support your neck and head while you sleep. Fill type: Water-and-fiber fil l | Loft: Adjustable | Firmness: Adjustable | Care instructions: Machine-washable cover Sleeping on a sack of water might not sound like the most appealing way to doze off, but water pillows can be excellent for neck support.
Additionally, McGinn says there isn’t any sloshing around at all, and “since the water pillow has some weight to it, it will stay put to keep head and neck from moving.” Acting like fluid memory foam, the water consistently conforms to the shape of your head, helping to lessen any neck stress caused by tossing and turning.
If you’re a bit intimidated by the functionality of a water pillow, this one by Mediflow is pretty straightforward. The pillow is made with an adjustable water pouch that is covered in a soft poly-fiber filling. For a firmer pillow, which is best for neck pain, you can fill up the pouch with more water.
- Conversely, less water will give you a softer, flatter pillow.
- Eith Cushner, product expert at sleepfoundation.org • Logan Foley, sleep-science coach and the managing editor at sleepfoundation.org • Dr.
- Janet Kennedy, clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor • Amanda Kruel, VP of Innovation Merchandising at Mattress Firm • Alanna McGinn, founder and CEO of Good Night Sleep Site • Dr.
Thomas Schuler, chairman of the National Spine Health Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Board and founder of Virginia Spine Institute • Dr. Rennes Toussaint-Keshinro, chiropractor and mental-health coach • JD Velilla, head of sleep experience for Serta Simmons Bedding The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape.
What is the best way to sleep so your neck doesn’t hurt?
Best Sleeping Positions for Neck Pain – The best sleeping positions for the neck are on your back or your side. The back in particular is recommended; just make sure to use a pillow that supports the curvature of your neck and a flatter pillow to cushion your head. If you sleep on your side, use a taller pillow under your neck so your neck aligns with your head.
This will relieve any strain on your neck and keep your spine straight. The trouble with sleeping on your stomach is that you have to twist your neck to keep your head on its side, which puts pressure on the nerves. You can try to retrain yourself to adopt another position, using pillows to coax yourself and to support you in a side or back-lying position.
If you must sleep on your stomach, use a thin pillow or no pillow, trying to keep awkward angles at a minimum. For all sleep positions with neck pain, you should use a pillow under your neck that provides support, such as a rolled towel or cervical pillow.
Why is stiff neck worse at night?
How Neck Stiffness Develops During Sleep – Some ways that stiff neck can develop while sleeping include:
Awkward angle. The head or neck might settle at an awkward angle for an extended period of time while sleeping, which can stretch and stress muscles, ligaments, and joints beyond their normal limits. Sudden movement. Perhaps from rolling over or reacting to a dream, sudden neck movements might occur while sleeping that can strain or sprain the neck. Preexisting injury. Some injuries that happen while awake, such as whiplash, may take many hours before pain and stiffness develop later while sleeping.
Most commonly, the root cause of a stiff neck is a neck strain, which could be due to a muscle strain or ligament sprain. Several other causes could exist, such as facet joint osteoarthritis or cervical degenerative disc disease, See Neck Strain: Causes and Remedies
How should I sleep to avoid neck pain?
How to Position the Neck for Sleep – As it happens, one of the keys to avoid waking up with neck pain starts before the lights go out. “If you don’t have neck pain already, it’s important to practice good postural hygiene to prevent cervical spine disease in the future,” Dr.
- Singh says.
- If you already have neck pain, you should try to optimize every aspect that’s under your control, sleep being one of them.” People often forget that what they do while they’re awake can trigger the tossing and turning that can lead to poor positioning — and pain — at night.
- It is important to practice good sleep hygiene,” Dr.
Singh says, “which can include following a consistent sleep schedule, having a comfortable sleep environment, stopping electronic device use prior to bed and exercising during the day.” The most important thing people with neck pain should do when they lie down in bed, he adds, is to make sure their spine — particularly the upper, or cervical, portion — is in a neutral position.
Why does my neck hurt no matter what pillow I use?
Wrong Firmness – As I have mentioned, most pillows have poor responsiveness meaning they do not respond to the pressure applied. This means they are often either too firm or too soft. A pillow that is too firm will create pressure points and can be uncomfortable.
Is my pillow causing neck pain?
Your pillow – Your head and neck spend many hours every night on your pillow, which is why choosing the right one is key to a healthy, pain-free neck. A pillow that doesn’t support your head and neck properly can create tension in your neck muscles, and cause neck pain. Feather or memory-foam pillows may allow your head to be “cradled” at night, allowing for a neutral spine and neck.
Are neck pain pillows worth it?
Neck Pillows: What You Need to Know Medically Reviewed by on April 16, 2022 There’s nothing like laying your head on a nice, fluffy pillow at the end of the day. But is the one you currently rest on what’s best for your body? It may not be if you have or wake up with neck stiffness.
- You may feel better and better with a neck pillow.
- It’s sometimes called a cervical pillow because the upper part of your backbone (where your neck is) is called the cervical,
- Research suggests that a pillow with good cervical support can help relieve neck pain and improve rest.
- The best pillow for neck pain depends on a lot of things – including your position, the cause of your neck pain, and what feels comfortable to you.
Common types include:
Neck rollsD-core, which has a D-shaped indentation in the middle for your headStandard contour pillows – the wavy ones, with a lengthwise indentation for your headHorseshoe-shaped
Neck pillows come in a variety of materials, including down, memory foam, cotton, and synthetics that can wick away heat and sweat. The material you choose matters, but only if it makes the pillow feel comfortable to you. Experts say that, in general, comfort trumps all – although material that keeps you cool may help you sleep more deeply.
- The style of pillow you choose can improve your rest, but your sleep position also plays a role.
- If you lie on your side or back, congratulations: These are the best positions for neck, while lying on your is the worst.
- Whatever position you like best, be sure to choose a pillow that supports the natural shape of your cervical spine.
Back sleepers. You want your neck to have support, but you don’t want it propped up. Consider a contoured model designed for this position. You can also try using a roll-shaped one at your neck, with a soft, flat one to support your head. Side sleepers. To keep your spine straight, use a pillow that provides the right neck support – one that’s higher under your neck than under your head.
It should be thick enough to hold your head up and also firm enough that your head doesn’t sink down into it. Latex pillows give you support but don’t overheat like memory foam can. A contoured pillow is designed for the job. sleepers. Skip the neck pillow and use a thin one to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Sleeping on the go. If you plan to doze on a plane or on a road trip – or even in a recliner – try a horseshoe-shaped pillow. These support your neck so it doesn’t droop or jolt to one side. If you rely on research to guide your choices, you won’t find much agreement on neck pillows.
One review of five studies, published in 2006, concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to recommend them for neck pain. One study, published earlier, compared the effects of water-filled pillows, roll, and standard pillows on sleep quality. This research found that a water-filled version lessened morning pain and made for better rest than a roll pillow or standard model.
Yet another study found that a roll-shaped pillow noticeably improved chronic neck pain. Keep in mind that nobody – not the people in these studies, nor your friends and family – can know what will work best for you. If your neck aches in the middle of the night or you wake up with stiffness and pain, it might help to try some kind of neck pillow.
Do pillows make a difference to neck pain?
What Is the Right Pillow for Neck Pain? Question: Can you recommend an appropriate pillow for neck pain? A few months ago I lost my balance while on a ladder. I didn’t fall, but I jerked my neck with a whiplash action. My orthopaedist told me I had arthritis and gave me a rubber neck brace to wear; however, I wake up every morning with a painful neck.
- Is it possible that the right type of pillow would alleviate my pain? Answer: The right pillow can make a difference in your sleeping position and thus can affect how your neck feels the next day, particularly if you are getting over a sprain or strain, which is what whiplash really is.
- In selecting a pillow for neck pain, you will need to carefully choose one that fits you.
First, look for a pillow that supports your neck but does not tilt your head forward when you are lying on your back. If you sleep on your side, the pillow you choose should support your head in line with your neck, not tilt your head up or down. The pillow should fill just the space between the mattress and your ear.
- There are a variety of pillows for neck pain, but you might want to check out some pillows you already have.
- Feather pillows are particularly good for punching into the shape you want.
- Also, many people with neck pain find that using extra pillows to support their arms at night makes sleeping more comfortable.
Although your neck pain may have nothing to do with the signs of arthritis your doctor saw on your X-ray, it would be a good idea to ask him about exercises that are good for head and neck posture. Flexibility, strength and posture are important in preventing neck pain and decreasing the risk of injuries whether you have arthritis or not.
Marian Minor, PT, PhD Professor Emeritus Physical Therapy Program School of Health Professions Columbia, Missouri
: What Is the Right Pillow for Neck Pain?