Pillows For Back Pain
Can a bad pillow cause back pain?
The Wrong Pillow Can Cause Discomfort – The wrong pillow can intensify headaches, neck and back pain, shoulder and arm numbness, discomfort, sneezing, and wheezing. Therefore it is important to know how your pillow can affect these things, The pillow itself won’t be the cause of any of these problems, but a bad one can exacerbate many of the underlying symptoms.
Experts believe people with sleep problems, which can be caused by using the wrong pillow, experience more problems with back pain, Ohio spine specialist Santhosh Thomas says, “Sleep deprivation is known to affect mood and functional ability and negatively impacts the perception of pain.” It can be difficult to part with your favourite pillow but it’s important to find the right pillow for your sleep needs, including your preferred sleeping position.
Each sleeping position puts strain on your spine in a different way. The goal of using a pillow is to help keep your head in what is called a ‘neutral alignment’ – meaning your head is sitting squarely on your shoulders without bending back too far or reaching too far forward.
Should my shoulders be on my pillow?
Alignment – Regardless of your sleeping position, try to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned:
If you sleep on your back, a small pillow under the back of your knees will reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your lower back. The pillow for your head should support your head, the natural curve of your neck, and your shoulders. Sleeping on your stomach can create stress on the back because the spine can be put out of position. Placing a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area can help to keep the spine in better alignment. If you sleep on your stomach, a pillow for your head should be flat, or sleep without a pillow. If you sleep on your side, a firm pillow between your knees will prevent your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment and reduce stress on your hips and lower back. Pull your knees up slightly toward your chest. The pillow for your head should keep your spine straight. A rolled towel or small pillow under your waist may also help support your spine. Insert pillows into gaps between your body and the mattress. When turning in bed, don’t twist or bend at the waist. Instead move your entire body as one unit. Keep your belly pulled in and tightened, and bend your knees toward the chest when you roll. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned when turning as well as when sleeping.
Louise Cunningham RN BSN Raymond Turley Jr PA-C Thomas N Joseph MD
Can sleeping with 2 pillows hurt your back?
How Many Pillows Should You Sleep With? As you settle into bed hoping for a good night’s rest, do you tend to fall asleep with a pile of pillows nestled around your neck and shoulders ? Although this sleep position looks super cozy, it may not be the best for the different areas of your body, such as your spine, shoulders, neck, and even hips, Even though many people sleep with two, three or even four bed pillows, the recommended number is just one. A single pillow is all you need to support your head throughout a night’s rest, The whole purpose of a pillow is to keep your neck aligned with your spine.
Why do doctors ask how many pillows you sleep with?
Shortness of breath – While shortness of breath is the most common symptom of heart failure, it may be difficult or impossible to distinguish it from shortness of breath caused by other health problems such as emphysema or severe anemia. Your doctor can help you determine why you have been feeling short of breath.
You can’t catch your breath. You feel tightness in your chest. You feel tired when you walk. You need to stop a lot when you walk. It gets worse when you lie flat, and it may wake you up at night.
Shortness of breath from exertion or exercise. If your shortness of breath isn’t severe, you may notice it only when you are exerting yourself, and sometimes only during more intense exertion. The medical term for this symptom is dyspnea (say “DISP-nee-uh”).
- When heart failure develops gradually, your shortness of breath also may develop gradually, which can make it hard to notice.
- But people with more severe heart failure may have shortness of breath with minimal exertion.
- Shortness of breath while lying down.
- People with more severe heart failure may experience shortness of breath when they lie down.
The medical term for this symptom is orthopnea (say “or-THAWP-nee-uh”). The severity of this symptom usually depends on how flat you are lying—the flatter you lie, the more you feel short of breath. To gauge the severity of this symptom, doctors often ask people how many pillows they need to lie on to avoid feeling short of breath in bed.
For example, “three-pillow” orthopnea is worse than “two-pillow” orthopnea, because you have less tolerance for lying flat. The reason you may have orthopnea is that when you lie flat, the blood that ordinarily pools in the veins of your legs is reentering your bloodstream. If you have heart failure, your heart may not be able to keep up with the increased amount of blood returning to the heart, so fluid builds up inside the lungs and causes shortness of breath.
Shortness of breath while sleeping. Some people with heart failure wake up in the middle of the night with severe shortness of breath. The medical term for this symptom is paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (PND). This may occur with waking up coughing and/or wheezing, having a rapid heart rate, and a feeling of being suffocated.
In general, people who experience PND don’t feel increased shortness of breath when they first lie down. But after several hours of lying down, they awake with shortness of breath, which often occurs suddenly. People who experience PND often have to sit up on the side of the bed, and they may feel a need to open a window to get more air.
The shortness of breath generally goes away after a few minutes of sitting up.