Proper selection and use of a pillow can significantly improve the quality of sleep and reduce both neck pain and back pain. Preferences about the firmness of the pillow vary from person to person due to the uniqueness of each person’s anatomy.
There are approximately 12 major body movements and 50 changes in position of the head and neck during the course of a night’s sleep. Maintenance of neck support and proper alignment between the neck and the rest of the body are important considerations when choosing a pillow.
Some pillow designs (such as foam) do not allow the neck musculature to completely relax, which results in compression of the joint structures, impairment of spinal circulation, and delayed healing time. Consequently, you may awaken tired, irritable, and stiff all due to an unsupportive pillow.
Recommendations For Pillow UseWhen Lying on Your Back:
Fill the space between the curve of your neck and the mattress.Your shoulders should be resting on the mattress and not on the pillow. When Lying on Your Side:
Make certain that the pillow fills the entire space between the side of your head and tip of your shoulder. Correct pillow thickness prevents head tilt, which may become uncomfortable because of soft tissue stretching or increased spinal pressure.
When Lying on Your Belly:
Because of the backward bending and torsional forces imparted to the neck when lying on your belly, we DO NOT recommend pillow use if you’re a belly sleeper. You’re much better off lying flat on the mattress and, if possible, letting your feet hang off the edge of the mattress.
There are a variety of pillows on the market today ranging in price from around $20 to over $200. Each of these pillows has its unique features; however the best pillow that we have found is the Mediflow Water Pillow.
In a recent study conducted at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine on the therapeutic effectiveness of cervical pillows, the Mediflow pillow was found to decrease pain and improve the quality of sleep. Here is a video that describes the features and benefits of the Mediflow Water pillow.
View this video featuring the Mediflow MediDown” Hypoallergenic Down Plus Waterbase Pillow
Do you have additional questions about the use of pillows to prevent neck pain? Post your question in the comments section below and we’ll answer your question promptly.
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