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Apr. 19 2019 Published by: Dr. Craig Singer

Can a Pillow Really Help with Neck Pain?

Category: Neck Pain
Can a Pillow Really Help with Neck Pain?

Pain in the neck? You’re not alone.

Millions complain that they suffer from neck plain every year, and there are nearly as many reasons why. What’s the same in every case is that relief can’t come soon enough.

When it comes to the overnight component of getting the relief you need, Harvard Medical School says it boils down to one thing: awareness of sleeping positions and proper pillows. So, the question then isn’t “Cana pillow help with neck pain?” but “Which pillow will help relieve mine?

Your Pillow’s Purpose

The root cause of most neck pain is strain in some part of the head-neck mechanism. Thinking of the natural position in which you should normally hold your head while awake, it makes sense that the central concept is to maintain the elevation of your head so that it is centered over your neck, and that your neck should be centered over your shoulders in the same way while lying down.

What may go unnoticed is whether you have provided the necessary support within the space between your neck and the bed that arches over the contact points of the head, upper back, and shoulder areas.

You need to fill that space, and strategically placed pillows made with the proper supportive material can help in both side and back positions. Here are a couple of considerations for selecting pillows of proper height and material for your maximum comfort and support.

Feathers and Down

Are there differences between feather- and down-filled options? Absolutely!

Down comes in clusters of the delicate fluff found nearest to the bird, while feather filling retains its quills. You will always experience a much softer, loftier feel with an all-down option. However, it is more expensive. Moreover, feather pillows easily conform to the empty space to provide neck pain relief.

There are hybrid options available as well.

Another thing to consider is that feathers of any kind are a natural material, breaking down over a relatively short period of time. These pillows, when used nightly, need to be replaced about once a year in order to continue providing the best support possible.

Going for Foam

Foam Pillows for Neck Pain

Great strides have been made in the business of memory foam since its inception in 1966 (under a contract for NASA, in fact). The idea has most recently been adapted from the full body mattress to a pillow, and when you’re unable to fork over the small fortune required for a full-on quality memory foam bed, this can be a great alternative. The point of either product is ergonomic design and support.

When used properly, a memory foam pillow can reduce pain by relieving various pressure points over the head, neck, and shoulder areas. Many people report completely uninterrupted sleep – they don’t even move – through the night after use.

Other Novel Ideas

Water Works. Another therapeutic adaptation of what was originally a “novelty” kind of bed, the water pillow, is a current favorite of physical therapists and many chiropractors. Water automatically conforms around the physical shape of your head, and there is more opportunity to customize since the user can add or remove water for varying height and density. Because water is weightier than other materials, there is also less shifting of the pillow throughout the night.

In-Flight Options. If you’re a business traveler or regularly take longer flights – cross-country or international, say – do yourself a favor and invest in your in-flight travel pillow. Not all horseshoe pillows are created equally. Filling ranges from cotton batting and shredded latex to buckwheat hulls and memory foam.

No Pillow at All

Sometimes having too many pillows is the culprit. It’s been argued that the true perfect sleeping position is with no pillow at all. The idea behind that is essentially you are realigning the spine more perfectly when your head can lay flat against the same surface as your back – preferably your mattress.

We can get behind that, but we still feel a little support in the hollow under your neck can go a long way in reducing (and preventing) neck pain in this sleep position. Whether it’s a small cylindrical pillow or simply a rolled-up hand towel, this may be an option to try.

Ultimately, research suggests the ideal pillow is “soft and with good support for the neck lordosis.” It also says that you should go out, individually test, and specially select what feels right for you.

Fort Lauderdale Neck Pain Treatment

If you have questions about how to make your selection, your chiropractor or medical practitioner can be a wealth of knowledge – just ask.  

 

About the Author:

Dr. Singer has been a practicing chiropractor for more than 20 years, and USA Health & Therapy has been around since 2004. Over the course of his career, Singer has helped tens of thousands of people with all kinds of issues by using a wide variety of treatment strategies. He has extensive knowledge of chiropractic modalities, including Gonstead, Diversified, Thompson Drop Table, and Activator, and in 1997 he earned a special adjunctive Chiropractic Certification in Spinal Trauma (CCST) to better provide care for car crash victims. Dr. Singer is licensed to practice chiropractic medicine in both Florida and New York.

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Understanding Different Types of Lower Back Pain

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Headaches? Yes, Florida Chiropractors Can Help with Those, Too

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