Sunday, April 21, 2013

Is Your Pillow Causing You Pain?

Buying Neck Pillows
Many folks scratch their heads, wondering why they wake up with so much neck pain, and yet they don't know how to solve the problem. It could be as simple as their choice of pillow. Here are solutions to the five pillow mistakes you may not know you're making:

Long Lifespan

If you can fold your pillow in half and it doesn't rebound within 10 seconds, it's time to say farewell and throw that old thing out. Dead skin flakes, dust and sweat fill pillows with extra weight and bacteria. Aim to replace your pillow every 12 to 18 months to best maintain firmness and support for a restful sleep. See this Interesting Pillow Choice Article for some thought provoking suggestions. I often recommend the Nimblepedic Pillow brand (contoured version) as one of the best all-around support pillows for the neck.

What's the Use?

If sleep quality is the only benefit you are receiving from your current pillow, you may be missing out on other benefits and therapeutic value over that eight hour period. Specialty pillows keep your face from wrinkling, acids from refluxing and snores from waking up the whole house. If you have sinus congestion, make sure your pillow is hypo-allergenic. Make sure your head is propped up so your nose is higher than your heart. If you fear wrinkles, find a memory foam pillow like Nimblepedic, so wrinkling pressure on your skin is reduced.

Neck Pillows Should Be Versatile

If you have a conventional, fairly thick, non-contoured pillow for side-sleeping; yet you spend a portion of time on your stomach or back, you may be doing yourself a disservice. To not cause neck or back pain you need a contoured pillow that adapts to all your positions, or you will need to change pillows for each sleeping position. Michael Breus, PhD, told WebMD that sleepers must find the right pillow to fit their specific needs.

Side sleepers should use a pillow that is firm enough to sufficiently accommodate the distance from the ear to the shoulder, so that your head rests parallel to the mattress. Back sleepers need neck-contour-orthopedic pillows. This ensures that their heads aren't pushed up too high or sunk down too low in relation to their shoulders and that they have support for the natural neck curvature (lordosis).

Sleeping prone (aka: face down) is for the most part not recommended. Such stomach sleeping notoriously wrecks havoc with the ligaments and spinal disks of the neck, leading to loss of normal curvature and arthritis over time. If you still choose to sleep on your stomach, use a thin pillow, and try to place a portion of it under your shoulder and chest on the pillow portion opposite the way you turn your chin. Ultimately, the proper pillow aligns the neck and spine, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Filling Material Matters

Pillows should provide comfort and support the same way a mattress should. It’s great if you think a down pillow is super comfortable, but if you are having constant neck pain it could be because you aren't getting enough neck support when you sleep. A  good orthopedic neck pillow can solve this problem, and so can occasionally switching your sleeping position. When you experience neck or back pain, choose a high-density foam or firm cotton pillow that offers more support. Feather pillows are pretty much a non-viable alternative unless you purely sleep on your back and don't really have neck problems.

Money Isn't Everything

Just because a pillow is expensive doesn't mean its less expensive counterpart won't work. sent 71 people home with expensive and inexpensive pillows and instructed them to sleep on each pillow for five consecutive nights. What were the results? Pillow quality relied mainly on each sleeper's personal preferences about pillow firmness, fluffiness, flatness and size, according to the site. When buying, don't just go for best price. Find the right pillow for you by testing its comfort and seeing if it offers you the right neck support.


  1. Hey Admin,
    I have read your whole article and got very interesting and useful tips of neck support pillows.
    Yes you are right neck support pillows relieve the stiffness in the neck and gives a perfect whole night's sleep!!!
    Thanks for the wonderful share.

  2. Very nice!! there is so much information on this blog keep posting good information like this so that I can come back every day for some new info...

  3. You are right about getting the right pillow for your preferred sleeping position. Having one that is the correct height and firmness to suit that position makes all the difference in keeping your cervical spine aligned as you sleep.

    That along with some strategically placed body pillows should help you get a pain-free night.


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