What Type Of Pillow Do I Need – If you’re like most people, you haven’t given your pillow much thought, but if your sleep isn’t ideal, it’s time you did. Sleep is a critical recovery period for our body and mind, and if you have trouble sleeping or wake up with neck, shoulder or back pain, it could be related to your pillow. Your pillow can often be the only cause of your pain, especially neck pain. The neck is one of the most susceptible areas of the body to pain and injury, according to the American Chiropractic Association.
Finding the right pillow depends on a number of factors such as your sleeping position, weight, sleep temperature and anatomy of your neck and shoulder area. Some of the most common causes of pillow-related neck pain are:
What Type Of Pillow Do I Need
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When sleeping, you should try to find a neutral spine position where your pillow allows your spine to be straight vs overly supported (causing an upward curve in your spine) or supported (causing a downward curve in your spine). Remember that depending on your sleeping position, you may need a thicker or thinner pillow to find this neutral position. It can be helpful to have a partner look at your position because some of these are difficult to observe yourself. Use the following as a rule of thumb.
Choosing a pillow may seem fairly straightforward, but if you suffer from sleep-related neck pain or insomnia, it becomes very important to choose not only a high-quality pillow, but also a pillow design that matches your sleeping position, anatomy and personal preferences. While there are dozens of unique sleeping positions, they are mostly variations of the list below. Here are the common sleeping positions and the pillow that best suits them:
To further illustrate the points above, check out this fun video made by the Spine Health Institute, which provides some great guidelines for choosing a pillow and finding a neutral back position:
Like many of our sleep recommendation guides, we start with in-depth consultations with experts on the subject. In this case, we’ve sought out experts in sleep, joint and muscle pain, and spine health to give us the best perspective and guidance to recommend products that we believe can help you sleep better.
The Best Pillows Of 2023
If you’ve researched sleep, you’ve probably learned that there is no silver bullet for getting quality sleep. What works for you may not work for someone else. Choosing your pillow is no different. As a result, we’ve worked with our experts to define common categories for sleepers and what you might be looking for in your next pillow. Our top picks are tailored to suit different pillow designs, sleeping positions, materials and budgets.
“A good everyday pillow is really hard to come by. They’re either too soft or too hard – both cause some kind of neck pain. But this pillow is perfect! I love that it’s responsive so it adapts to my sleeping needs. and weight. Also, it stays cool, which is nice because you don’t overheat and feel uncomfortable.”
Pillows are becoming more innovative by the minute, and now you can shop for pillows to suit all your needs. Here are some key features to look for when buying your next pillow:
The best pillows for neck pain keep your spine straight whether you sleep on your side or your back. Many pillows below or above support the spine, which can worsen neck pain.
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The best pillow for neck pain is one that will allow your spine to be aligned, which will be different for each sleeper due to differences in anatomy.
Yes, pillows can cause or exacerbate neck pain when they are not the right size. An improperly sized pillow can result in a non-neutral spine position. This puts pressure on vertebrae in the neck and increases muscle tension.
Firmness affects the height of your pillow when in use. You may need to experiment with pillows with different levels of firmness to find what works best for you.
Sleeping positions alone are not the cause or the cure for your neck pain. The relationship between your pillow, mattress, sleeping position and your body is the driving factor in spinal alignment and pain-free sleep.
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Neck pain sufferers should pay special attention to the height of their pillow. A pillow that is too thick or too thin can result in improper spinal alignment.
Neck pain and arthritis sufferers should ensure that their pillow matches their sleeping position, anatomy and mattresses. Pay attention to your spinal alignment and avoid common mistakes like using a pillow that is too thin or too thick, which can exacerbate arthritis pain.
Your sleeping position has the biggest impact on shoulder pain, and while your pillow can make a difference, sleeping on your back provides the best relief from shoulder pain. In terms of pillow choice, it’s best to make sure your pillow allows for a neutral spinal alignment that best relieves the muscles that stretch from your neck to your shoulders.
This ultimately comes down to personal preference in our experience. We generally recommend that most people use a pillow when sleeping to avoid neck pain. To maintain proper spinal alignment, side sleepers should use a relatively thick pillow. Back sleepers should use a thin pillow, and stomach sleepers often should not use a pillow at all.
Best Pillows For Neck Pain 2023
Water-based pads like Mediflow or ChrioFlow pads offer essentially unlimited ceiling adjustment, which is great for fine-tuning your pad. Another benefit is water’s ability to conform to your body, especially for those of us who sleep in multiple sleeping positions. While your traditional pillow may be great for sleeping on your back, it can’t support you sleeping on your side. Water pillows are great for this situation.
If you suffer from back or neck pain, or find that you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up rested, your pillow may be among the causes, especially if it’s older, flat, and lacks support. Although a good pillow can last for years, we recommend that you evaluate your pillow once a year to confirm that it is still supporting your body properly and not harming your sleep quality.
Most pads have instructions on how to wash them, and often they are written on a label similar to what you see on clothes. We recommend following these instructions, but always allow for extra drying time. Almost all pillows are notorious for drying on the outside while still being wet on the inside, especially when dried in a tumble dryer. While most down or feather pillows are not meant to be washed, some methods can increase your success, such as drying with tennis balls to prevent the feathers from clumping.
In general, your pillow should not be under your shoulders. Ideally, your pillow is there to help align your spine and neck with the rest of your body and maintain a neutral position. Thoracic Kyphosis The region of your spine below your shoulders has a natural outward curve that tends to be a pressure point. Elevating this area, especially when sleeping on your back, is counterproductive to aligning your spine. Fewer side sleepers are concerned about this, but it’s not ideal for them either. If there is a need to have your pillow under your shoulders, you may have a problem with your mattress as it may be too soft.
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Typically, pillows cannot be recycled unless they are made from recyclable material (properly labeled) and your recycling company can process them. If your pillow is like most and can’t be recycled, there’s a lot you can do before you resort to throwing it away (sending it to a landfill). Read the bottom of our mattress disposal guide for 6 great ideas on how to recycle or donate your pillow.
You may be doing everything right when it comes to your sleeping position, mattress and pillow, but there is a known link between the actual quality of your sleep, trouble falling asleep and pain in your muscles and joints, according to a Swedish study conducted in 2008. Improving your sleep quality (and reducing pain) may require, among other things, reducing stress, exercise, reducing alcohol intake. Your sleeping position is important, but it can be other things in your life that cause pain.
Headaches are a deep subject that has many complexities. While your pillow may be part of the reason you have a headache, it’s rarely the only reason. We always recommend talking to your doctor if you have bothersome headaches.
There may be more to your neck pain than your pillow and sleeping position. Here are some other things you can do in addition to finding the perfect pillow to treat your neck pain (and general musculoskeletal pain):
The 12 Best Pillows Of 2023, Tested And Reviewed
Overall, neck pain should make sure their pillow fits their sleeping position and anatomy well. Cushions come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, and you may need to experiment with different options through some trial and error. Adjustable loft
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