|Neck Pain Relief Neck Pillows|
A good neck pillow provides support, comfort and pain relief
Using a neck pillow is a great way to help relieve pain, stiffness and headaches. The right pillow can also help with a more restful and healing night's sleep. One of the most profound benefits is the effect using a good neck pillow can have on the curve and alignment of the neck when used properly over a period of time.
It is important to choose the right neck pillow and to become familiar with which neck pillows will provide the best pain relief and support.
Is it time for a new pillow? A six-year-old pillow can get 10% to 25% of its weight from dust mites, dead mites and mite excrement!
Since we spend about one third of our life sleeping, neck pain sufferers can benefit from a well designed pillow in their management strategy. There are many neck pillows which offer good support and pain relief. You may have to try more than one to find the best pillow for you and your needs, but lets try to get some basics down and then look at a method to help you determine the right one.
Sleeping is often difficult for people with neck pain. The right neck pillow will cradle your head and support your neck without distorting the normal posture and alignment.
It is important to avoid using too little or no neck pillow at all which places the unsupported neck under strain all night long. Using too many pillows or too firm of a pillow can push the neck up and pinch the joints together.
Whether you sleep on your side or back, your pillow must be soft enough to mold to your head and still fill in the space between your bed and your neck. Your head is bigger than your neck so supporting both without distorting the position of your neck is key.
We have discussed many ways to help with neck pain. Don't loose the gains you have made with posture correction exercises for the neck or any of the great neck products we offer by sleeping on the wrong pillow.
Choosing the right neck pillow can be a nightmare. A good pillow can make a huge difference. On the left you see a proper pillow support for side sleeping. Notice the neck is aligned. The other 2 examples show a pillow too low and one too high.
The symptoms of poor neck alignment resulting from a poor supporting neck pillow may include snoring, headaches, insomnia, numbness in the arms and hands and neck pain or stiffness.
It is important that pillows for neck pain have a contour to accommodate the natural curves of the neck to maintain the proper neck posture while sleeping. This helps to prevent strain of muscles and uneven pressure on joints which can cause inflammation, a common cause of neck pain when waking in the morning.
If the head is too high or too low in relation to the rest of the body, the neck can be placed under stress. If the head is allowed to roll sideways when sleeping on your back without the pillow responding or conforming to a different level, similar problems can result as the upper back and neck become distorted.
Most people sleep both on their sides and their backs, but these positions require different support. The head needs to be supported approximately two inches higher in the side position than in the back position. This is evident when, often subconsciously, people will try to make this correction by putting their hand or arm under the pillow when they roll over on their side.
In the back sleeping position, the head not only needs to be supported at the right height, but prevented from tilting forward, a common cause of restrict air passages, or from rolling from side to side placing stress on the neck.
In order to determine if neck pillows are right, I would use a form which is modified from to assess if the pillow is helping and/or if a new type is appropriate. If no immediate concerns have arrived, this method of evaluation continues for 4 weeks. The factors described above and evaluation with this form is the best method I have found to choose the right one from the many choices in support pillows for neck pain.
To print a copy of the form, please visit Neck Pillow Progress
Generally, neck pillows will come in different sizes and usually you should choose based on your size, however, if you have a saggy bed you may want to get a higher height pillow. An adjustable pillow like our inflatable neck pillow is a good choice when different height levels are needed. Many pillows come in a variety of sizes and can be fitted to your exact measurements.
For children or small framed adult there are smaller pillows specially designed for those who need less support but require the proper design.
Popular and effective, memory foam pillows offer a unique level of support and comfort and are made with space age material. They tend to dampen vibrations associated with some regular foam pillows and can maintain neck temperature on cold evenings. Travel pillows made with memory foam are great when on the road to avoid constant vibration and temperature changes which can increase levels of neck pain. These type of pillows are good for acute neck pain relief or for flare-ups of a chronic neck pain condition.
The new water pillows provide a level of control over the support and is rapidly taking over the memory foam as the most popular! If you do not object to a little effort (adjusting the water level), this may be the best overall pillow for comfort and support.
Another effective choice is the inflatable pillow which uses air cells that are inflatable along with dual action columns for a unique level of adjustability and pressure relief shown by infared studies to superior to memory foam and water pillows.
Buckwheat pillows are a great alternative to the contour shaped pillows which you can mold or contour yourself and allows air to circulate which can keep your neck cool if you sleep in a warm environment. We have standard buckwheat pillows, as well as a special buckwheat neck pillow and the buckwheat comfort pillow that are superior in quality to most others I have seen.
Often, people who suffer with neck pain also have low back pain and I find a good body pillow to be another great alternative for total body alignment.
Studies indicate that pillows for neck pain are effective. Having a choice is beneficial, however, the right pillow may be difficult to find. Often, a combination pillow - one which combines memory foam, supportive foam and fiber fill material can provide the answer.
OK, so you wonder which one I use? I get asked this alot. Well, the pillow I find works best for me is the PostureMed Pillow, but it is not the right pillow for everyone.
Many typical neck pillows use contour lobes of different heights. This is a common design and has proven benefit for neck pain relief and snoring problems. Some individuals have problems adapting to this type of pillow and subsequently give up. What I recommend if you have never used a neck pillow before or have given up on using one you already have, is to go through an adaptation period. I often use this technique for recent injuries like whiplash. Initially begin with the lobes down, sleeping on the flat side. This allows your neck to more gradually adjust to your pillow. After a period of time (1 to 3 weeks), turn the pillow over, with the contour lobes up, and sleep on the side that provides the best support while still being comfortable.
So if you wake up in the mornings with a headache, have neck pain, stiff neck or just can't seem to get comfortable when you sleep, your neck is telling you that you need more support. To find a solution to this problem, we offer a great selection of neck pillows.
Prior to contacting us for questions regarding the pillow that might work best for you, please read the article How To Choose The Right Neck Pillow, Best Pillow For Neck Pain and, as a guide, please see the Neck Pillow Ratings page.
If you still have questions, please feel free to contact Neck Solutions and we will be glad to take some time to try and help you make the best decision.