pnf neck stretching

PNF Neck Stretching

PNF Neck Stretching For Pain Relief & Improved Motion Range

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation is a pre-contraction stretching which involves contracting the muscle that is being stretched or its antagonist (opposite) before stretching. Typically, this is done in clinics by a therapist, however, you can do PNF neck stretching at home.

Although there are various techniques, most contract and relax or hold and relax techniques suggest 75-100% of maximum contraction, studies show that 20-60% is just as effective. The increase in motion range is often seen on both sides, indicating a possible neurological relationship, and making it optimal for the neck. Contracting at lower forces is also more appropriate for painful conditions. Nonetheless, if you have pre-conditions, you should check with your health care provider first.

pnf neck stretching

Basically, you can stretch in the ranges of motion; forward, backward, left/right rotation, and left/right side bending. If you are doing rotation, turn your head to the right as far as you can without increasing pain. You can place the palm of your right hand on your forehead to resist turning your head back to a straight position for 5-10 seconds. Then relax the stretch with no resistance for 15-20 seconds. This can be repeated three times, then you can do the other side. After the first stretch, see if you can turn your head a little further than the first time.

Obviously, if you have a pinched nerve in your neck, one side will be more painful to turn or tilt than the other. Only do the non-painful side, and only with light pressure. Remember, this will have an effect on the opposite side without stressing it.

This is also the basic idea in our progression of chin tuck neck exercises to reduce pain, where you are using no resistance at first, then resistance against gravity, then resistance against a ball. So as you progress, you can gradually increase resistance as your pain levels decrease.

Different types of stretching are all an effective way to increase flexibility; however, different stretches may have varying effects on different individuals. So, this is another method of stretching that may or may not work for you or your particular condition, as stretching programs often need to be individualized. This involves some trial and error, so it is always good to start slow. The less flexible, the longer you may need to hold the stretch.

Know when to stretch. If you have a contracture, any stretching will probably not help. Contractures and problems with joints like a facet joint injury after whiplash, may not respond to stretching because the problem is with structures like joint capsules or ligaments that do not stretch or have no contractile properties. So, the tightness you feel on motion may not be a muscular problem. Or, there may be adhesions in the muscle that stretching will not overcome and just cause further irritation. This relates to better diagnosis – better treatment.

The Key To PNF Neck Stretching

PNF neck stretching is a quick method to increase flexibility. The key is the resistance where you contract the muscles first. This is an isometric contraction, where the muscle contracts without moving. Remember, mild contraction forces are as effective as harder ones. For your neck, the resistance of your hand is enough. You can also use a ball or a towel against a wall. You do not want the muscle to move where it moves your head – this is an eccentric or concentric contraction as in weight lifting or typical stretching where your head moves the muscle through a range of motion involving the joints.

Evidence For PNF Stretching

A 2017 study in the Journal of Back and Musculoskelet Rehabilitation found that PNF neck stretching was more effective than manual therapy for increasing function in daily activities as well as reducing pain in subjects with cervical spine osteoarthritis. The reduction in frequency and intensity of neck pain was noted in the short and long term.

A 2013 study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science concluded that the application of PNF techniques are effective for myofacial pain subjects at improving function.

A 2009 study in Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences found thet PNF stretching was more effective than regular or static stretching for patients with knee osteoarthritis.

A 2012 extensive review in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy concluded that PNF stretching may be more effective for immediate gains in range of motion than other forms of stretching.

Will It Work For Me

There are indications that PNF stretching may reduce pain and increase function in some individuals. If your normal stretching is not producing the results you would like, this may be a good method to try. It can be added to other conservative measures to combat neck pain from postural stress to injury recovery.


high performance back brace

High Performance Back Braces

Brace Yourself – High Performance Back Braces Can Make A Difference

There are many braces for back pain available today. If fact, there are so many, how do you know which one to get? Braces for back problems are seen everywhere and there has been a tremendous influx of cheap imports that do basically nothing, except for your head. Meaning, many of the braces are designed like cheap foam neck collars; they do nothing for support and just give you a feeling or sensation of support, perhaps reminding you to keep the area protected or to move in a more careful manner. High performance back braces may help.

high performance back braces

Literature has shown that a commonly held belief by many doctors, that supportive braces will weaken muscles, is simply not true. One of the main things to look for in a back brace is why you are using it and how does it fit?

Back braces basically come in 2 forms; mechanical advantage belts and elastic belts. The mechanical advantage belts were popularized by Cybertech and then copied by others. The original is now Ottobock, which has kept the tradition with superior design and performance. They are German engineered and designed. Elastic belts a pretty much a dime a dozen nowadays, however, many are absolutely worthless. We use elastic belts that come in two models based on body type. Fit does matter.


The mechanical advantage belts use a six to one pull ratio and provide a great deal of force. They are easy to use and come with inserts that increase the surface area of support without being too bulky and uncomfortable. For those with back conditions that require high levels of support, this is what you want. Easy to adjust for when you need more or less force, and provides a level of support that is crucial for those who need to prevent further injury when lifting or have stability issues.


The elastic belts come in a regular or slim fit. With these braces, they are not just an elastic material wrapped around your back. In general, men are shaped different than women. There are also different body types between same genders. One style does not fit both well, especially when wearing one all day. Easy to wear under cloths, but actually provides support for milder conditions like strained muscles or arthritis. It is comfortable enough to wear for extended periods and also has an optional insert to increase circulation and provide a massaging effect.

When it comes to supports for back pain, quality design and construction, as well as proper fit make a big difference. Choosing the right back brace is important as your condition is to you. You can get a very inexpensive one just about anywhere these days, but when it comes to protection and relief, we only offer a select few high quality braces that can make a difference. Some places offer dozens of these supports and it becomes difficult to make a choice. Many are cheaper knock-offs or look-a-likes.

People looking for relief often spend large sums on cheaper braces, not getting results and giving up. This can help give back braces a bad reputation, and while there are never guarantees due to the many variables associated with back pain, it is why we only offer very high quality, high performance back braces. Insurance companies know the difference and ours are coded and approved for you or your health professional to submit.

More Information About Braces For Back Pain


triggered

Triggered – Head, Neck & Shoulder Pain

Does Head, Neck Or Shoulder Pain Leave You Triggered?

Pain syndromes are often associated with the neck muscles that relate to neck and shoulder aches as well as headaches. Trigger points are often involved in these areas and are associated with a number of specific causes, however, many pain syndromes are what is termed non-specific. Involvement of tender areas in the muscles can form a cycle of chronic pain. This is often due to poor postural adaptation and recovery from injuries, leaving one triggered as tense muscles with local and referred pain form a chronic, stressful and painful situation.

triggered

Trigger points are a manifestation of what is called myofascial pain syndrome. Although not well understood, the term comes from the muscle (myo) and it’s surrounding layer of connective tissue (fascia), which both contribute to pain syndromes. Trigger points are small areas of focal irritation that can be actively causing local pain as well as referred pain or pain radiating to other locations. Previously, terms such as fibrositis, implying the connective tissue surrounding the muscle to be inflamed, and chronic muscle pain were used.

Many people experience muscle pain as a result strain, tension, overuse and injury. This pain often resolves in week or two without the need for treatment. There are cases, however, where the pain continues and becomes a chronic pain disorder, which requires intervention to get it resolved. There are many treatments for those who are triggered by these chronic muscle irritations. Massage, pressure therapy, acupuncture, injections, topicals and stretching have all been shown to help.

A 2014 study in the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics showed that for women with chronic neck pain, classical massage was effective for muscle relaxation, but connective tissue massage was better at reducing the pressure of pain. So, treating the muscle and it’s covering is a great method to reduce pain and relax muscles.

A 2016 study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that adding connective tissue massage (soft tissue mobilization) to manual therapy treatment was more effective than exercise for reducing shoulder pain in office workers. Treatment was directed to muscles of the neck and upper shoulders; the splenius capitis and trapezius muscles.

trigger points

A 2016 study in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation found that there was a relationship between active trigger points in the head, neck & shoulders with forward head posture and loss of neck curve in women with migraine headaches.

A 2007 study in the Clinical Journal of Pain found that trigger points are very prevalent in patients with chronic tension-type headaches in both number and pain intensity.

As the neck is the gateway between the head and shoulders, it is common to find areas of triggered neck muscles referring pain and reaking havok on posture, headaches and shoulder pain. Massage therapy techniques are numerous and consist of manipulating soft tissues using pressure and traction. Another method is often used to treat trigger points is ischemic compression. In a 2015 review in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation ischemic compression is recommended in the treatment of neck pain with trigger points in the upper trapezius muscle.

A 2014 study in Complementary Therapies In Clinical Practice, it was found that massage, especially with moderate pressure, was effective at reducing pain and increasing motion in those suffering from neck arthritis. Efforts were made to have weekly massages supplemented by patients doing self massage in-between sessions to sustain the effects as a cost effective therapy for those with neck arthritis pain.

treating your own muscle aches

There is nothing like professional help, however, with the advent of new muscle therapy tools, it has become inexpensive and easy to use techniques to treat your own triggered muscles. The muscle therapy kit is a great tool in treating trigger points anywhere, especially the neck and upper back. Using leverage, pressure, motion and traction, along with a topical analgesic and complete illustrated instructions, you don’t have to be triggered with head, neck and shoulder pain.


healthy neck lifestyle

Healthy Neck Lifestyle – Reversing An Alarming Trend

Healthy Neck Lifestyle – Trying To Reverse An Alarming Trend

Neck disorders can result in serious pain and disability. Literature indicates rates of spinal surgery are increasing markedly. There is a trend of increasing spinal problems with increased use of computers, smartphones and tablets. So, our necks seem to be paying quite a price for the wonderful increases in technology. It is affecting us at younger ages, and the increase in problems has no end in sight – no easy solutions. Educating about a healthy neck lifestyle may be a way to help decrease the trend towards more pain and suffering.

While many of these problems are related to inactivity and poor posture, active lifestyles can often strain the neck as well. Activities like cycling, where the head is in an altered position and absorbing shock is just one of many examples of how sports, both professional, amateur or weekend warrior can cause neck disorders. Muscles are strained, as well as tendons, joints and discs. Combine this with time, injuries, stress and other factors, major problems can result. A data survey showed that within a 10 year period to 1990; the rate of surgery for cervical spine fusions increased 70%!

healthy neck lifestyleAlthough exercising is considered an important part of a healthy lifestyle, just like sitting still at a computer for long periods, strain over a period of time can have serious consequences. Chronic degeneration of the cervical spine is the most common reason for progressive compression of the nerves and spinal cord. This is a common reason for spinal surgery. Conditions where cervical nerves are compressed can cause severe pain in the neck and symptoms into the arms. Compression of the spinal cord can not only cause pain, but can lead to problems with bladder function and walking.

A healthy neck lifestyle involves a number of factors. The problem is starting earlier in life due to altered head postures that place undue stress on the neck. A course in ergonomics should be standard in our educational system. If kids can play dodge ball in gym class, there is no reason why some specific neck exercises can’t be taught. The increase in technology should bring about a reduction in the backpack load for our children. With better ergonomics during work and leisure, heavy books that strain the entire spine can be reduced to a small flash drive, as computer devices are commonplace. Why are our kids still sitting in the same painful school chairs since chairs were invented? Do you see these in teachers lounges?

Proper ergonomics also extends to sleeping with supportive pillows that keep the neck from strain while sleeping. There are also other products that are affordable and can have an immediate impact. One product I like that easily fits into an active lifestyle is the Neck Saviour. It helps stretch tight neck muscles and provides a traction effect to help keep joints and discs healthy. It weighs only a couple ounces and is easily carried anywhere you go. With an award winning design, it is recommended by health care professionals and used in restorative healing classes like Yoga and Pilates. The applications are endless. Forget about cumbersome inflation bulbs, restrictive collars, electrical cords and heavy equipment, the Neck Saviour is simple and easy to use. A true testament to the advances in technology that contribute to better spinal health.

A recent 2017 study in Surgical Neurology International examined 207 adolescents and children with neck pain. A total of 180 suffered musculoskeletal neck problems. A higher percentage of females than males and adolescents than children were affected by ratio of approximately approximately 60% to 40%. Eye symptoms were present in slightly over 20%, and in over 80%, the parents noted psychological and behavioral issues. The study indicates 100% of the 180 individuals had altered neck flexion when using tablets, smartphones, and when studying.

The authors of the study concluded, “Musculoskeletal neck pain is an important disease in children and adolescents with numerous risk factors contributing to its development. Increased stresses regarding the cervical spine may lead to cervical degeneration along with other developmental, medical, psychological, and social complications.”

Turning the table on the alarming increase in neck problems won’t be easy. Results will most likely be generational and only when some common sense measures are taken and instituted on a wide scale basis. Along with some of the effective home use products, we can begin to reverse this trend now with a healthy neck lifestyle.


Asthma & Disc Disease

Asthma Increases Risk Of Early Disc Disease: New Study Finds Herniated Disc & Spinal Degeneration Related To Asthma In Young

Information from a 2017 study published in the Current Medical Research and Opinion journal about Asthma and the risk of early herniated intervertebral disc disease. The authors concluded that young individuals with asthma are at considerable risk for early disc disease and disc herniation in the neck and back.

asthma associated with disc disease and herniations

Herniated discs is commonly seen with degenerative conditions of the neck and back. A disc can bulge or herniate in the spine causing localized pain as well as radiating pain. Pressure and irritation cause the pain and it is usually seen as we age causing various pain and disability problems. It is often seen in 40% of young adults under 30, and more than 90% of 55 year olds.

Considered to be an inevitable form of arthritis related to age and daily or work activities, much is now known regarding the processes and variations of this often complex disease. Early onset can be due to an acute inflammatory process like Modic 1 disc degeneration, injury, and genetic factors. In some, shrinking and narrowing of the spine causes a condition known as spinal stenosis, a leading cause of neck and back pain, disability, and spinal surgery.

Now we are finding asthma to be another link in the puzzle to the physical and emotional pain that has followed mankind throug the ages.

Asthma is chronic inflammatory disorder of the respiratory. The lungs become inflamed and constricted making it difficult to breathe, causing wheezing and coughing. Just like disc disease, factors associated with acute and chronic problems are related to environmental and genetic influences. In some, it is associated with cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, headaches, infections and emotional disorders. This is also seen in disc disease.

The focus of the study was young adults the researches noted many inflammatory factors between early disc disease and young asthma, and saw a significant risk of early disc disease in asthma patients. The authors, after reviewing literature on over 47,000 patients, clearly demonstrated young individuals with asthma experienced a much higher risk of early onset disc disease, especially the neck and in 13 to 18 year old females.

asthma triggers

The Problem: Inflammation

In the disc, inflammation causes an imbalance in chemicals which lead of the destruction of the foundation. The authors speculate that asthma, a chronic systemic inflammatory disease, can stress tissues, damaging to the musculoskeletal system, like the spinal discs. In both asthma and disc disease, there are an increase in inflammation related chemicals detected throughout the body. Since there are a long-term, high level of inflammatory chemicals associated with some asthma patients, this chronic exposure may harm connective tissue as is seen in destructive disc disease.

Genetically, there are indications that there may be a high degree of family related predisposition for disc disease. There is an association between certain genes in disc disease that are also directly associated with asthma. Genes related to inflammation will be a target for therapeutic treatments in a number of diseases. Coughing seen in asthma suddenly increases the pressure in the spinal discs. This along with abrupt motions of the head and neck, almost whiplash like, may explain the higher incidence disc herniations seen in the neck or cervical spine compared to the lower back or lumbar spine.

What Can Be Done: Today For Tomorrow

Better understanding of the inflammatory process and genetics in the role of asthma and disc diseases are needed. There are many other physiological, physical and environmental factors as well. This is affecting our children now, and awareness in ergonomics, posture, and undue stress like way too heavy backpacks are essential in addressing problems immediately. Parents and educators alike can play an important part in helping reduce the impact of future suffering for our young population. The findings of an association between asthma and early onset spinal problems in children and adolescents is one that should be taken seriously. While research for the future is essential, advances already seen in technology can be realized now.


common cold medicine helps neck pain

Common Cold Medicine Helps Neck Pain

Can A Common Cold Medicine Help Neck Pain?

In a recent 2017 study in the Journal of Pain Research, 77 subjects suffering neck, upper back or shoulder pain and muscle spasm were given doses of guaifenesin, an over the counter expectorant, often found under the name Mucinex or Robitussin, among others. Could these common cold medicines help neck pain?

The Problem

common cold medicine helps neck painMusculoskeletal disorders of the neck, upper back and shoulders are often experienced in occupations which require long periods of sitting at a computer, or using extreme or static/fixed postures. They are also noted with occupations that require frequent repeated motions and physical exertion. In the neck, muscle fatigue is often related to poor postures and overworking, resulting in strain, tension and over-active muscles. Over time, associated conditions like tension neck syndrome, upper back pain, and shoulder tendonitis/rotator cuff syndrome, can lead to chronic pain and disability from deterioration of soft tissues like muscles, tendons and ligaments, as well as inflammation of joints.

Proper ergonomics, exercise and stretching are usually effective to help prevent and manage long term effects. Many turn to medicines like over the counter acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Muscle relaxants are another method of using prescription drugs to help reduce muscle spams, pain and stiffness. Unfortunately, many muscle relaxants produce side effects like dry mouth, weakness, dizziness and tiredness.

A Solution?

The authors of the study note previous indications that guaifenesin has muscle relaxing, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects. Therefore, they aimed to test the effects of higher doses for neck, upper back and shoulder pain and muscle spasm. The subjects were healthy individuals 18 to 65 years of age and a new episode of acute neck, upper back, or shoulder pain and muscle spasm within 48 hours onset.

Results: A Common Cold Medicine Helps Neck Pain

woman with neck painThe authors monitored changes in muscle spasm over a 7 day period. They recorded changes in pain, tension, relaxation and discomfort. The results showed the administering 1200 mg, twice a day reduced muscle spasm by 25%, pain by 52%, tension by 28%, and discomfort by 108% over placebo. The effects on muscle spasm was greater on day 7 than day 4, by 22%.

Although there is a natural tendency for acute, non-specific episodes of neck, upper back and shoulder pain to resolve within 7 days, the treatment using this common cold medicine was statistically significant for muscle discomfort. So, 1200 mg – 2 times per day of Mucinex or Robitussin may have the potential effect of a muscle relaxant.

The authors state, “The availability of an OTC muscle relaxant may provide timely access to an effective remedy for relief of acute symptoms.” They recommend more detailed studies in the future to confirm their findings.

Any Problems?

Toxicity is generally low for guaifenesin. Large doses have been associated with nausea and vomiting. All medications can have side effects, and adverse effects were seen in the study. The most common were tiredness, headache, dizziness, and a lingering bad aftertaste. The dose was generally well tolerated.

drug company

It was disclosed that the study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, and the authors were employed by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare at the time of the study.

Information Resource For Guaifenesin, used in the study where the common cold medicine helps neck pain, upper back and shoulder pain.


side sleeping pillows

Side Sleeping Pillows

Side Sleeping Pillows: Reducing Head, Neck, Jaw & Shoulder Tension While Allowing You To Sleep On Your Side

Sleeping on one’s side is the most popular sleeping position. While many pillows are good at adapting to both back and side sleeping, there are some with special ergonomic features which stand above the rest. One of the most important features of a side sleeping pillows is height. Due to the width of the shoulder, an increase in height is necessary to support the head and neck in a neutral position to avoid tension in the muscles and ligaments. An ergonomic positioning on your side can relax muscles and relieve nerve tension.

side sleeping pillows

Features of Special Side Sleeper Pillows

A typical feature of pillows for side sleepers is separate sections for back and side sleeping. This will consist of a cradle in the middle of the pillow and raised side sections on either side. Some popular pillows give options for using a fiber or foam base and may be available in different heights. In considering use of these pillows, it must be noted that you need to physically move to the section of the pillow when changing positions. If you tend to be a deep sleeper or move around a lot during sleep, this may take some time to get used to or may even cause harm.

Another feature of some side sleeper pillows is that they are designed strictly for side sleeping. A single surface side sleeper is mainly used for side sleeping only. You can sleep on your back for short periods, however, you should know that you sleep on your side almost all the time. The height of these pillows necessitate side rather than back sleeping.

There are many reasons to use a special pillow designed for side sleeping. Correct posture in the side position maximizes correct alignment and minimizes neck strain. Many use a soft memory foam surface which can be better for individuals with jaw pain problems. Some of the pillows have and angled structure or a cut out that can help to reduce shoulder pain and better reduce neck and shoulder tension.

shoulder side sleeper

Problems With Side Sleeping Pillows

Separate section pillows must be used correctly. Waking on your side with your head in the back sleeping section or waking on your back with your head on the side sleeping section defeats the the purpose of the pillow and can cause pain and problems. Usually, when in pain, it is not difficult to position yourself in a conscious and purposeful manner. These type of pillows are often used a therapy pillows; using the pillow when in pain, then switching to another single surface pillow or a back and side sleeping pillow. So, these side sleeping pillows can be used temporarily for increased levels of pain or inflammation. This is almost like taking a pain pill; when the pain is gone, there is no longer a reason to take one. So, when getting a specialty pillow, don’t throw your old one out. Sometimes it takes combining 2 types of pillows to get the best results.

side sleeping in comfort

The single surface cut out memory foam pillows; one has a cut out for the shoulder, the other for airway management. These are soft pillows and can be used for short periods of back sleeping. If you find yourself back sleeping more or unconsciously fall asleep on your side and then turn on your back, the increased height can keep the head to far forward, causing neck problems as well as increase snoring.

So, these are some things to keep in mind when using a specially designed pillow for side sleeping.

ergonomic side sleeper

Side Sleeping With A Pinched Nerve

One of the most difficult ways to get comfortable sleeping is with a pinched nerve or shoulder problem. One of the reasons many contour pillows have 2 different height lobes is to give you a choice, not only for back sleeping, but for side sleeping as well. When there is a pinched nerve, there is usually antalgia. This is altering position or posture because of pain. With a pinched nerve, usually the pain will be relieved when side bending the head to one side and increased when bending into the other side. The different heights on a contour pillow can help side sleeping with this or if you have a shoulder problem.

pillow for pinched nerveLet’s say you have a pinched nerve on the left side and it feels better when bending your head away from that side – to the right. When side sleeping, you would want a pillow that is lower on the right and higher on the left. A pillow like the Posture Med is popular not only because it is free of harmful chemicals, but the properties produce a nice blend of softness and support. The reaction is quick like latex pillows and reduces pressure points, yet does not “wash out” or loose support with weight as seen with soft talalay latex, and does not have hot spots from the cheaper dunlop latex pillows. Yet, it is not as firm and slow reacting as some popular memory foam pillows.

In the case above, you would use the 5 inch side when sleeping on your left side and the 4 inch when sleeping on the right side. Yes, this means flipping the pillow, but is a small price to pay for reduced pain, a better night’s sleep and being able to sleep on your side. By taking pressure off the nerve, it can also aid in healing and help reduce medication intake. The same for a left shoulder problem; you may need a higher height to reduce shoulder pressure on one side, while having the option of a lower height on the other side.

contour memory pillow and side sleeping

So, while these pillows are often seen as primarily a back sleeping pillow, they can be a great tool for side sleeping; although, they need to provide proper height options. The Posture Med, with 4 and 5 inch lobes, combined with a pressure relieving memory foam, is ideal for most adults. Pillows with less than an inch difference in heights will not be enough. Generally, most adults need 4 or 5 inches of pillow height when side sleeping.

When looking into side sleeping pillows, these are some of the things to keep in mind to avoid another pillow in the closet or the trash.


orthopedic pillows

Orthopedic Neck Pillow

Orthopedic Neck Pillow Using Different Ergonomic Shapes Incorporated Into One Pillow To Sleep On Your Back Or Side With The Correct Spinal Alignment And Comfort

This is a unique pillow that is designed to properly support the head and neck when back sleeping and side sleeping. Most people sleep in the center of their pillow when they sleep on their backs, the center of the orthopedic neck pillow is designed specifically for back sleeping with a special upper back wedge and neck roll incorporated into the pillow for superior comfort and support. When side sleeping, the sides of the pillow are designed to support the neck and shoulder with increased height and shoulder accommodation.

buy orthopedic neck pillow

Sizing For Orthopedic Neck Pillows

The pillow comes in 5 sizes: children (6 – 10), small, medium, large, and extra large. While you should always consider your shape and build in choosing a size, you can measure to get a proper fit. By measuring your neck to shoulder length, you are assured the best fit just for you.

orthopedic neck pillow

The unique combination of therapeutic, non toxic medium density foam and the special design in the pillows create a comfortable, yet supportive feel to help ease pressure on the cervical spine. There are distinct sections for back and side sleeping to ensure the most ergonomically correct posture in either position. This takes some getting used too if you have been sleeping on standard or even contoured pillows.

Symptoms resulting from incorrect posture between the upper back, neck and head due sleeping on a pillow which does not provide proper support can be neck pain and stiffness, loud snoring, tingling/numbness in the hand or arm and headaches. The orthopedic pillow helps to alleviate this by cradling the upper back, neck and head in a more appropriate sleeping posture to reduce unwanted stress and strain on spinal structures.

positioning right and wrong

If the head is too high or too low in relation to the rest of the body, the neck can be placed under stress. Similar problems can occur if the head is allowed to roll too far sideways when sleeping on your back. This causes an imbalance in the soft tissue structures such as the muscles, tendons, ligaments and discs, as well as spinal misalignment. Over time, this imbalance can lead to neck problems like spasm, stiffness, headaches, and arthritis. These orthopedic pillows are a great solution to this common problem.

Orthopedic Neck Pillow Details

  • Maintains proper alignment of the head and neck in the side and back sleeping positions.


  • Keeps the head from rotating too far in the back sleeping position.


  • Maintains correct head position and neck curve while back sleeping.


  • Upper back wedge, neck roll, head cradle and side portions offer superior comfort for painful conditions


  • Great for stabilization after whiplash injuries, surgical procedures that maintain lordosis, and chronic conditions that have not responded to traditional pillows.
custom fitted covers

These orthopedic neck pillow is engineered for relief of neck pain! Three functions incorporated into one orthotic pillow with correct heights for back and side sleeping. Therapeutic foam for stability and a unique orthopedic thoracic and cervical sections to support the proper neck curvature to help correct loss of curve or military neck as well as helping to reduce head forward posture. It is a long term approach, but can be used as a neck pain therapy pillow in conjunction with our quick posture correction devices. The head cradle portion in the side sleeping section allows jaw pain sufferers to comfortably sleep on their side.

Doctors Note:

These are really nice pillows and I am very impressed with the comfort and stability. The foam materials are high quality and made in Canada, not a cheaper quality import. I use the Posture Med Memory Foam Pillow for my condition which is chronic degenerative disc disease. When I have an acute flare-up of my condition or when I am having higher than normal levels of pain, I use the orthopedic pillow as part of an alternating pillow strategy for neck pain. I have found those who say this is the only pillow they can sleep with, after they start using it. The superior materials and design make these stable and comfortable pillows recommended by many spinal specialists to aid in relief, recovery and rehabilitation.

poor neck posture from standard pillow

On your back: With no firm support, your head and neck are prone to being pushed forward. Your neck is stretched out of alignment. This creates neck, back and shoulder pain, headaches and increases the chances of snoring.


On your side: Your neck and head are too easily stretched out of alignment because a traditional pillow is too low. Your spine is not kept level which can aggravate neck, back and shoulder problems.

reduce morning neck stiffness
doctor recommended orthopedic neck pillow

Achieving correct support without using orthopedic pillows can be a problem since back and side sleeping are the preferred position for most individuals, one pillow usually does not support correct height when changing positions. When changing from the back to the side position, the head needs to be slightly higher to avoid distortion of the neck due to the shoulder. This is evident when some individuals will consciously or subconsciously place a hand or part of the arm under the pillow to balance this out when side sleeping.

side sleeping with orthopedic pillows

Using the orthopedic neck pillow in the back sleeping position, the head not only needs to be supported at the right height, but prevented from tilting forward and restricting air passages which can cause snoring, or from rolling to the side which can put rotational stress on the neck resulting in muscle soreness and joint pain. The upper back is naturally supported by the extension piece and the neck is properly aligned in relation to the head.

More Pillow Details, Measuring & Easy, Secure Ordering With Free Shipping In The Continental U.S.A. 24/7


pillow science

Pillow Science Latest Advances In Pillows

Pillow Science – Latest Technology In Pillows

Science has engineered what is possibly the coolest, most comfortable pillow ever produced. Using a proprietary blend of encapsulated phase change materials and combining it with new graphite infusion and ventilation provides an exceptionally comfortable and cool memory foam pillow through pillow science.

The most advance cooling technology in pillows is here! This provides a truly remarkable and new level of relief for those who sleep hot, suffer from hot flashes, and need a conforming, comfortable pillow that keeps injured neck tissues cool to help reduce inflammation. This new technology promotes a better night’s sleep and healing properties for better recovery of acute conditions like whiplash of flare-ups of arthritis.

pillow science new technology

The phase change material is encapsulated on the top layer of memory foam and transfers heat away from the head and neck. The infused graphite on the bottom portion provides channels to pull the transferred heat away from the top layer into the bottom layer. The process occurs continually to maintain cooling throughout the night. Further advanced with cool venting throughout the pillow. The memory foam provides traditional shape conforming properties, while refraining from heat build-up common to standard memory foams.

If you are looking for a new pillow, see what the latest advances in science have produced. This is a wonderfully comfortable pillow with properties of no other pillow currently on the market. Regardless of desire for cooling comfort, conforming memory foam or therapeutic properties for neck pain relief, this pillow delivers. Queen size at 16 inches by 29 inches, with a height/loft of 6 inches. It is a bed pillow that not only feels great, but looks great too!

special offer

See More About The Latest Scientific Advancements In Pillow Comfort Technology

While some use pillow technology that has been around for centuries, like buckwheat hulls or feathers, new pillow science takes us into the 21st Century with an advanced space age foam that leaves the others behind.


neck strengthening for a healthy brain

Neck Strengthening For A Healthy Brain

Neck Strengthening For A Healthy Brain – Reducing Brain Trauma By Strengthening Your Neck

In contact sports, impacts to the head are common. Now we are more aware of the increasing effects of impacts to the head that are just below the level of concussion, or subconcussive impacts, especially in adolescent athletes. This not only has implications for sports, but for injuries that involve the neck as well, like whiplash. There is a relationship between neck strength and concussion. Therefore, you don’t need to be an athlete to do neck strengthening for a healthy brain, and the right equipment makes it easier than ever.

A 2014 study in Pediatric Exercise Science tested multi-directional heading in soccer players. They found a significant relationship between between header acceleration and neck strength, finding that greater impacts were sustained by those who had weaker necks. This also explains why girls are at greater risk than boys. The authors of the study suggested neck strengthening could be an important part of any head injury reduction/prevention program.

neck strengthening for a healthy brain

Think of a term that is becoming more common – repetitive injuries. We see this in working conditions that can result in conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain. Now we can begin to understand how low levels of repetitive head injuries as seen in sports like soccer, boxing, football, martial arts, hockey and others can result in symptoms which are not necessarily evident at the time, but may accumulate over time to produce cognitive or brain dysfunction symptoms later in life.

Neck Strengthening For A Healthy Brain

When you consider many millions of young athletes in organized sports, even a tiny percent of these injuries may cause millions of individuals that are affected. An overview of the literature in a 2006 edition of The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, it is estimated almost 4 million mild type traumatic brain injuries occur each year in the United States alone. This figure may even be underestimated because of underdiagnoses and under reporting. This is a disturbing figure as outlined in a 2011 paper in Clinics in Sports Medicine that subclinical concussions (below the level of concussion symptoms) from head impacts can be associated with long term degeneration of brain tissue.

concussion facts

It makes sense to institute programs for reducing concussions or repetitive low level brain trauma with neck strengthening. It is simple to do and may have significant benefits for the health of our society. Just consider that minor head injuries from contact may happen may times during a game of soccer or football, not to mention an entire season, or career. The injuries also may include harmful whiplash forces that can cause the brain suffer from a snapping like force of the head suddenly accelerated backward and/or forward. We know these injuries also can do damage to the neck, especially side impacts.

The relationship between neck muscle strength and brain health indicates that strengthening the neck muscles may help reduce potential cerebral damage resulting in neurocognitive deficits

A 2007 study in Neurosurgery found that neck strength has an influence on head injury and may explain concussion risks in children, women, young atheletes as well as professionals. The study indicates the negative effects of rotational head acceleration in concussion injuries. A 2011 article in Clinics In Sports Medicine encourages neck strengthening exercises to help reduce concussions in sports. Regarding football, the authors state; “Therefore, rule changes mandating neck strength training, education about proper tackling form including prohibiting spearing, and monitoring player fatigue is warranted.”

neck strengthening

A critical literature review in the 2009 British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates females may experience significantly more deficits after sustaining a concussion brain trauma. We know that women have more neck pain than men, and one of the reasons proposed is the weaker nature of neck muscles. A 2007 study in the Journal of Athletic Training indicates in high school and college sports played by both girls and boys, like soccer, girls have a higher rate of concussion injuries than boys. It would not be difficult to institute a program for reducing sports related concussions with neck strengthening, especially for high risk groups like high school and college age female soccer players.

women suffer concussions more than men

A 2013 study in Sports Health found that repeated subclinical effects of soccer heading may be compounded over time. Greater head accelerations of the head are linked to brain injuries that can result in neurological deficits. The authors found neck muscles help to both stabilize and reduce acceleration of the head during impact and may help to prevent brain injury. The study found balanced strength in neck extensors and flexors reduced head acceleration during low velocity heading in college soccer players and may reduce cumulative injury.

Future studies may shed light on the link between long term low level head impacts and health complications, like early onset dementia, premature Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and dyslexia. It very well may indicate that neck strengthening can benefit the brain and help prevent some of these conditions.

The authors of the 2014 Pediatric Exercise Science study noted above state, “Based on our findings, we propose that neck strengthening should be an important component of any head injury prevention/reduction program, especially in sports where head impacts are commonplace, such as soccer. This may be most important in the early stages of development (i.e., adolescence), when strength may not be fully developed and technique has not yet been honed by years of practice.”

The literature findings are consistent with reducing sports related concussions and injuries from low force repeated impacts that effect the brain with neck strengthening.

Neck Kit
neck strengthening kit
Cervical Exerciser
cervical exerciser
While we have strengthening exercises for neck pain, the products above are geared more towards developing muscle strength in a comprehensive manner for prevention of brain injuries. The Kit is great for younger athletes, while the Exerciser uses a progressive band system to achieve maximum results. It is now easier than ever to do neck strengthening for a healthy brain

More Information About Strengthening Neck Muscles

sports and concussions

For additional information related to concussions in sports, a great resource is the NCAA Concussion Website.