In allowing the body to rest and recover, pillows play a vital role. A pillow supports the head and keeps the neck in line with the spine, allowing the muscle to relax and helping relieve neck pain.
Many people suffer from neck pain. Everyday stressors, such as stem from a poor sitting posture or work could be the reason for that. Sitting for extended periods in front of a mobile or computer device could cause additional strain to the neck.
Pillows keep the neck in proper alignment with the rest of the spine to make sure the muscles do no overextend and relax properly.
However, your pillow can also be the cause of your neck pain. If you are using the wrong pillow, instead of relieving your neck, it will become the cause of the pain.
To determine “what’s a good pillow for neck pain” you need to understand a few things. Because the best pillow for neck pain will differ according to a person’s sleep style, and the support and firmness of the pillow. So, try these strategies to find what’s a good pillow for neck pain.
What’s a Good Pillow for Neck Pain First Step, Find The Right Pillow Shape
Look for a pillow with a cervical spine curve if you sleep on your back. A pillow with a cervical spine curve means there is a bit of a bump or roll under your neck and a flatter sport for your head.
If you sleep on your side, you need a pillow with a slightly greater height to keep your head in line with your spine. And to support your neck, you may also want a pillow with a bump under the neck.
Don’t forget about your sleeping arrangement when you travel. You may have the perfect pillow at your home, but what happens when you are in the air or on the road? A U-shaped pillow can come to your rescue. When you are trying to sleep sitting up, it can provide you comfort by keeping your head upright instead of angled to the side.
Your sleeping Position
If you have neck pain or trying to avoid it, the best positions are sleeping on your back or side. Sleeping on your stomach can cause neck pain because in this position, your back is arched and your neck is turned to the side. Hence, sleeping on your stomach is highly discouraged.
Tally up other pillows as needed
If you sleep on your back or side with a flat pillow, a rolled-up towel or a second roll under your neck could provide extra support. If you are a side sleeper, you can put a thin pillow between your knees to help keep your spine in line with your neck and head.
Check the materials of the pillow
You are the one who decides what type of pillow or pillow fill works best for you because these are mostly personal preference. If you can’t find a curved pillow that you prefer, consider trying a memory foam pillow. Memory foam pillow compresses around the shape of your head and neck to keep them in line with your spine. Down pillows conform as well, although, over time, feather pillows don’t keep their shape so well. If you are an allergy sufferer, select a pillow fill that won’t trigger them, and use a pillow cover that protects you against allergens or dust mites.
If the problem is your neck pain, a flatter pillow could be the better option. In one study, higher pillows created a greater cervical angle and more cranio cervical pressure (that’s at the spot where the neck and head), meaning your head and spine aren’t lined up. If all-night your neck stays at that angle, this can result in stiffness and pain.
Change your pillow as needed
Maybe there was a time your pillow provided you with ultimate support. But over time, pillows lose their shape and substance and compress. As a general rule, you should replace your pillows about every one to two years.
Get better sleep
Maybe your neck pain is not being caused by your pillow at all. One study showed, people suffering from sleeping problems — such as insomnia, restless sleep, waking up too early – were more likely to experience pain after a year, compared with the ones who slept well. It might be because neck pain keeps people awake or people with neck pain don’t get enough of the uplifting sleep they need. However, if you are experiencing sleep issues, seeking a solution might be a step toward less pain.