Pillows can be a very personal choice. Some people like firm pillows, while others prefer soft, squishy ones. If you suffer from neck pain, choosing the right pillow is crucial to managing your symptoms and getting a good night’s rest. The wrong choice of pillow could lead to more neck problems or even exacerbate existing issues. Here is how you choose the right pillow for your neck pain from a chiropractic perspective.
Give Yourself a Pillow Test
While you can always ask your chiropractor for advice, there is no substitute for trying out different pillows and seeing how they fit. Lay down on the floor and curl up in different positions while resting your head on various types of pillows to see what works best. If possible, observe how these different pillows hold up for several nights to see how they support your neck over a more extended period. Also, look out for any pain or discomfort in the process.
Consider the Type of Pain You Are Experiencing When Choosing Your Pillow
People that suffer from headaches should steer clear of pillows with extra padding. Extra cushioning can push your head forward, which results in more pressure on the base of your skull.
Don’t Use an Old Pillow That Has Become Flat or Lumpy
If you are used to sleeping on a very soft pillow that is flattened every time you lay your head down, this habit can seriously alter how your neck and spine align. Make sure to choose a pillow that will stay supportive throughout the years.
Consider a Water-Based Pillow
Water pillows are very popular among chiropractors because they conform to the shape of your head and neck while still providing support in all the right places. They also tend to hold their form better than other pillows. Besides the elegance, they are comfortable and save your neck the hassle.
Don’t Sleep With a Pillow That Is Too Small or Large For Your Head and Neck
Large pillows can push your head forward and cause problems with your cervical spine alignment. Small pillows will not provide you with proper support. This will, in turn, lead to future issues with headaches, pain in the shoulders and neck, and even posture.
Consider Purchasing a Memory Foam Pillow as Your Next One
Although they can be costly, memory foam pillows provide proper support to the neck and spine as well as increased comfort. These pillows often come with temperature regulators so that you don’t get too hot while sleeping. They are the most supportive of your neck, lower back, and hips. Even better, they enhance your blood flow to your head as they reduce the tension in your upper body.
Always Exercise If You Have a Herniated Disc in the Neck Area
If you are experiencing muscle spasms in your neck, this is typically caused by a pinched nerve or irritation of the soft tissues that surround the nerves. Besides getting the right pillow, ensure that you exercise your neck. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles will help to reduce pain and improve posture.
Many people suffer from neck problems. Neck pain makes it hard to sit or sleep properly, especially for people required to do these activities often. Ergonomic pillows are designed with the proper support in mind so you can get your neck back on track and start sleeping comfortably again.