"How to choose the best pillow for neck pain?"
This is one of the most common questions that health providers can hear.
The best pillows improve your sleep and quality of life
We spend one-third of our life sleeping, something like 200,000 hours in our life.
Thousands of New Zealanders could needlessly suffer from disrupted sleep due to lousy support choices at bedtime.
According to the Massey University Sleep-Wake Centre, 37 per cent of New Zealand adults aged 30 to 60 are sleep-deprived.
Several studies have shown that a proper neck support pillow selection can significantly alleviate your sore neck.
It would also improve the quality and duration of sleep. Chiropractic practitioners believe that more education on pillow and bed selections could improve their patient's quality of life.
Choose the filling of the pillow.
Today the choice is vast. There are now pillows on the market made from memory foam (developed by NASA), natural latex/bamboo or Merino wool. They have been shown very effective for neck pain suffering and improving sleep quality. But, they can be a significant initial investment.
Polyester filling, less expensive than down and memory foam, provides proper and firm neck support and holds its shape reasonably well. However, it is also the least durable of these materials.
Consider your sleep position.
It is essential to choose a pillow that is of material and a shape that suits your sleep position. Consider the way you sleep to pick the height of your pillow; different positions require different types of support. It will determine how comfortable you are.
Back and stomach (not recommended) sleepers may want to choose a flatter pillow that helps keep the natural curvature.
However, if you sleep on your side, higher cervical support, which fills the gap between the head and neck, is generally better.
We all have different necks, with varying widths of shoulders. That’s why there isn’t a standard “best of the World” pillow.
The point is to have the cervical spine (neck) aligned with the rest of the body spine, not allowing any head tilt.
It doesn’t need anything contouring the neck or with a specific edge; sometimes quite uncomfortable. Orthopedic or ergonomic pillows are not necessarily a reference.
Take special needs into account.
You’ll find plenty of specialty pillows on the market tailored to specific situations.
For example, people with allergies might think about a pillow with a cover and filling specifically formulated to keep away dust and mites.
If you snore, consider a pillow-shaped to position your head, neck and shoulders in a way that will prevent your airway from becoming compressed.
Finally, we recommend a more breathable and lightweight pillow for sweaty sleepers.
If you are in any doubt, book a visit with one of our chiropractors at Orewa Chiropractic. We will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.