We have all suffered from a neck pain and headaches at one point in our lives and it’s no secret how debilitating they can be. For some people neck pain is a regular occurrence and they suffer with this pain daily, so it is not uncommon for us to be asked “What pillow is best for neck pain?”
Unfortunately, many people, before doing that, will turn to pain killers in order to get through their day. Painkillers do nothing more than mask the pain, leaving the underlying cause of the neck pain untreated. In our clinic we see far too many patients who have suffered from neck pain and headaches and had previously become reliant on painkillers. The good news is, we can help!
Quite often the answer to your neck pain lies in your environment. The first place we want to look is where you are sleeping. Did you know you will spend around a third of your life sleeping? It is during this time that your body is able to relax and your muscles can recover and re generate. Too often people put little or no value on their sleeping arrangements. A survey of our patients revealed that prior to coming into the clinic they had not considered the effect that their mattress and pillow were having on the health of their spine and muscles.
We can’t stress enough how important it is for you to have a mattress and pillow which is able to provide your body with optimal support throughout the entire night. In the case that your sleeping arrangements aren’t supportive enough you will be putting unnecessary tension on the muscles in your neck in order for them to hold the weight of your head. This increased tension causes muscular tightness which is one of the leading causes of neck pain. Not to mention that unsupported sleeping arrangements will lead to restless sleep and have you tossing and turning throughout the night, which will also increase muscular tension!
So what is the solution? There are so many pillows on the market and many of them claim to do extraordinary things in order to give you a good nights sleep, however many of them are nothing more than a gimmick. So to set the record straight and make things easier for you we’ve put together a check list of what you should be looking for in a pillow, particularly if you suffer from neck pain!
Questions to ask when investigating what pillow is best for neck pain
1. What is the pillow made from?
Ideally you want a pillow which is made from a high enough quality foam that it will retain its shape throughout the night and it will not sag or lose its shape over time. The ideal material for a supportive pillow is memory foam or latex.
2. What shape is the pillow?
To reduce the amount of tension placed on the muscles of the neck, your pillow needs to keep your spine in neutral alignment without any assistance from you. The best shape for this to occur is that of a contoured pillow. This form of pillow acts to support the neck and cradle the head. The contour provides this support regardless of whether you sleep on your back or side.
3. Is the pillow the right size for you?
Check out the dimensions of your pillow. You need to make sure that the contours are not too high or too low for you. To high and you will find that your neck is pushed foward, too low and you won’t be receiving any support through the neck region. The best way to combat this problem without having to lie down on every pillow you look at is by looking for one that is completely adjustable. An adjustable pillow will have inserts or noodles which allow you to add or reduce your pillow height and customise it to your personal preferences.
Remember to always choose well-known brands with reputable websites. Try to avoid purchasing from tv ads as often these pillows are mass produced and are very low in quality. Our chiropractors choose and recommend the Complete Sleeprrr Memory Foam range for all of our patients who suffer from neck pain.