The Right Pillow For A Good Night Rest

the right pillowIt is common for me to hear from a patient with neck pain: “I don’t know, I think I slept wrong.” Or “maybe it’s my pillow.” Both of which could be true! It seems to be that poor sleeping habits or positions are a major contributor to neck pain. They often follow up with “How do you choose the right pillow?”

Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer. There are many factors to consider, such as the size of your neck, is there existing arthritis, have you recently suffered a neck injury such as whiplash, and probably the most important – your sleeping posture.

When choosing the right pillow, you must keep some basic goals in mind. Your pillow must help you keep your head and spine in line as well as help to reduce stress on other areas like the shoulders, knees or hips. The right pillow for you should be specific for your sleeping posture.

The Right Pillow For A Side Sleeper

For the side sleeper, your goal is to keep your head and neck level or centered between your shoulders. One challenge to this is the weight of your head can compress the pillow and cause you to kink your neck downwards. Choose a pillow that is firmer, one that will support your neck. Also, you can place a pillow between your knees to help reduce the stress on your hips.

The Right Pillow For A Back Sleeper

Many who are back sleepers use too thick of pillows which elevates the head above the shoulder and reverses the normal curve of the neck. This increases the strain on the neck and shoulder muscles. The right pillow for the back sleeper is one that is medium firm and has a thinner center for the head and a thicker edge that supports the neck curve. You can also place a small pillow under your knees to relax the low back.

The Right Pillow For A Stomach Sleeper

This sleeping position is best to be avoided if possible as it requires you to turn your head to one side. This produces a twisting effect in the joints of the neck and strains the neck muscles. The right pillow for the stomach sleeper is a thin, soft one that lightly cushions the head. Additionally, if your bed is soft, sleeping on your stomach can cause you to arch your low back and jam on the small joints in your lower spine.

Choosing the right pillow will help you relax, and you will get a better night’s sleep as well as help to prevent neck pain.

If you have been able to choose the right pillow and you are still experiencing pain, give us a call at (314) 731-4383 or CLICK TO CALL AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT