Best Pillow for Neck Pain
You may be comforted to know that if you suffer from neck pain, there are pillows on the market specifically designed to alleviate your pain. Whether your neck pain is caused by an injury, muscle tension or stress – or you are simply sleeping on an inadequate pillow that is contributing to neck pain - finding the correct pillow for your body is extremely important.
Given that we spend at least one third of our lives sleeping, correct sleeping posture is vital. If your pillow is the wrong size for your body, muscles, ligaments and joints will be affected. Incorrect postural alignment can also affect your breathing and is often the cause of snoring.
The Importance of Neutral Alignment
The best pillow for neck pain should support both your neck and head in a neutral alignment, which should also help maintain a healthy alignment throughout the rest of your spine. Therefore, the height of the pillow is also important, but this is determined by the size of your body as well as your preferred sleeping position, which can be your side, back or tummy.
The correct pillow should provide you with ongoing support for your head and neck, no matter what position you are sleeping in. There should be no need for you to adjust your body position to obtain support from your pillow.
Contour Pillows for Neck Pain
At Mattress & Pillow Science, we always recommend a Contour Neck Pillow for the best support. These pillows are designed specifically to accommodate the natural contours of your head and neck – and in some cases, the shoulders. Ideal for neck pain, they are usually higher at one side, then reduce in height in the centre. This creates a supportive indentation where the head rests. Due to its contoured shape, it provides greater support under the back of the neck than a conventionally shaped pillow, as well as helping the cervical spine maintain a neutral position.
Neck Pain Relief
To obtain relief from ongoing neck pain, it is important to understand a few principles/guidelines about the best sleeping position for your neck. In particular, take into consideration your preferred sleeping position; this will dictate what type of pillow you need.
When lying on your back, a good neck pillow should support the natural curvature of your cervical spine, providing adequate support for your shoulders, neck and head. While in this position, your pillow height should be lower than if you sleep mostly in the sideways position. Make sure the pillow is not overly elevating your head, making you feel that there is too much cushioning thrusting your head and neck forward.
When lying on your side, your pillow should support your head and neck so that your spine, once again, maintains a neutral alignment. If you are unsure of what this means, think of drawing a horizontal straight line through an image of someone lying in bed on their side. Ideally, you should be able to visualise a straight line running through the head and neck shoulders and down through the rest of the vertebrae. Your weight should be evenly distributed, avoiding you pressing deeply into your neck or shoulders, creating unnatural bending or pressure points.
When lying on your tummy, it is best to choose the smallest, most flat pillow possible so as to avoid extending the neck in an uncomfortable position. With regards to sleeping, often the worst culprit is lying on your stomach to sleep. This can create havoc to the cervical vertebra as they are pushed into a static position of torsion for possibly hours at a time, causing the tissues and nerves to react badly in the morning.
Please note, we do not recommend individuals to sleep on the stomach, as it is much kinder for the vertebrae to sleep on your side or back.
Stiff Neck Pain
Having a stiff neck is no laughing matter, so it is important to understand the cause of this problem and find relief as quickly as possible. Often, there is no need to pay out money for extensive neck pain treatments- very often the causes can be quite benign. Stress is a common cause, as is spending too long in front of a computer screen with poor posture and without adequate rest breaks or time for exercise.
Sleeping on a pillow that is not right for your body can often be the cause of a stiff neck. If the pillow is forcing your neck at an angle either too high for the rest of your spine or too low, this can cause muscular and joint stiffness.
Neck Pain Relief – Simply Choose a Good Pillow
By keeping in mind your body size, correct posture and preferred sleeping habits, you will be more informed to choose the best pillow to help eradicate any neck pain. Furthermore, it is helpful to know that at Mattress & Pillow Science, pillows come in a range of materials to increase the chance of finding a pillow that is just right for you. Some of these include latex pillows, gel pillows, memory foam pillows, polyester pillows and feather pillows. Furthermore, they are available in a variety of different heights and comfort densities so you can be sure to find one to suit your body.
View our best Pillows for Neck Pain online now or visit us in-store for a free consultation with one of our expert sleep consultants.
Mattress & Pillow Science. The healthy sleep specialists.