THE IMPORTANCE OF PILLOWS - WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
By: Dr. Barry D. Shapiro
They can be made from foam, feather, cloth or other materials. They come in all sizes and shapes. Which are best for you?
The neck has a forward curve when it develops properly. This creates a space between the head and the upper back area that should be supported when you lie on your back.
Since the shoulders are wider than the head, and the head is wider than the neck, there is a gap that needs to be filled when you lie on your side.
In both of these instances the use of a “contour pillow” fills the gap, supports the neck in its neutral position, and helps lead to a more sound sleep and good structural support.
Pillows that lose their shape when you lie on them, like feather, cotton, and soft foam and memory foam, allow the neck to settle into bad angles and positions creating restless sleep, neck stiffness and tension.
Not everyone’s neck is the same. Not only do we vary by size, but prior injuries can alter the position and angle of the neck. A loss of the normal curve and even a reversal of the curve can occur. Arthritic degenerative changes to the joints can also occur from previous trauma.
These changes require different shapes and sizes of pillows to provide proper support in order to get a restful sleep without irritation to the neck and upper back.
Obviously, if you wake up with a stiff neck, sore neck muscles, or just can’t get comfortable enough to get a restful sleep, your pillow might be the culprit.
- Get your neck checked to see if you need a contour pillow or the contour would not fit your neck.
- Do Not lie on your back to read or watch TV with 2-4 pillows under your head to see the TV.
- Don’t lean on your side resting your head on your hand leaning on your elbow.
If you fall asleep in a bad position and wake up stiff it should go away and not return. If you experience stiffness, soreness, tension, or restless sleep on a regular basis, let us see if we can help you as we have helped thousands of others. We can be reached at carrollwoodchiropractic.com or at 813-962-3608.