If you wake up in the morning with a stiff neck, the pillow could be the cause of neck pain. The main reason why the pillow can cause neck pain is if it forces the head out of the neutral lineup. Bang says neck pain and stiff neck are the most common. Beyond that, you may experience problems with your entire spine twisting in the wrong way, which for a long time can create lasting damage, he adds.
A bad pillow is bad for the neck. If your head is not supported properly, it can cause neck pain and sleep disturbances. A supportive pillow allows the head to rise high enough to keep the spine aligned. People who sleep on their stomach who do not use the pillow could benefit from retraining to a sleeping position on their side or on their back.
See Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Stiff Neck. Research suggests that a pillow with good neck support can help relieve neck pain and improve rest. An important benefit of sleeping with a neck pillow is that it really helps to improve your posture while you sleep. They can also improve sleep by relieving and supporting tight neck and shoulder muscles, increasing blood flow to the head.
Some people find that memory foam pillows relieve neck pain, while others feel much more comfortable with the microfiber filling. This research found that a version filled with water decreased morning pain and allowed better rest than a roll-up pillow or a standard model. The Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is a popular choice for people who sleep in any position. If you have severe pain or additional symptoms, or if you’re not sure what is causing your neck pain, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor to rule out underlying conditions.
This can be achieved by placing a small neck roll on the pillowcase of a flatter and softer pillow, or by using a special pillow that has a built-in neck support with a slit for the head to rest. Take a hot bath or shower to relieve neck tension, do some gentle stretches, or use a heat pack on your neck. Pillows designed for both side and back sleepers feature a lower central area for sleeping on your back, with fuller areas at each end for sleeping on your side. The general rule for a proper pillow is that it should keep the neck parallel to the mattress, rather than bending down or upwards.
Neck pillows come in a variety of materials, including down, memory foam, cotton and synthetic materials that can wick away heat and sweat. Horseshoe shaped body pillows can be useful to prevent neck strain when sleeping while sitting, such as sitting on an airplane or in a car, or while sitting in a recliner. Most people don’t think much about their pillow, other than choosing a pillow that is nice and fluffy for immediate comfort. An improper pillow can not only aggravate neck pain, studies show that an incorrect pillow can be the direct cause of discomfort at night.
For example, people who sleep on their side generally need a pillow of medium to high height, while people who sleep on their stomach require lower pillows so as not to stretch their necks upwards. In this case, a higher pillow is recommended, so that the neck and head are aligned straight on the shoulders as they would be when standing with good posture. The best pillow for neck pain will help keep your spine aligned, airways open and support your head comfortably.