Most people sleep with at least one pillow, and some use several. However, sleeping on a stack of high pillows isn’t always the best way to rest your head.
Research has shown that the right kind of support can harm many people suffering from neck pain. While it’s true that not all pillows are created equal – and your personal preferences may even vary from person to person – for many sufferers, changing their pillowcases or using different filling materials can help reduce neck pain and improve alignment. This article explains why higher-end pillows are more likely to cause neck pain and how you can find a pillow that will relieve this discomfort instead of causing it.
What is neck pain?
Neck pain is a common issue. Sometimes, it’s caused by an injury or condition that can be fixed with medical attention. Other times, it results from sleeping on the wrong pillow or using a pillow that doesn’t provide enough support for your neck muscles.
If you suffer from neck pain, you may notice that it interferes with your day-to-day life. Common symptoms include headaches and shoulder, arm, and hand pain. And eventually, it may even lead to degenerative conditions like arthritis in your joints and chronic pain syndrome.
Why is a higher pillow more likely to cause neck pain?
The higher the pillow, the more likely it is to cause neck pain. This is because pillows can lead to neck strain and tension. Your head and neck naturally want to be in an incline position, but when you take that incline away with a pillow, your neck and head are forced into an unnatural position that can lead to irritation or pain.
How can you improve your posture?
If you are experiencing a lot of restless sleep, consider buying a new or second pillow. If you’re still experiencing discomfort despite trying other strategies like using different filling materials in your pillow or changing your pillowcase, try using a body-supporting pillow instead of one with just back support. This will help keep your whole body aligned and prevent strain on your neck.
Solid or fluffy pillows
Many wonder if the more expensive and dense pillows are better for neck pain. The key is finding the correct type of support for your needs, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles of pillows in your search for relief from neck pain! A fluffy pillow can be used with a sleeping mask to help reduce light sensitivity. In contrast, a solid or firm pillow is best suited for sleeping on your side. A higher-end pillow might have a higher density, but it’s not necessarily the best option for someone who needs softer support. On top of this, many people don’t need a super-firm pillow to alleviate their pain – they may need something more soft or supportive.
Which type of pillow is best for neck pain?
Sleeping on a pillow is one way to either comfort or exacerbate neck pain. While it’s true that not all pillows are created equal, you need to consider what type of pillow will provide the best support and relief for your particular needs. There are many different types of pillows, including those with different materials and thicknesses. For some people, sleeping on a higher-end pillow may be beneficial. But for others, this may result in more pain than relief. This is because using a higher-quality pillow can cause less natural movement during sleep, contributing to neck aches and other pains.
Sleeping on a higher grade or luxury pillow can cause your head to naturally dip towards the ground or bed frame as you sleep, causing discomfort and potential damage over time. This means that you could spend more money without receiving any benefits from the purchase! To avoid this scenario, use two pillows instead of one to promote mid-back support and prevent your head from dipping too far down.
The assessment process before finding the right pillow for you
Before you buy a pillow, it’s important to assess your needs. This means considering how much support you need, how long you sleep, and what materials the pillow is made of. Once you have the basics down, you can begin looking at the different types of pillows on the market and figure out which ones are best for you.
If you’re sleeping on your back or in a side-sleeping position, a firmer pillow will give more support than a softer one. A softer pillow may be more suitable if you sleep on your stomach or in other positions where a softer pillow is better. The material that covers your pillow is also important because certain materials breathe more quickly than others. For instance, cotton pillows allow air to flow in and out of their surface easily, while polyester does not. This means that cotton pillows are suitable for people who want something that breathes well and provides cooling relief to the head and neck during sleep.
In summary, it’s essential that when purchasing a new pillow, you consider how firm or soft it is based on your personal sleeping preferences, what material it is made from, and how well it breathes.
Understanding the difference between soft and firm pillows
There are two types of pillows: firm and soft. The firm pillow is traditionally made with foam, and the soft pillow is made with a down or feather filling, which can be fluffy and comfortable.
Firm pillows are typically more supportive, so they’re often recommended for people suffering from neck pain, who will likely find relief without worrying about their head falling too much.
Soft pillows are better for back sleepers and stomach sleepers, who tend to want a softer surface as opposed to the firm support that a firm pillow provides. This difference in weight distribution between the head and body makes one pillow cause neck pain while another doesn’t.
A higher-end pillow will typically have a lower density level than a cheaper option, which means it’s less dense and won’t press against your neck as much when you lay on it at night. Since there’s less pressure on your spine when sleeping on this type of pillow, you’ll have fewer neck pains at night.
Tips for finding a better pillow for you
Several factors should be considered when it comes to finding a pillow that will relieve your neck pain.
Is the pillow too soft?
Pillows without enough support can cause uncomfortable side effects.
Is the pillow too hard?
If you find yourself sleeping in awkward positions, this could exacerbate your neck pain.
Does the pillow have an unpleasant smell?
A pillow with an unpleasant smell may not be healthy for you.
How often do you need to wash the pillow?
When pillows accumulate dirt, they can become unsanitary and create a breeding ground for bacteria.
What type of filling is in the pillow?
Many people prefer a firmer filling over a softer one, as they can better align their spine while resting their head on this type of support.
Neck pain is common in adults, especially those who spend a lot of time in front of a computer or phone. If you have neck pain, finding a comfortable pillow that provides enough support without causing pain can be difficult.
A higher pillow may provide more support, but it also increases the risk of neck pain. Instead, consider a softer pillow that can provide support without pain.
Avoid using a pillow that is too high or stiff, as it keeps your neck flexed at night and can cause pain and stiffness in the morning. If you sleep on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head. If neck pain is your problem, a flatter pillow may be the best option. In one study, higher pillows created more skull-cervical pressure (i.e., at the point where the head and neck meet) and a larger cervical angle, meaning that the head is not aligned with the spine.
This can cause pain and stiffness if the neck stays at that angle all night. 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. A rolled towel or pillow in the form of a roll should be placed under the neck and supplemented with a pillow for the head. Having the right bed pillows is not only comforting, but they also play an important role in supporting the intricate structures of the head, neck, shoulders, hips and spine.
When used well, pillows help relieve or prevent many common forms of back and neck pain, as well as shoulder, hip and other forms of joint pain. Light and airy with a balanced feel, the Layla Kapok pillow has a high height that should be comfortable for side sleepers. When lying down, they should feel pressure relief and be able to maintain a healthy sleep posture. The internal filling supports the head and neck, and you can even remove it to adjust the pillow to your liking.
The best pillow for neck and shoulder pain is firm enough to keep your head at a healthy angle, yet soft enough to relieve pressure points. With the wrong pillow, “the neck muscles are working overtime at night and this is not going to relieve neck pain,” he says. If you prefer very soft pillows that don’t adequately support your neck, you can enjoy a memory foam pillow with significant pressure relief. You’ll hear me mention this several times, but promoting neutral spine alignment is the most important job of your pillow (whether you deal with chronic neck pain or not).
Choose from three sizes: small, medium and large to find the right pillow for you and your neck. This means that when we realize that our pillow may be contributing to our neck pain, we may not know how to choose the best pillow. If you experience neck or back pain as a result of an inadequate pillow or mattress, visit Orthopedic Associates’ orthopedic experts today. A pillow that is too high or too low can cause pressure to build up as the neck tries to compensate for the lack of support.
Of course, some pillows filled with soft, compressible materials (such as down, down alternative or polyester, for example) need to be fluffed frequently to maintain integrity. If the pillow is too high when sleeping on your side or on your back, the neck bends abnormally forward or to the side, causing muscle tension in the back of the neck and shoulders. The type of pillow and pillow filler are mostly personal preferences, so you can decide what suits you best. The pillow fits tightly to cradle the head and neck and relieve pressure, but should not sink too much.
Not much research urges an automatic recommendation for pillows with mixed fillings such as memory foam or latex with shredded foam and a gel insert. 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.