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Many individuals do not realize the importance of the type of pillow they use for sleep. Sleeping on the wrong pillow is the perfect set-up for neck, shoulder, and back pain. Here are a few chiropractic tips on what to know about picking the best pillow. Knowing which is the right pillow for you can be the key to proper sleep and waking up pain-free.
Neck and shoulder pain can be a nightmare, especially when the body cannot get decent rest. The right pillow/s can help with neck and back pain symptoms and recover from injuries quicker. When the head is in an awkward position for sleep duration, this causes neck, shoulder, and headache problems. The importance of finding the right pillow follows a set of guidelines.
The shape of the pillow has a definitive role in the cervical/neck’s curvature.
Sleep posture is important in preventing neck, shoulder, and back musculoskeletal pain.
Craniocervical pressures and cervical spine alignment are height-specific. Any changes can affect an individual’s sleep quality.
Cervical alignment can become significantly impacted by the shape and height of the pillow.
Trying to find the right pillow will require trial and error. The basics to consider include:
Today’s pillows are made from a variety of materials. Learning about the different kinds of materials can help make an educated choice.
Tips and things to keep in mind include:
Remember the importance of sleeping positions. Back, side, or stomach. Pillows that match an individual’s sleeping position criteria:
Not getting enough sleep makes it difficult to gain muscle.
Not getting enough sleep makes it difficult to lose fat.
“Effect of sleep posture on neck muscle activity.” Journal of Physical Therapy. June 2017. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28626314/
“Effect of pillow height on the biomechanics of the head-neck complex: investigation of the craniocervical pressure and cervical spine alignment.” PeerJ. August 2016. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27635354/
“How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?” Sleep Foundation, Seattle, WA. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedding-information/how-often-should-you-replace-your-pillows
“Improving the quality of sleep with an optimal pillow: a randomized, comparative study.” Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. July 2014. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25008402/
“The effects of pillow designs on neck pain, waking symptoms, neck disability, sleep quality and spinal alignment in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Clinical Biomechanics. May 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33895703/
Okamoto-Mizuno, Kazue, and Koh Mizuno. “Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm.” Journal of physiological anthropology vol. 31,1 14. 31 May. 2012, doi:10.1186/1880-6805-31-14
The information herein on "The Importance Of Sleeping On The Right Pillow" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
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