Do You Have a Proper Pillow?
Patients always ask me “Doc , how do I pick a proper pillow? Does a pillow just need to be comfortable?”
I point out what is important about selecting a pillow as a chiropractic point of view.
Whether you are a side sleeper or sleep on your back your head and neck should be aligned with your spine. When sleeping on your side, your pillow should support your head so that your head, neck and shoulders are in line with your middle and lower spine. If you are a side sleeper use a pillow between your knees. That will help to put your spine in maximum alignment.
When sleeping on your back your head and neck should be aligned with your spine also.
Avoid sleeping on your stomach, this is the worst sleep position for your neck and spine.
Make sure your pillows have the right amount of material to support your head, if too thick or too thin proper spinal alignment is not maintained. Since you don’t remain in the same position all night your pillow should also support different sleep positions. Foam materials that mold to your head or water- based pillows generally provide good support. Pillows made of hypoallergenic materials are recommended.
Just remember pillows don’t last forever just as mattresses don’t last forever! Over time pillows become breeding grounds for dust mites and become less supportive.
Chiropractors often recommend cervical pillows that have a concave middle and the raised area supports your neck, theses pillows support head and neck properly and may be helpful in alleviating your neck pain.
If you are shopping for pillows, ask your chiropractor what they recommend for your condition to get the optimal support and alignment you need.