Do you have back or neck pain? What kind of pillow are you using? The firmness or lack of firmness of your pillow may be exacerbating your back pain. Soft down or feather pillows offer little support for your back and neck; the firmer the pillow, the more structure and support it provides.
If you are suffering from back pain, using a variety of pillows can provide both comfort and structure for your back, helping to reduce back pain. In addition, the right pillows can help give you a good night of sleep, allowing you wake up feeling rested and energized.
Is it time for you to purchase new pillows? Use this guide to determine which pillows are best for you.
Pillows for low back pain
Using a pillow for knee support while you sleep keeps your spine in the neutral position, providing support to the lower back, helping to alleviate low back strain caused by an unnatural spinal position. If you experience low back pain and sleep on your side, use a firm pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under the back of your knees. Back sleepers may even benefit from two or more pillows under the knees, elevating the legs and flattening the lumbar spine.
If you sit long hours at work, you may want to invest in a low back support pillow to support the inward curve of your lumbar spine. Long periods of sitting without any low back support can create muscle tension and low back and leg pain. A lumbar support pillow fills the natural gap created by the curvature of the lower back, reducing strain on the lumbar spine.
Pillows for neck pain
If you suffer from neck pain, you may find a contoured pillow to be helpful in reducing your pain and helping you sleep. Neck pillows help keep the neck in line with the spine, reducing strain on the neck and back. These pillows, also known as cervical pillows, or orthopedic pillows, are contoured with a depression where the head lies, providing extra support under the neck.
Traveling can cause extra stress and strain on the back and often increases back pain. If you are traveling for any length of time and may have to sleep sitting up (as in an airplane or car), purchase a u-shaped travel pillow to provide support for your head while in a seated position. Travel pillows fit snuggly around the neck, supporting the weight of the head and helping to prevent the head from bending to one side of the other.
Though down or feather pillows are comfortable, they provide virtually no support for your back and neck. For both comfort and support, use a variety of pillows while you sleep.