A lot of people suffer from neck pain. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, neck pain is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor. It can be caused by various factors, including poor posture, sleeping on a mattress that is too firm, and using the wrong pillow.
So are pillows good for neck pain? The answer may surprise you! Please keep reading to learn more about this common problem and how to fix it.
As a general rule, pillows are suitable for neck pain, and sleeping with no pillow is bad for neck pain. Pillows support your head, neck, and spine in a natural position. Sleeping in a neutral position with your pillow helps reduce and prevent muscle stiffness and soreness in the neck region.
However, not all pillows are created equal. The type of pillow you use can make a big difference in the amount of neck pain you experience.
My name is Dr. Lawrence Woods DC, and I have been designing pillows for over 20 years. As a chiropractor, my goal has always focused on improving the health of my patients by optimizing their sleep. My designs have been nominated for numerous awards, and I continue to be at the forefront of this industry, helping people get the best night’s sleep possible.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain is a common complaint that various things can cause. Poor posture, repetitive motions, and injuries can all lead to stiffness and discomfort. In some cases, neck pain can result from an injury or accident. Whiplash, for example, is a type of neck injury that commonly occurs after a car accident.
However, neck pain can also result from a more severe condition such as arthritis, meningitis, or degenerative disc disease. If you are experiencing neck pain, you must see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Pillow & Sleeping Position
Neck pain can also be caused by your pillow and sleeping position.
If you sleep on your stomach, you may turn your head to the side to breathe, which can strain the muscles in your neck. Alternatively, if your pillow is too high or too low, it can cause neck pain.
The best sleeping position for neck pain is on your side with a pillow that supports the natural curve of your spine. If you are a side sleeper, you can place a pillow between your knees to help keep your spine in alignment.
The Benefits of Using a Pillow for Neck Pain
Promotes Spinal Alignment
For anyone who suffers from neck pain, a good pillow is essential for a good night’s sleep. The right pillow will support the neck and head, keeping them in alignment with the spine. This can help reduce pain and stiffness and prevent further strain on the muscles and ligaments.
Distributes The Weight of Your Head
When you think about it, your head is quite heavy. And when you strain your neck muscles by not using a pillow, that weight puts a lot of pressure on those muscles. That’s why using a pillow is essential when you have neck pain. A pillow helps to distribute the weight of your head, which takes some of the strain off your neck muscles. As a result, your neck and shoulder muscles can relax, which can help to ease your pain.
Prevents Pressure Points
A good pillow can make all the difference regarding neck pain. Sleeping on your arm or without a pillow can create pressure points that lead to pain and wrinkles. A pillow helps to prevent these pressure points by supporting your head and neck.
Although many people believe that sleeping without a pillow or on your arm is more natural, there are several benefits to using a pillow. One of the most important is that it helps to prevent pressure points from forming on your face.
When you sleep without a pillow or on your arm, your head is supported by a small area. This can cause the skin and muscles to become constricted, leading to wrinkles and muscle tension.
Why Do I Feel More Comfortable Sleeping Without a Pillow?
Many believe sleeping without a pillow is better for their spine and neck. Others find that they feel more comfortable without one. There are a few different reasons someone might feel more comfortable sleeping without a pillow.
Wrong Pillow Type
Pressure relief, resiliency, and support are essential when choosing a pillow. The pillow you currently own likely does not provide these important features. When you sleep without a pillow, your head can sink into the mattress, which relieves pressure.
Resiliency is also crucial because it helps to keep your spine in alignment. A pillow that is too soft will not provide the support you need to keep your spine in alignment. Lastly, support is essential because it helps to prevent neck pain by relieving your neck muscles of the weight of your head.
Resilient pillows are responsive to the weight applied to them. This means you get support and pressure relief where you need it.
Memory foam pillows are not ideal because they have delayed responsiveness, hence the name. While memory foam theoretically provides pressure relief, the lack of responsiveness and resilience means that a memory foam pillow will provide too little or too much support.
Wrong Pillow Height
The wrong pillow height can cause your head and neck to be out of alignment, leading to pain and discomfort.
Your pillow should be high enough to support your head and neck in a neutral position. If your pillow is too low, your head will tilt forward, putting strain on your neck and shoulders. If it’s too high, your head will be forced backward, leading to pain.
Wrong Pillow Firmness
It is essential to keep in mind that the wrong firmness can make your pillow uncomfortable.
If you have a pillow that is too soft, your head will sink into the pillow and may cause your neck to bend at an awkward angle. This can lead to neck pain or stiffness.
On the other hand, if your pillow is too firm, it can put pressure on your spine and cause neck pain.
The best way to find the right firmness for your pillow is to experiment until you find a comfortable level.
Over time, your body may become so used to sleeping without a pillow that it no longer feels comfortable with one. This can be due to several factors, such as the position you sleep in or the type of mattress you have.
However, sleeping without a pillow is not necessarily good for your health. Without support for your head and neck, you may wake up with headaches or pain in your back or neck. Additionally, pillows can help to keep your spine in alignment and prevent pain in the long term.
If you have been sleeping without a pillow for an extended period, it may be worth trying to reintroduce one into your sleep routine slowly.
How to Choose the Right Pillow for Your Needs
If you suffer from neck or shoulder pain, an orthopedic & ergonomic pillow can help alleviate your discomfort. Research shows that ergonomic natural latex pillows are the most effective type of pillow for neck and shoulder pain, with a satisfaction rate of 93%.
For anyone suffering from neck or shoulder pain, finding the right pillow can make a difference. Soft pillows allow the head to sink in too much, putting strain on the neck, while firm pillows can be uncomfortable and fail to provide the necessary support.
Finding the right pillow is essential to achieving a good night’s sleep for anyone suffering from neck or shoulder pain. Soft pillows allow the head to sink in too much, putting strain on the neck, while firm pillows can be uncomfortable and fail to provide the necessary support.
Latex pillows are often a good option for those suffering from neck pain. They provide both comfort and support and can contour to the head and neck. This helps to keep the spine in alignment and relieves pressure points. In addition, latex pillows are firm enough to hold the head in place but are also bouncy and resilient, making them more comfortable than other types of pillows. As a result, ergonomic natural latex pillows with targeted neck support are often the best type of pillow for neck and shoulder pain.
If you are someone who experiences neck pain, we recommend trying a pillow to see if it helps. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, so you may have to experiment with different pillows until you find the right one. Remember that sleeping without a pillow is not recommended, as it can lead to more neck pain and stiffness. What has been your experience with using or not using a pillow?