Neck pain from pillows is a common occurrence. This is largely because people don’t always realize how important it is to use the right kind of pillow. Your head and neck need support as you sleep and that support varies depending on your sleeping positions. Neck pain sufferers don’t often consider their pillow to be the cause of their chronic neck pain. However, it is usually a contributing factor.

Freedom Health Centers offers services to their patients to help reduce and eliminate chronic neck pain. Our diagnostic process can help you understand what is causing the pain. Then, together, we can work towards a pain free future.

Why People have Neck Pain from Pillows

At the end of a hard day’s work, most of us envision falling onto our bed and sinking into our pillow. But we don’t realize that pillows like this can actually do more harm than good. Realistically, many people go to bed and do things to unwind. Some watch television, others may read, and many people use their mobile devices. These activities combined with a pillow that provides inadequate support can lead to moderate or severe chronic neck pain.

This is primarily due to the position that your head and neck are in while doing these activities. Lying on your back with your head bent forward, lying on your stomach with your head and neck twisted or tilted, and lying on your side with your head and neck at a non-neutral angle all put strain on your spine and the surrounding muscles.

These awkward neck and head positions combined with a non-supportive pillow are a recipe for neck pain. However, you have the ability to control these things. You can begin to lessen your neck pain by selecting an appropriate pillow for your needs.

Preventing Neck Pain from Pillows

When choosing a pillow you want to consider your sleeping positions as well as the pillow material. The goal of a great pillow is to keep your neck parallel to your mattress and in alignment with your body. A lot of pillows contain material that moves around within the pillow itself. This is especially true for feather pillows and buckwheat pillows. The feathers and hulls don’t provide the necessary stability to support your head and neck through the night. As you move in your sleep, the material moves as well. Eventually it can shift away from your head and neck, leaving you with little to no support.

The best pillow material you can select is latex foam. This provides the best support and doesn’t retain heat, keeping you cool throughout the night. However, some people are allergic to latex so this isn’t a viable option for them. The next best option is memory foam. Memory foam provides excellent support as well. The primary difference is that memory foam tends to hold heat and can cause you to get warm while you sleep.

Pillow shape is just as equally important as material. The best option in this category for side and back sleepers are cervical contour pillows. These pillows have two sides, one more elevated than the other, with a depression in the middle. When you sleep on your back you’ll use the less elevated side and when you sleep on your side you’ll use the more elevated side. This ensures that your head and neck are properly supported. Depending on your mattress, stomach sleepers should use a very thin pillow if any at all. The softness of your mattress also plays an important role in pillow selection. Firmer mattresses require thicker pillows while softer mattresses require thinner pillows.

Chiropractic Care and Physical Therapy to Reduce Neck Pain from Pillows

After you’ve selected the proper pillows, the next step to easing or eliminating your neck pain is to visit a chiropractor. Your chiropractor will perform an exam and perform adjustments on your spine. This will help realign your spine while decreasing pressure on your nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Your chiropractor may advise that you work with a physical therapist as well. This can help you strengthen key muscles to better support your head and neck. Physical therapy can also help you regain lost mobility. The combination of chiropractic care and physical therapy will greatly reduce and possibly even completely eliminate your chronic neck pain.

Other forms of treatment are occasionally used depending on your specific case. For example, many chiropractors also use heat therapy, electro therapy, or cold therapy. These all can help speed up healing and ease your sore and stiff muscles.

It’s important to be upfront and honest with your chiropractor and physical therapist. This allows them to help you to the best of their ability. Together you can win the war against neck pain and go on to live a happy, healthy, pain free life.

Call Freedom Health Centers today at (972) 542-3300 for more information on how to ease neck pain from pillows.