Should You Replace Your Pillow?
How Pillows Can Effect An Injury
A well placed pillow makes the largest difference between having a perfect night’s sleep and waking up renewed and refreshed or waking up with groggy, exhausted and in pain. Sleep is vital as it allows the body to recuperate and renew the energy lost. The right pillow plays a crucial role in supporting the intricate structures of the head, spine, shoulders, hips, and neck. In addition, the proper pillow may also prevent many forms of back and neck pain, as well as shoulder hip and joint pain. However, the wrong pillow also comes with its own consequences such as headaches, neck pain, arm pain, and even spinal injuries.
A chartered physiotherapist and author of The Good Sleep Guide, Sammy Margo, says that your pillow can affect your sleep patterns. She states that purchasing and correctly positioning the right pillow is one of the most vital elements of sleeping success. Are you tossing and turning at night from discomfort? An uncomfortable pillow will affect ones lying posture causing one to toss and turn in order to get the perfect night’s sleep. She added that a bad pillow can cause a strain to the muscles in the shoulders, neck, and back that can affect your mood, posture, and even breathing. However,it is important to keep in mind that having too many pillows is not recommended, as they tilt your head forward, and having too few pillows tilts your head backward, which strains the neck and upper spine.
What Has Research on Pillows Indicated?
A study was undertaken by the National Institute of Health and found out the best pillows to use to prevent neck pain and injury. They tested Polyester pillows, foam regular pillows and foam contour pillows, latex pillows and feather pillows. 106 people participated in testing the different pillows and the study findings indicated that latex pillows offer good performance in reducing the frequency of waking headache and arm pain, and thus these pillows are to be recommended to individuals in order to reduce these waking symptoms. They are the best pillows for neck pain. However, feather pillows are associated with greater likelihood of waking symptoms.
Pillows for Spinal Disorders
For individuals with spinal disorders, appropriate support is required in supporting the spine. Having sufficient and restorative sleep aids the body in healing postural, physical, and nervous challenges of the day. Another study compared the spinal support provided by three different types of pillows: an orthopedic pillow (roll-shaped) filled with polypropylene capsules, a memory foam pillow made of polyurethane and a feather pillow made from 100% goose down. The results showed that the orthopedic pillow is the best for spinal alignment and the feather pillow offered the worst support.
A qualified chiropractor can help you determine an appropriate pillow, which is essential in determining how you will sleep. A proper pillow ought to make you comfortable and not cause any spinal or neck pain or injuries while you sleep, such as the latex pillows that have been proven to be effective. However, individuals with prior injuries like spinal injuries require specialized pillows such as the orthopedic pillow that will offer spinal alignment and aid in quick recovery.
A great line of pillows that we carry in our Pacific Beach Chiropractic office is the Proper Pillow.
Please add a comment to Share your story and experience with Good or Bad Pillows and how it has affected your Injury that a Chiropractor can help with.
-Dr. Ryan Curda
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