How To Use A Pillow For Neck Pain

One of the most common questions I get as a chiropractor is: what type of pillow should I be using? The answer is that there is no right answer. Different pillows work best for different people.

The best way to find your perfect pillow match is to opt for a pillow that supports the natural shape of your spine. Avoid fuller options that lift your head far off the mattress, and avoid flat options that lean your head too far back. You want your back and neck to lie flat on the bed.

How to Use a Pillow for Neck Pain - Tru Whole Care

Finding The Right Pillow For Neck Pain

A fuller, fluffier pillow might be a great fit for some, but a flatter, thinner pillow might be a great fit for others. The right pillow for you will depend on the shape of your spine, and whether you sleep on your side or your back. Sleeping without a pillow might even be best for some back sleepers!

Non-surgical orthopedist Dr. Evan Queller recommends:

“Always keep your back and neck in a neutral position, regardless of if you sleep on your back or side.”

Can Your Sleeping Position Cause Back Pain?

In fact, your sleeping position is rarely the cause of back pain. Back pain is typically a result of structural, digestive, or emotional issues, which then manifest in pain and discomfort. It’s likely that what you ate for dinner, how late you ate it, and the stress you experienced that day will affect your back pain the most before bed.

However, when experiencing existing back pain, it’s important to avoid a pillow that could worsen your discomfort.

Can Your Sleeping Position Cause Back Pain

how to go about finding the perfect pillow for you

It’s certainly a bit of trial and error. Try different shapes, sizes, and materials. Keep in mind that the fanciest, most expensive option doesn’t necessarily mean it will work best for you. Avoid using too many pillows (one pillow is usually best) and ignoring your symptoms.

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