The position in which we sleep, our mattress, and even our pillow all affect the health of our necks. Choosing the right pillow and mattress and eliminating certain sleeping habits can improve the quality of sleep and protect your back and neck. Most people during the day have bad habits that cause neck and back pain, such as slouching or constantly bending the neck down to look at their phones. These habits are already straining and affecting your neck and back. During the night, the stress we’ve placed on our necks and backs can be exacerbated by sleeping positions and the quality of our pillows and mattress.
If you are experiencing constant back and neck pain that interferes with your sleep and daily activities, it may be time to speak with a spine specialist. Chronic and severe pain can be signs that there is something more going on. An experienced and skilled spine doctor from NJ Spine and Ortho can help determine what’s causing your pain and find the best treatment to relieve your pain.
How to Choose the Best Pillow to Prevent Neck Pain
The general rule is that a proper pillow should keep the neck parallel to the mattress rather than bent down or up. While having your neck bent in these positions may feel comfortable at first, once you’ve fallen asleep, your neck is not being properly supported during the night. The lack of proper support throughout the night can lead to neck and back problems. Here are seven tips to help select the perfect pillow to avoid neck problems.
1. Pillows That Adapt to Your Preferred Sleeping Position
Cervical contour pillows are a great option because they have a depression in the center. Your neck can rest either on the less elevated side when lying on your back or, the more elevated side when lying on your side.
2. Latex Foam Is One of the Best Materials for Pillows
Natural latex offers neck support without heating throughout the night as memory foam does. When you feel cooler as you sleep, the deeper you sleep.
3. Avoid Feather Pillows
While feather pillows are the most affordable option, they don’t offer much stability or support throughout the night. They can feel comfortable when you’re first settled in, but the feathers moves during the night, so they’re not supporting the neck.
4. Buckwheat Pillows Are Okay but Noisy
Buckwheat pillows remain cool throughout the night and provide a lot of air circulation between the hulls. These types of pillows are also cost-effective and have renewable filler and support for your neck when you sleep on your side. However, the hulls are noisy, and the support can slip away during the night, as seen with beanbags.
5. Keep In Mind the Benefits of Mixed Fillers Are Still Unclear
There is still not sufficient research on the effectiveness of mixed filler pillows. Mixed filler pillows consist of pillows filled with memory foam, latex, shredded foam, and a gel insert. While these sound like neat inventions, pillows with too much material stuffed inside can hold your neck in an awkward position.
6. Body Pillows and Side Pillows Can Be Your Best Friend
If you’re a person who prefers to sleep on your stomach (which isn’t ideal), a body and side pillow can help improve sleep posture. These pillows can be used to keep your spine aligned and provide support throughout the night.
7. The Firmness and Softness of Your Mattress Are Equally Important
If you have a firmer mattress, it’s recommended to have a thicker pillow because the shoulder won’t stick into the mattress too much. A thinner pillow is the way to go if you have a memory foam mattress or pillow-top mattress because your shoulder will sink into the bed.
Find Neck Pain Relief With NJ Spine & Orthopedic
Neck pain can be difficult to deal with, making it uncomfortable to perform daily responsibilities. If you’re experiencing constant and severe neck pain and rest or over-the-counter medications aren’t working, it may be time to consult a healthcare professional.
NJ Spine & Orthopedic is committed to finding the best and most personalized care for our patients so they can find pain relief. Our goal is to find the most effective and least invasive approach possible so you can return to your normal life as soon as possible.