Our blog on clinic news, therapies, conditions and best practices
Many people seek out physiotherapy services to help them with neck pain, headaches, and jaw pain which can be related to injuries, arthritis or poor posture. I have found that pain in these areas can often be traced, in part, to improper neck and head support while sleeping. So, in addition to physiotherapy, exercises and posture correction, it can also help to select a new pillow that provides better support and suits your personal needs.
Whether you have a specific underlying neck problem or not, if you wake up during the night or in the morning with neckpain or a headache this is a sign that your pillow is not supporting your neck, and correction is required. You may be attached to your very old, very flat pillow, but it may be time to say goodbye if it is not providing adequate support. If on the other hand you are using two or three pillows under your head, then your head and neck are tilted up and your neck is again no longer lined up with the rest of your spine.
I would advise that you purchase one good pillow that is comfortable and adequately supports your neck. Some people do have breathing problems, heart problems or acid reflux, and find it difficult to lie flat. In these cases it is actually better to elevate the head of the bed with a wedge, and still use only one pillow to support the neck.Just a quick note about proper sleeping positions. It is OK to lay on either side or on your back, and move between these positions during the night. Lying on your stomach, however, does put strain on your neck and should be avoided.
See Clinical Study
There are many pillows available on the market, and Healthview offers two high-quality options. If you like a softer pillow, then the Mediflow water pillow is a good choice, and I have noticed that it is particularly good for people with arthritis in their necks. The Mediflow is unique in having regular polyfill in the front, and at the back a pocket that you fill with water. The firmness of the pillow can therefore be adjusted, and it moves as you move to support the head and neck properly. If you like a firmer support, a good option might be a contoured foam pillow such as the Normalizer posture pillow.
Remember, proper posture is very important whether you are sitting, standing or lying in bed. Using a good pillow is a small but very important step toward ensuring a healthy spine and better sleep. You deserve to feel good!
Healthview Therapy Centre
5118 Roblin Blvd, Winnipeg MB