Do you find it painful when tilting your head? Or annoying aches from the neck shrilling down to the spine when waking up? Neck pain is a typical problem of motionless modern employees whose work requires hours sitting before the computer screen. However, many people do not realize that the sleeping pillows they use might have a significant Impact on their neck pain. These are some useful tips helping you figure out the best pillow for neck pain and headache which will surely help out.
Why do we end up with neck pain?
Neck pain is rather common nowadays. The main culprit is the muscle tension due to stress factors. When the neck muscles are stretched over a long period, they become tense and fatigued. Usually, the pain will disappear if you let those muscles have some time-out relax. However, if you keep the ball rolling for days, it might eventually end up in chronic neck pain. In this case, even small things such as reading in bed or grinding teeth can cause unbearable tension in the neck.
Conditions And Diseases of Senescence
On the other hand, neck pain is also associated with the degeneration of the cervical vertebrae and spine when aging. Neck pain might also indicate further conditions and diseases of senescence.
- Nerve compression: As you age, the vertebral discs become dry and hard, narrowing the space in the spine where the nerve outlet is.
- Vertebrae disc herniation: It happens when a cervical disc protrudes and oppresses bundle of nerves exiting the spinal cord. Hence the pain and weakness might come to exist in the neck for a longer time.
These chronic conditions require medical interventions from physicians and chiropractors. However, finding the most comfortable pillow for yourself will not only partially mitigate the pain, but also could prevent the problem from the first place. Take note of this guide while you are shopping of pillow for neck and headache pain and bedroom accessories.
What is the comfortable pillow for your sleeping style?
Identifying your most favorite sleeping position is the first thing that helps to find out the best pillow for headache. Let’s think of why we need a pillow in the first place. Your neck is connected closely with the spine, and they are always in a naturally harmonious alignment. Lying down will certainly put a pressure on the cervical-spinal column. If the upper part of your body is not sufficiently supported while sleeping, neck pain will surely follow.
- For back sleepers: The supine position is comfortable for you while sleeping. Choose a thin pillow so that your head is not bent forward too much. Because the cervical spine is in the shape of an S, you should also put a rolled towel or a smaller roll pillow under the neck to support this curve of the spine.
- If you are a side sleeper: A good orthopedists will recommend a thicker pillow for you. The height of the pillow should be enough to keep your spinal column aligned in the body midline. You may put a rolled tower under the neck if your pillow becomes flatten after long usage. Or you could just simply afford a new one.
- If you are a stomach sleeper, lying prone is the easiest way to get you into a deep slumber. Most rheumatologists do not recommend this position because it put heavy stress on the neck and the back. However, a change in sleeping patterns for once in a while might help you get a better recharge. In that case, you should use an extremely thin pillow to support your head and for severe headache and neck pain so that the neck is neutral aligned.
- For sitting sleepers: What if you are nocturnal and tend to sleep more during the day? Of course lying in bed or couch while the others are working would be inappropriate. A travel pillow in U-shape is the perfect support for your neck. You should choose the one that in your size so that your head is still squarely aligned in the neutral position. Otherwise, an adjustable travel pillow that can cradle your neck as customized would be a better option.
You might be wondering if you happen to fall into all these groups. Don’t worry because it is normal. If that is the case, use pillow to get rid from shoulder pain for all of your sleeping positions.
The material of the pillow is also important
The second thing you need to take into consideration is the material of the pillow. The content inside the pillowcase is varied in types and designs. However, these are the most comfortable pillows for neck pain.
Orthopedists mostly recommend these types of pillow. It is made up of feathers and down (down is the softer feather cladding under the exterior feather layer) from ducks and geese. Therefore, it is not only firm enough to support your head but also very soft and cool. The pillow is expensive if it comprises more down in the content. Also, people might be concerned with the animal cruelty issue because feathers and down sometimes are actually plucked from living birds.
Memory foam pillow
It is made up of foamed polyurethane, an elastic material that can mold itself to the shape of your head. A popular design of this pillow is in the S-shape that will contour 100% of your neck. However, it can be quite expensive, and the ventilation is not good if you are sweaty during sleep.
Latex is a natural or synthesized polymer designed specifically for pillow filling. It is a potential contender to memory foam pillow. Latex is also bouncing and has an excellent durability, which is ideal to lift up the pressure from your neck. The heat dissipation is better than memory foam so you won’t have to worry about hotness. However, latex pillow could not shape itself. You should choose the one that fits the height of your neck when sleeping.
This pillow has an additional layer of water-saturated foam. Water pillow can be customized to fit the shape of your head. Therefore, it could provide cooling sensation relief from severe headache and neck pain. However, water pad is still relatively rare, and you might end up getting one with poor quality. It would be inconvenient carrying a water pillow around because of the noise and weight of the water inside.
These types of pillow contain many small pieces inside. It is the principle design of bean bag and travel pillows. The pieces could either be artificial beads made from polystyrene or Buckwheat husks, a grain common in Asia. These pieces are stuffed inside a big pouch so that you could mold it freely as your will.
Therefore, it does not only provide comfort for your severe neck pain and headache but also the whole body. The only drawback is that the air ventilation is not sufficient so you may change your position frequently to prevent sweat and heat.
I hope that the tips above are valuable to help you pick out the most comfortable pillow to mitigate your neck pain. However, it is always better to prevent neck pain if you could change these habits
- Have regular breaks when you work or drive in long hours. Give your head some exercises to prevent neck strain and pain. Try to avoid grinding teeth.
- Adjust tables and chair so that the computer screen is equal to your eye level.
- Avoid holding the phone between your ear and shoulders when talking.
- If you work at the table: Shrugged up and down, together relax. Pull your shoulders down while tilting the sides of each side to tighten the muscles in your neck.
- Stretching the front chest muscles and strengthening the muscles around the shoulder blades and the back of the shoulder can promote support for the neck.