It is important for everyone to select a comfortable and supportive pillow for a restful night’s sleep. This is even more essential for those who suffer from neck pain, back pain or recovering from an injury. The pillow you select should be dense enough to support the spine but not so thick that it forces the spine into forward or lateral flexion.
As a general rule of thumb, back sleepers should choose a pillow that conforms to the weight of the head yet provides support for the normal “C” shape of the cervical spine. A contoured pillow with a depression for the head and an elevation for the neck is a good choice for this sleep positon. When sleeping on your back use a small pillow or bolster under your knees to support your lower back.
If you are a side sleeper, it is important to have a pillow that holds your neck in a neutral position while it cradles the head. The width of the shoulders must be considered when selecting a pillow for a side sleeper as that can vary significantly between individuals. When sleeping on your side it is also a good idea to use a small pillow between the legs to support the pelvis and lower back.
If you are a stomach sleeper, do whatever you can to break that habit. Sleeping on the stomach puts undo stress on the neck as it is required to be turned throughout the night. Also, when sleeping in the prone position the lumbar spine sags forward and increases mechanical pressure on the lower back. Using a body pillow can help break the stomach sleeping habit by cradling you in place throughout the night.
For more information on how to have a pain-free night’s sleep, contact Northwest Wellness in Federal Way at 2839270660