What type of pillow should I be sleeping on? Do I need a new pillow? I get asked these questions quite often when patients come in with neck pain, especially when they first wake up. The answer to this is fairly straightforward, yet not.
When looking for a pillow, comfort is a big deal. That is where the personal choice comes into play. Some people like a firmer one where others prefer more cushion. There are different materials for the pillow filling such as memory foam, latex, foam, and down/feather to name a few.
The key to finding a pillow that is right for you is dependent on how you sleep. Though not an advisable sleeping position, stomach sleepers should have a very thin pillow. Back sleepers want a pillow that is a on the thin side to avoid having the neck in a flexed position. Also, it is important to have support for the natural curve in the neck. Side sleepers would benefit from a more firm pillow. Again, support for the neck is essential so there should not be a gap between your neck and the pillow.
The goal is to have the spine in a neutral position to take stress off the neck and surrounding structures. Here at Northwest Wellness, we sell a TriCore Pillow that is pictured below. This may not be best for everyone but it is an option to look into. Comfort and support are the two most important aspects to look at when buying a pillow.