Nothing in this article is to be taken as medical advice of any kind.. It is for informational purposes only. if you think you might have a medical issue, seek the advice of a licensed Health care Provider as soon as possible.
One of the more common questions from people who suffer from neck pain is,”what is the best neck pillow I can use?” Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, because there is no single pillow that will be the ‘best’ for everyone. Looking on the internet is even more confusing because a lot of sites are just promoting their own products, and supplying little useful information. There are many factors to consider when looking for a therapeutic neck pillow.
First, you need a pillow that will hold your head steady and support your neck in the proper position. The pillow needs to keep your neck from flexing laterally to either side, extending to the rear, or flexing to the front. The bad news is that these all pillows only work if you sleep on your back. For side-sleepers, you may have to rig something up.
Even without an injury, forcing your neck into an unnatural position for lengthy periods of time is likelyu to cause pain and discomfort, also known as having a “crick” in your neck. If you already have a strain, or other neck injury, this will only make it worse, so pillow selection can be critical for a rapid recovery. A pillow that is too hard, or high will force your neck into strained positions, hampering recovery.
Studies have been done on the comparative merits of several different kinds of pillows. One study used X-Rays to compare the curve of the cervical vertebrae when using the bolster-type pillows, as opposed to a flat pillow. Results indicated that the bolster-type pillows, when the right size was used, restored the optimal curve of the neck, and relieved pressure and pain to the vertebrae. (Jackson R., The Cervical Syndrome, 4th Ed., Charles B. Thomas, 1987.) Another study of 100 fibromyalgia patients showed that using bolster-type pillows behind the neck showed a 63%-84% improvement and reduction in neck pain (J. Rheumatol, 1994; 21:8). In a third study, three types of pillows were compared, and the results were that with the correct pillow, neck pain was reduced significantly, and the patients slept more soundly (Arch Phys Med Rehab, 1997;78: 193-198). Another study worthy of mention was conducted to determine if the use of these pillows would have an adverse effect on people who did not have neck pain. The result was a resounding negative. Not only did the bolster-type pillows not cause any discomfort, but 83% of the subjects stated that their quality of sleep was significantly improved.
Of course, the best way to treat neck pain is to eliminate the cause. Bending over a computer all day with few breaks is a major cause of neck pain. If you raise your desk, take more breaks, and move your neck around periodically, your need for a neck pillow will be greatly reduced. If you can find out what is hurting your neck, and stop doing that, you won’t need a neck pillow for very long. And, as always, prevention is the best medicine of all.
Untreated The Best Pillow for Neck Pain has the potential for some unpleasant situations to develop, so don’t take any chances. You only have one neck.