Neck pain can seriously deteriorate your quality of life. Because of neck pain, many people develop excessive daytime sleepiness, anxiety, and depression. In this article, you’ll learn about orthopedic pillows for neck pain.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the topic!
Neck pain explained!
While neck pain has a variety of causes, it’s mostly caused by muscle strain or injury.
Table: Classification of neck pain on the basis of duration
Less than 4 weeks
4 to 12 weeks
3 or more months
According to research, 15% of adults in the United States experience neck pain for at least one whole day in a 3 month period. The pain generally goes away within a few days or weeks.
However, chronic neck pain can last for more than 12 weeks and requires a diagnosis from a certified medical professional.
While staying mostly at a single point, neck pain may radiate down into:
- Shoulder blades
- Entire arm
- Lower body
The pain may also cause muscle spasms and/or headaches.
When is Neck Pain Serious?
A few red flag signs imply that you should get the pain checked by a doctor as soon as possible:
- Pain radiates down to other parts of the body
- Pain comes with the onset of chills and fever
- Pain accompanies a lack of coordination and balance
- Pain is chronic and accompanies unexplained weight loss
Treating Neck Pain with an Orthopedic Pillow
An orthopedic pillow can not only relieve symptoms but may also cure your pain, especially if the pain results from posture problems.
With its special butterfly design, an orthopedic cervical pillow for neck pain does the following:
- Improves support to your cervical spine
- Promotes better alignment of the spine
- Maintains natural curvature of cervical spine
- Ensures support to neck even when you change sleeping position in the middle of the night
Let’s look at it in more detail!
Butterfly Design for Better Support and Alignment
Orthopedic cervical pillows come with a butterfly design, which provides:
- A depression in which you rest your head
- An extended part that supports your neck
So when you rest your head in the depressed part, your neck gets consistent support all through the night.
And the curve of the pillow perfectly matches that of your cervical spine. By helping to maintain the proper lordosis (natural curvature), an orthopedic memory foam pillow further relieves pressure and reduces pain.
Best Memory Foam Pillows
Best Bamboo Pillow: ⏩ Bamboo Pillow Premium
Best Pillow for Neck Pain: ⏩ Memory Foam Pillow
Best Pillow for Sleeping: ⏩ Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Best Pillow for Side Sleepers: ⏩ Bamboo Pillow 2 Pack
Best Pillow for Neck Pain: ⏩ Orthopedic Pillow for Sleeping
With constant support, better alignment, and maintenance of the natural curvature, your neck experiences minimum pressure and gets the time it needs to recover.
Benefits of an Orthopedic Pillow with Memory Foam
Although these pillows come with different types of fills, the best orthopedic pillows come with a memory foam fill, which complements the ergonomic design of the pillow.
Memory foam bolsters all the benefits of an orthopedic cervical pillow.
Memory Foam Cradles the Neck
Memory foam is a viscoelastic material. It can use heat and pressure to create a mold.
The heat and pressure from your body is enough for memory foam to mold according to the shape of your head and neck.
By creating a mold, memory foam properly cradles the neck and further bolsters the support to your cervical spine.
As Durable as a Diamond
Despite its molding capability, memory foam does not flatten out with use. In fact, it quickly retains its shape within seconds.
Premium memory foam is capable of retaining its original shape for the entirety of its lifespan.
And the material is very dense, so dust isn’t able to penetrate the surface, keeping your pillow dust and dust mite free.
Now, those with sensitive skin often want to sleep on a hypoallergenic material - memory foam is one such material.
As mentioned earlier, it prevents dust buildup and is also naturally resistant to dust mites and molds, both of which cause allergies.
Sleeping Position and Posture
Orthopedic cervical pillows with memory foam aren’t an elixir that can cure your neck pain once and for all.
Instead, you must correct your sleeping and sitting posture to stay neck pain free.
Let’s look at the ways in which you can improve your sleeping posture according to your sleeping position to reduce neck pain.
Table: Sleeping positions and pillow recommendation
Place a pillow beneath the knees
Place a pillow between the knees
3 inches or less
Place a pillow beneath the lower abdomen
Combination sleepers - who change sleeping position during the night - need to test multiple pillow heights to find the one that provides the most comfort.
Let’s look at it in more detail.
Back sleeping reduces pressure on both the cervical and lumbar spine. However, it isn’t recommended for those who suffer from sleep apnea.
Benefits of sleeping on your back include:
- May offer relief from lower back and neck pain
- May reduce incidences of headaches
- Can reduce wrinkling
- Can reduce acne outbreak
Apart from using an orthopedic pillow for neck pain, back sleepers can also place a pillow below their knees if they suffer from lower back pain. Doing so reduces the pressure on the lumbar spine.
Side sleepers often need to take note of their sleeping position, as their pillows can often leave their neck unsupported.
Apart from being the most popular sleeping position, it is also recommended to those with obstructive sleep apnea.
And there are many health benefits associated with side sleeping, benefits that include:
- Relief from sleep apnea
- Reduced snoring
- May reduce pain from fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes
While anecdotal evidence exists of the left side being more beneficial, experts haven’t actually found any substantial health benefits that make one side better than the other.
When using an orthopedic cervical pillow, you should place your head on the side without the depression. The firmness of the pillow will provide good support to your neck.
And if you suffer from lower back pain, then place a pillow between your knees to stop the lumbar spine from rotating when your upper leg slides down.
It’s highly recommended that you don’t sleep on your stomach, as both your cervical and lumbar spine are bent in a very unnatural position.
This can exacerbate your pain. So work on changing your sleeping position if you suffer from back or neck pain.
If you find it difficult to change your sleeping position, then place a pillow below your abdomen to protect your lower back from stress.
Pro-tip: After your neck pain heals, we recommend that you stick with an orthopedic pillow or go for a shredded memory foam pillow to protect your cervical spine from damage.
Neck Pain Cure
Despite purchasing the best orthopedic pillow for neck pain, you may have to take additional steps to speed up your recovery.
Here are few tips for the same:
- Use ice pack to reduce inflammation in the affected area
- After a few days, use heat to relax the muscles
- Start with very light stretches and neck rotation
- Extend the stretches slightly to improve your range of motion
Once the pain heals, ensure that you follow the correct sleeping and sitting posture to avoid developing neck pain in the future. And use the right pillow to ensure good support to and proper alignment of your cervical spine.
A good orthopedic pillow with premium memory foam can provide relief from neck pain and speed up the healing process. With its unique design, an orthopedic cervical pillow is able to provide better support to your neck.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How to find the best orthopedic pillow with memory foam?
Ans. Usually, you want to look for an orthopedic pillow with an ergonomic design, which fits the curves of your spine. And you want the orthopedic pillow to have premium memory foam that has a good bounce and is firm.
Q. How long does a good orthopedic pillow last?
Ans. The best orthopedic pillows for neck pain can last you for more than 5 years if they’re made of premium memory foam. It’s the memory foam that actually gives the orthopedic cervical pillow its durability.
Q. Do I keep using an orthopedic cervical pillow after neck pain resolves?
You can continue using your orthoepic pillow for neck pain even after the pain goes away. However, you can go for a shredded memory foam pillow, which looks like a normal pillow but provides good support.
Q. Is a cervical orthopedic pillow suitable for side sleepers?
Ans. Yes, they are. Cervical orthopedic pillows are designed for side sleepers and back sleepers. While back sleepers can rest their head in the depressed part, side sleepers can rest their head on the thick part of the orthopedic pillow.
Q. Are there any custom sleeping cervical orthopedic pillow?
Ans. No, there are no custom sleeping cervical orthopedic pillow. However, orthopedic pillows for neck pain do come in different sizes.