Waking up with neck pain is one of the things you would prefer to avoid at all costs. It’s a guarantee that a physically challenging day is up ahead. However, sometimes even short naps can bring neck pain. It’s not uncommon for patients who experience chronic neckache to consult with a neck pain chiropractor in Decatur. Patients seeking chiropractic care can either support or counteract the positive effects of their adjustments depending on the type of pillow they use in their sleep.
It would be best not to underestimate the benefits of having the right pillow, especially for those who quickly get neck pain from a muscle strain or those who experienced a spinal injury. We encourage you to ensure that your pillow gives ample support to your spine’s natural curvature. As a result, you might notice an improvement in your stiffness and soreness levels after a night’s sleep. After all, sleep is an integral part of your health, and investing in a pillow that is right for you will surely benefit you in the long run.
You can ask your neck pain chiropractor in Decatur for pillow recommendations if you currently get chiropractic adjustments. This way, you support your efforts in restoring the alignment and balance of your body. But what is the right pillow for you? And how will you know? First, check the pillow you currently use and compare it with some pillow types we’ll discuss below.
Factors to consider when buying a pillow
Depending on your preferred sleeping position, your pillow needs to be thick enough to be comfortable and support your head while keeping the spine neutral. Back, stomach, and side sleepers require different levels of thickness. Remember, a pillow is not one-size-fits-all, so you will need to pay attention to the thickness and your sleeping position when pillow shopping.
This can be particularly important for those who experience neck pain. If that’s you, remember that you will need a pillow that holds its shape over time and stays supportive even when used regularly. Manufacturers use different types of material in making them nowadays. These include visco-elastic memory foam, polyester, down, gel, and latex.
If you’re at a store, you can ask the sales associate about the difference between these materials to identify what you think is the right one for you. Take advantage of the help offered by the sales associates in the stores to enlighten you more about the types of pillows they offer. They can make it easier for you to understand and absorb the information about pillows.
Choosing the right pillow for you
If you venture out and shop for pillows from reputable stores, you will see pillows of different sizes and shapes in the market today. Your pursuit of the right pillow for you will make you realize that not all pillows are created equal, and literally, at that. The height of your pillow and your sleeping position should match. You can also ask about a trial period for a pillow to help you identify if it’s the right one for you.
No single pillow is compatible with everyone. Supporting the natural curve of your neck to ease the stress when you’re lying down is key to finding the right one, and our bodies are unique and have unique needs. So what is the right pillow for you?
Back sleepers require a thin pillow that can keep the curve of your neck similar to when lying down and standing up. Even when lying down, good posture is necessary.
Side sleepers will require a thicker pillow to support them properly when lying down and sleeping. In addition, when sleeping sideways, you will need to keep your neck and head in the middle of your shoulders. But not all side sleepers are of the same size, so you will still need to consider the correct thickness and even firmness, as it should depend on the height and width of your shoulders.
Those in the smaller frame may need a slimmer pillow, and for broad-shouldered frames, perhaps a thicker pillow will work better. You may also try assessing which firm and soft types work for you. Some stores offer specially designed cervical pillows that you can choose from.
For stomach sleepers, an ultra-slim pillow or a flatter pillow is just what you might need. However, this position is the least encouraging sleeping position because when you sleep on your stomach, you put more stress on your neck instead of relaxing the muscles. This is because your neck tilts on one side for a long time.
While you retrain yourself for other sleeping positions, getting an ultra-thin pillow may provide comfort as it doesn’t lift your head too much. This can also work if you habitually put your arm underneath your pillow.
Pillows using feathers as the primary material can easily conform to the shape of your neck. However, some tend to collapse and deteriorate fast over time, so replacing them often is necessary as they can no longer provide enough support.
You will likely come across memory foam pillows when you do your pillow shopping, as they have been highly popular over the years. Memory foam follows the shape of your neck and head and neck and has a longer life than a feather pillow. In addition, pillows made of memory foam tend to be denser, so the chance of them growing molds, fungus, and dust mites are low. They are also naturally hypoallergenic.
Consult with a Neck Pain Chiropractor in Decatur
Modifying your pillow and sleeping arrangements is just a single step to reducing or eliminating your neck pain. If you are under a chiropractor’s care for neck pain, make sure you continue and finish your recommended number of adjustments to let your body naturally heal.
A visit to a neck pain chiropractor in Decatur may be necessary for those who still experience pain in the neck, even after replacing their old pillow with the right one, especially if you have been using the wrong pillow over the years. Your spine will need to be examined for possible misalignments due to poor sleeping posture caused by the wrong pillow.
Should you decide to see a chiropractor, you may want to consider Dr. Stephanie O’Brien of Chiropractic for Everybody. Waking up pain-free is always a good idea, don’t let it be a part of your day! Contact our office to consult with a trusted chiropractor in Decatur.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. O’Brien, call our Decatur office at 404-370-8050. You can also click the button below.