If you suffer from back or neck pain, it’s important to look at your pillows. Depending on the position you sleep in and the type of pillow you are currently using, a change of pillow might make the difference when it comes to alleviating your back or neck pain.
Firstly, ask yourself, how old is my pillow? If a pillow is more than six months old, you might need to change it, as it could be the cause of your neck or back pain. Have a read of How to choose the right pillow to discover how you can test your pillow to see whether it needs changing.
What are the best pillows for back pain?
If you suffer from back pain, one option you may want to consider is an orthopaedic pillow. Orthopaedic pillows exist in several different shapes and materials. Some promise to keep their shape or mould and adjust to your head and shoulders, always keeping spine alignment as the number one focus. Bear in mind, though, that just because a pillow is orthopaedic, doesn’t mean it will be good or right for you. If you’re in any doubt about buying an orthopaedic pillow, it could be a good idea to consult a physiotherapist for further advice on which orthopaedic pillow is perfect for you.
Another option to consider is a full body pillow; a long, curved pillow for total body support that cradles your head, neck, shoulders, back, lower back, legs and knees. It replaces other pillows and gives full comfort to the side sleeper.
What are the best pillows for neck pain?
If you suffer from neck pain, you might want to consider a contour pillow. A pillow with a curved design that adapts to your head, neck and shoulder. Contour pillows are a great choice for back sleepers and side sleepers, and can help relieve neck pain and stiffness, frozen shoulders, and headaches. Try to buy one that has a flat bit at the back so it doesn’t force your neck too far forwards.
What to do about neck pain while travelling
If you spend a lot of time travelling, it might be worth investing in a travel pillow. These pillows are horseshoe shaped, designed for the neck contour. They are called travel pillows since they are mostly used by travellers to keep their neck straight while they take a comfortable nap on board a train or plane.
Another approach you can take to alleviate neck pain is to make a ‘butterfly’ pillow. This is very simple and easy, and something you can do yourself.
How to make a butterfly pillow
Tie a soft scarf, hair band, string, elastic or bandage around the middle of the pillow to make it form a butterfly shape. Put your head on the narrowed part of the pillow and tuck the edges around you.
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