Pillow Size: an unexpected cause of neck pain!

Pillow Size: an unexpected cause of neck pain!

How to sleep correctly

We sometimes wake up with a stiff neck, pain in the upper back or posterior shoulder, and we suspect that it has something to do with the way we sleep, but we are not quite sure what it is!

Sleeping on our front puts quite a lot of strain onto the neck, so it would be better to sleep on the side or on the back, but still sleeping on the side with the wrong type of pillow can put a huge amount of strain onto our necks and upper backs.

In fact if the pillow is too high, the side of the neck and upper back that we are sleeping on gets strained and the other side gets compressed, whereas if the pillow is too low it’s the opposite! Therefore the pillow size should be the same width of the distance between our shoulder and neck, so that the vertebral column is in straight alignment.

When you are sleeping on your back or on your front you want a small pillow otherwise there will be a lot of tension on the neck and upper back posteriorly, therefore we always recommend having 2 pillows so that if you sleep on your side you can use both and it should keep the spine in alignment, and if you turn on your back or front you only use a narrow one!

Other things to consider can be using a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side so that the pressure on your back is reduced and it’s particularly indicated if you have low back pain or sciatic pain.

If you struggle to sleep on your side you can try placing a pillow on your belly because it gives the same pressure sensation that we look for when sleeping on our front!

Also get checked by your Chiropractor to see how the joints, nervous system and muscles are functioning and feel free to bring your pillow into the centre for more advice!

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