Best Pillow for Neck and Back Pain in 2020 — Physician Advice
Most people don’t actively think about their sleeping position or the quality of their bedding. You can’t be bothered with factors like whether you should get a memory foam pillow or a water pillow, or whether you need a high-loft pillow or low-loft pillow. Some side sleepers also stuff their elbows under their pillow to supplement their support. However, if you have trouble sleeping or chronic neck pain, you should put serious thought into your bedding.
Finding the right pillow is crucial for reducing neck pain, preventing chronic neck pain, or ensuring sound sleep. You may attribute your sleeplessness and insomnia to stress or other factors. However, you should cast your gaze on the quality of your pillow and sleeping position. You must consider several factors when looking for the best pillow for neck and back pain in 2020, including your sleeping position, weight, and if you’re actively suffering from chronic neck pain.
Ideal sleeping position and pillow to relieve neck pain
There are several sleeping positions, but they can be broadly broken down into these — sleeping on your side, sleeping on your back, and sleeping on your stomach. Whatever your sleeping position may be, you must ensure optimal spinal alignment, i.e., your neck should be in a straight line with your back and hips. You may suffer from chronic neck pain if your pillow leads to either an upward or a downward arch in your spine. It should be perfectly straight and aligned.
Side Sleeping Position
If you like sleeping on your side, pull your knees close to your chest in the fetal position. This position expands the space between the discs in your spine, preventing neck and back pain caused by a herniated disc. You can also keep your legs straight but stuff a pillow between your knees. As for the pillow under your head, it should have a high loft that covers the distance between your mattress and head. You shouldn’t have to stuff your elbows under the pillow for support, nor should your neck stoop downwards or upwards. The pillow must relieve neck pain by ensuring your spine remains straight and aligned.
Back Sleeping Position
If you prefer the back sleeping position, you must ensure spinal alignment by ensuring your neck is aligned with the rest of your body — neither arching upwards or downwards. Your nose and chin should be level with each other as an indicator that you’re maintaining spinal alignment. If you already have chronic neck pain, you can get a cervical pillow for back sleepers because the cut-out or contour will support your neck and ensure spinal alignment. You can also find a traditional pillow with a loft height just right for your neck size. If you’re not sure of the loft height necessary, you can also get an adjustable memory foam pillow that allows you to increase or decrease the loft height.
Stomach Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your stomach can be great for the digestive system, but it can also wreak havoc on your spine. If you’re not careful, your pillow may severely affect spinal alignment, leading to chronic neck pain. Stomach sleepers should ideally avoid using a pillow. However, if you can’t help but use a pillow, go for a low-profile or thin pillow that doesn’t elevate your neck or crane it diagonally. You should also place a thin pillow under your abdomen for added spinal support.
Combination Sleeping Position
Combination sleeping refers to those who toss and turn in their sleep to change their sleeping position repeatedly. You may move between various sleeping positions in a single night. Combination sleepers must value versatility and flexibility over all else. You need a pillow that you can easily fluff up to make it conform to your current sleeping position. Combination sleepers should ideally use a water pillow or shredded memory foam pillow because they conform to your body.
Best pillows for reducing neck pain and back pain
If you prefer sleeping on your side, you should go for the Elite Rest Contour Sleeper. This is a memory foam pillow with a loft height of 4” at the elevated contours and 2.75” at the lowered center. The elevated contour acts like a natural neck roll to relieve neck pain and provide spinal alignment. The memory foam also conforms to the shape of your neck and shoulders, reducing neck pain. It comes with a machine-washable 100% cotton cover.
Coop Home Goods is the ideal pillow for combination sleepers. This is a shredded memory foam pillow, allowing you to add or remove the shredded filling to adjust the loft height according to your needs. Furthermore, you can also instantly fluff this pillow to ensure you have optimal support for your existing sleeping position. It comes with a machine-washable cover made of Bamboo-derived Rayon.
OrganicTextiles Natural Latex Pillow is a standard size and firm natural latex pillow with a hypoallergenic cover made of cotton. You get this pillow in three loft sizes, ranging from 5 inches to 6 inches. As such, this pillow is meant solely for side sleeping position, capable of comfortably covering the distance between the mattress and your neck. It also features a unique pin-core design that ensures optimal air circulation to keep you cool.
If you’re suffering from chronic neck pain, you must find the right pillow for your sleeping position to relieve neck pain. Side sleepers should opt for a high-loft neck support pillow or cervical support pillow, such as Elite Rest Contour Sleeper. Combination sleepers and back sleepers should go for medium-loft or adjustable loft pillows, such as a water pillow or shredded memory foam pillow that they can modify according to their preference. Stomach sleepers should ideally avoid pillows. Once you adjust your sleeping position and pillow, you’ll sleep more comfortably.