Wedge pillows were designed to relieve a range of medical issues like back pain, reflux, sleep apnoea. They are orthopedic pillows and if you are a chronic back pain sufferer, they will revolutionize the way you sleep. Wedge pillows are bigger and firmer than your normal sleeping pillow and they are triangular in shape. It is in the slope of the pillow that all the magic happens.
Specialists and medical professionals agree that wedge pillows provide the best sleeping position for upper back and neck pain. Not only will these pillows relieve pain during the night but they will also reduce back pain after waking up. If you suffer from back pain you will know how destructive waking up in pain can be to your overall well being and health.
Let’s look a little closer at what makes up the wedge pillow and how it can help you
The shape: Wedge pillows look like wedges meaning they are all triangular in shape. The shape wedge pillows are similar but the surface changes. Some have flat, smooth surfaces while others are contoured. There are also a few wedge pillows that have detachable pieces and as a result, can be adjusted.
The Size: There is not a standard size for wedge pillows but the common size is 20 inches by 20 inches. The wedge needs to be big enough to fit under your shoulders and back to be able to provide the correct support for your back and neck. These pillows are also used as leg pillows, so they need to be big enough to provide adequate support for your knees, legs, and calves.
The Incline: As with the size, the incline varies from pillow to pillow. Generally, though, they start from around 7 inches and can go up to 12 inches. The gradual slopes provide the best sleeping position to relieve back pain while the steeper inclines work best for support under your knees.
The Weight: You might find wedge pillows to be heavier than normal pillows with the average weight ranging between 2 and 4 pounds but you can get pillows up to 12 pounds. The heavier the pillow, the less it moves during the night. If you toss and turn while you sleep but need the support of the wedge pillow, a heavier pillow is best.
The Material: Almost all wedge pillows are made from either high or medium dense contour foam and come with removable covers that are made from rayon, bamboo or cotton.
When should you consider using a wedge pillow?
If the question is “how should I sleep with lower back pain?” The answer will always be with a wedge pillow. If you are asking about herniated disc sleeping positions, the answer also lies in the wedge pillow.
Wedge pillows are orthopedic pillows which means they provide the right amount of support for a range of medical conditions including the following;
Snoring: A wedge pillow will not stop snoring completely but you will see improvements. This is due to the elevation the wedge pillow provides. By elevating the head you ease breathing and your tongue and jaw are encouraged to move forward. A simple elevation of 4 inches can make a remarkable difference.
Acid reflux. Acid reflux is painful and very uncomfortable. It is caused by stomach acid flowing into the stomach which is connected to your throat. When your head and neck are elevated it prevents that upward flow of acid, relieving the burning sensation in your throat.
Poor circulation: Poor circulation can be improved by using a higher wedge pillow under your knees. Improving circulation can also help reduce the risk of varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis.
Neck, back, shoulder pain. Many adults suffer from one or all of these pains. Sometimes as a result of an injury but more often as a result of stress, bad posture, and sleeping positions. There are various sleeping positions to relieve back pain but sleeping with a wedge pillow will align your body and help with neck, back and shoulder pain.
Wedge pillows are not recommended for all sleeping positions. Below are not only the best sleeping positions for upper back and neck pain but also the two sleeping positions that work best with wedge pillows.
Back sleepers will find the most comfort from wedges that have an incline of around 7 inches. The higher pillows may lift the head too much and will not be as comfortable. The pillows with the flat surfaces are recommended for back sleepers.
Side sleepers will find comfort in the contoured wedge pillows. These pillows are able to conform to the shape of your body and support your neck and shoulder.
What wedge pillows do we recommend?
Our top two wedge pillows are the DMI Bed Wedge and the Intevsion Orthopedic Wedge Pillow.
The DMI Bed Wedge pillow is one of our favorites because it has so compact and easy to use. It is great if you read or watch TV in bed as it is firm enough to provide support while still providing comfort. It can also be used as a leg pillow offering relief from back pain, knee pain, varicose veins, and restless leg syndrome. This is definitely a bed wedge pillow you want to keep handy.
InteVisions Orthopedic Wedge is a good pillow to use if you are recovering from back, hip or knee surgery. The elevation of the pillow helps the spinal cord relax resulting in less pain. This pillow can also help to improve circulation. If your medical professional hasn’t already recommended this pillow for post-op care, then we highly recommend you get it.
If it has been recommended that you use a wedge pillow, don’t just buy the first one you see. Grabbing a wedge pillow from Walmart may work but rather spend some time finding a good quality pillow that is going to provide you with the right amount of support for your sleeping position and medical condition.