Research and Evidence based article is taken from the study by Dr. Marshall Emig MD
The 9 Best Pillow for Neck Pain in 2020 based on Physician advice and testimonials.
Sleeping is the thing surely most people enjoy most. After the stress of the whole day who doesn’t want a sleep that freshens us up. But unfortunately, two-third of the world’s population, at some point in their life fails to have that pleasure. The 9 Best Pillows For Neck Pain in 2020, the article is based on Physician advice testimonials, sales, and review reports.
Christine Harrison had been struggling with chronic pain for four years. She was a little bit depressed and had started doing stuff like massage, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and so on. But nothing was helping her at all. One day her colleague Irene said, “you are not looking comfortable, may I know what’s wrong with you?” and Christine replied, “Sure, you do.” After hearing Christine, Irene realized that Christine had suffered from neck pain just for sleeping in an odd position. She suggested Christine change the pillow and advised her to have a gentle move during getting out of bed. She taught Christine the way to incorporate gentle movement in every-day life by avoiding forceful move on sore muscles.
After passing a few days, finally, aha!! The moment came when Christine stopped felling her neck pain. The pain would go away, and she felt so much better than the early days. Now, from a few years, Christine has not had neck pain, and she is more productive and comfortable in her life.
Neck pain, clinically known as cervicalgia, is a problem which is suffered by two-third of the people of the world at some point in their life. Neck pain is the worst nightmare that can hitch you out of your serene sleep.
Neck pain is a common medical condition that comes from diseases or disorders and can involve any of the neck tissues. This most common pain usually strained from the poor posture of our neck muscles. Research shows that sleeping on an odd position leads to sore muscles, which cause pain in the neck. Is neck pain is a sign of a heart attack?
“The best sleeping position to avoid neck pain is on your side or your back.” -says Dr. Alissia Zenhausern, the NMD physician at NMD Wellness of Scottsdale,
So, if you are suffering from neck pain, especially during sleep, then it is suggested to change your sleeping position to avoid neck pains.
Several factors work for persisting neck pain. These factors can be evaluated by physical movement or condition, demographics, work environment, and psychological condition. Several studies have run with a cross-sectional sample to identify the risk factor of neck pain. Many studies have found inappropriate workstations as a culprit for neck pain. Besides, high physical workload consistency and uncomfortable work posture also create pressure on the neck region yet.
Physical key factors of neck pain:
Demographic key factors of neck pain:
Office or work environmental key factors of neck pain:
Psychological key factors of neck pain:
The causes of pain in the neck are not always serious. Neck pain can be caused due to many reasons. So the best way to sleep for neck pain are-
1. Avoid using a stiff pillow that keeps your neck flexed overnight. It will result in neck pain
2. Using a feather pillow to keep your spine straight during sleep on your side.
3. Using a horseshoe-shaped pillow to support your head from dropping to one side during car, train, or plane rides.
Neck pain in the left side causes likely due to a pinched nerve and muscle strains. In many cases, the pain subsides on its own or relieves over-the-counter pain and rest.
Due to odd sleeping positions, the tendons and muscles on the side hold stress at your neck. If this pain stays more than a week, you should visit a doctor to serve it.
Is neck pain associated with migraines? In an online survey, the National Headache Foundation found 38% of migraine patients “always” have neck pain and 31% “frequently” have neck pain during migraine headaches. Source
In most cases, migraine patients experience neck pain during a migraine attack. Moreover, migraine headache is rooted in the brain and headaches are caused by eyestrain, stress, tiredness, or trauma. More than half of migraine patients are suffered from limited pain in the upper neck region. Sometimes the pain can be subsided to the lower neck or the shoulder yet.
Neck pain treatment includes anti-inflammatory medication and pain relievers to treat the discomfort. For the first 48 hours, you can also apply ice or hot water therapy on your shoulder, which sometimes proves helpful on neck pain. In the case of arthritis of the shoulder, corticosteroid injections often help reduce neck pain. If the pain is related to the spinal cord, then surgical procedures may need to require the pain. It is also recommended to avoid moving and other painful activities to reduce inflammation as well.
Medicine: Most of the moderate, as well as limited neck pains, usually get well within a week through self-care. But if the pain remains the same after a couple of weeks, then it is recommended to visit a doctor and take proper treatment as well. Usually, doctors prescribe strong pain medicines for pain relief. They also prescribed muscle relaxants and tricyclic antidepressants that you can get over the counter.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapies usually take our neck at correct posture and alignment. These exercises strengthen our neck through ice, heat, and electrical stimulation. Physical therapies help us to ease our pain and prevent a recurrence.
Traction: Different therapies differ from their working methods. Traction uses pulley and weights to stretch your neck gently. This therapy usually runs under a physical therapist or medical professional yet. This therapy provides relief on neck pain. It works well on nerve root irritation related pains, indeed.
Short-term immobilization: Using a soft collar to support your neck can also relief pains also. This soft collar usually takes the pressure off from your neck and gives relief from the neck pain. But, excessive use of this collar can cause much more harm than good also.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: In this therapy, electrodes are placed over the skin of painful areas and produce electrical impulses to relieve the pain.
Steroid Injections: Doctors can inject corticosteroid medicines into the muscle or the nerve root in your neck. Sometimes steroids also injected into the small facet joints of the bones or into the spinal cord also. In some cases, lidocaine and other numbing medications also injected in the neck to help with the pain.
Acupuncture: If you are willing to take alternative treatment, then acupuncture can be an option for you. But, make sure your doctor permission first. In this treatment, thin needles are inserted into the various points on our bodies. Researches have found it helpful to any type of pain. But it shows mix result in neck pain. So, you should be concerned with your doctor and make sure of the benefits and risks, as well. Usually, after several acupuncture sessions, you will get its result indeed. It is safe and also recommended to undergo acupuncture sessions using sterile needles, which are performed by a certified practitioner.
Chiropractic: Chiropractic is mainly performed on the spine. This adjustment employs sudden and controlled force to a joint. But this is a short term pain relief treatment and may cause minimal harm for many people.
Message: Manipulating the neck muscles with hand by a trained practitioner is known as massage. Most of the doctors do not support massage with neck pain. But, for many people, sometimes doctors also recommended massage as well.
Surgery: In some rare cases, the surgery left as an only option for neck pain. Surgery is the last treatment for relieving spinal cord or nerve root commission yet.
Light Exercises: However, light exercises through moving neck and shoulder slowly may help to reduce neck pain. It is doing slow-motion exercises like- side to side, up and down, and ear to ear help to stretch the neck muscles gently.
Use Neck Pillow: It is also advised to sleep on the firm mattress without using any neck pillow, as well. If the pain causes terrible discomfort and continues for several days, then it is highly recommended to visit a doctor and take proper treatment very well. The use of a neck brace without doctor approval is totally prohibited indeed. But you can use special pillows for sleeping and take gentle massage as well. Change of sleeping position and avoiding stand or sit for too long in one position can also reduce neck pain very well.
If you have minor neck pain, then there is nothing to worry about it. We can relieve our neck pain by taking a break from sports and other exercises for a few days. Change of sleeping position with ice or hot water therapy also very effective for neck pain.
Besides, it is very usual to feel the strain at your neck after passing long working hours, but some simple tips will help you to find neck pain relief at your home.
1. Applying ice at your neck for the first few days. If it not works, then apply hot water through the heating pad.
2. Take pain relievers medicine
3. Take a temporary break from sports and other physical workouts
4. Do neck exercises for several days
5. Take a gentle neck massage
6. Avoid placing phone between shoulder and neck
7. Use a special pillow for sleeping
8. Use a neck collar with doctor approval.
9. Don’t hold one position for too long a period.
10. Make sure your computer monitor positioned at your eye level that you can easily see the monitor.
11. Try to keep your glass power up to date, if you wear glasses.
12. Avoid using too many pillows under your head during sleeping.
13. Ensure sound sleep to avoid musculoskeletal pain.
14. Take regular exercise or therapy in the proper technique. But make sure your doctor’s approval as well.
Some of the common symptoms that are seen due to neck pain are usually more or less stiffness. It may include discomfort while moving your neck. In the case of severe neck pain, it may accompany a fever, weakness, weight loss, etc.
Significant causes of neck pain:
Neck pain can be a severe issue at times. As previously told, the above 3 points can help you ease your neck pain that is applying hot or cold compressions, stretching, neck exercises, and using sleeping and relieving pillows. Besides some other ways for neck pain relief could be:
• Water bags, both hot and cold, are a useful way to lower the pain. For the first 2 to 3 days, apply ice pack in the neck than either go for a hot shower or a hot compression. This will lower your pain
• Try doing a bit of stretching and joint exercises to ease your neck. Like moving your neck left-right upward and downwards. Or even you can try gentle message
• Use specialized sleeping pillows.
• Steps may be useful if it’s just a minor pain. But if the pain is beyond tolerance, then it’s high time to have a doctor visit.
• Getting in a proper sleep routine, along with a good sleeping posture.
• Perfect positioning of digital devices mainly in the eye level
• Don’t switch your pillows frequently
• Try to change postures and not staying in one for a long time
• If you have any ophthalmic problem, then try to be in place with your condition and keeping it updated.
These are some of the ways to relieve your neck pain. Besides, you can have some pain relievers to lower or ease your pain. Usually, a little bit of neck pain may not be a severe cause. But t if you have continuous painful neck pain along with weakness weight loss etc. then it is a must to go to your doctor.
From muscle strains to a pinched nerve, neck on the left side causes due to many reasons. But most of them are nothing serious at all. Neck pain on the left side mainly causes due to odd sleeping position or holding the neck at an angle that creates stress on the tendons and muscles of that side. If the pain lasts more than a week, it is recommended to visit a doctor as soon as possible.
Pain often occurs sidewise. Most of the time, it is minor and doesn’t affect much. But if it lasts more than a week with other irregular symptoms, then you should visit a doctor. There are some causes behind this. Some common reasons may be a pinched nerve, inflammation, muscle strain, and so on.
Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Keep moving, but avoid jerking or painful activities.
Neck pain in the right side commonly occurs due to muscle strain. This pain can be treat by taking medications and home remedies. Like right neck pain, it also causes due to the wrong sleeping position or for using too many pillows yet. Again, the firmness of the mattress may also cause right neck pain. Neck Pain on the right side often happens to people. It happens because of strain in the muscle or doing strenuous activities.
People feel a pulling sensation and heaviness on the right side; sometimes, arms go numb, pricking sensation on the right side, painful and weakness too.
The suboccipital muscles forms by a group of muscles at the base of the skull that can cause headache pain in many people, and also tension in muscles can block a nerve and cause pain that covers the head and above eyes.
You can try:
The nerves from the top of the spinal cord to the scalp is known as Occipital nerve. The pain feels in the back of your head can cause intense pain at your neck.
Can neck pain be a sign of something serious?
A brain tumor in the cervical spine can cause stiff neck pain and also form cancer as well. Notably, the brain tumor causes the neck to become sore or stiff. If there is a constant pain in the neck, it can be a symptom of neck cancer, but usually, the symptoms are if there is swelling, sore on the neck that doesn’t heal. However, for severe or prolonged neck pain, it is best to see a doctor.
Best Pillow for Neck Pain
After a long day, you probably expect an excellent peaceful 8 hours of sleep. Don’t you? But the neck is bugging too much? Well, all problems have a solution if they seek. Sometimes just sleeping position will not fix this problem.
Moreover, it won’t relieve you from your cervical woes. Change of sleep position will undoubtedly make a difference, but to get rid of it entirely, you will need a perfect pain reliever pillow. Feather pillows or soft foam pillows will help to be in natural curvature form as well as it will keep your spine straight because the wrong sleeping position might harm our natural structure and causes the dislocation of our bones.
It is scientifically proven that the right material of the neck pain reliever pillow and fixing the sleeping position cure neck arthritis. Water pillows are another option or remedy. It contours your neck area well. The pressing method of this pillow reduces the pain and gives you uninterrupted, refreshing sleep. Indeed, the effectiveness of water pillows is beyond description.
There is a fact, neck pain tends to start in middle age, but it can affect anyone, and resolving this issue with the proper methods may not help them all. Sometimes 10% of them left with chronic problems.
For relief, experts recommend trying or changing sleep position and using the best pillow that will keep your spine arched and also which will also support the neck plus natural curve.
The best pillow for neck pain may cost more than the usual ones. But when it comes to your comfort and relaxation, trust me, it’s worth every penny. You may find cheaper ones out there in the market, but the material, shape, and efficiency of this pillow are incomparable. The quality and effectiveness of this pillow can only be proved by using this.
Moreover, this pillow will last one or two years, which is very convenient for the price range. Regardless, it’s necessary to wash your pillow every six months. Especially if you have allergies or asthma, the manufacturer instructs to wash your pillow regularly. Drying on heat also kills the dust and germs, as well. That will help to reach the ultimate level of remedy.
How to choose the best pillow for neck pain
High-quality pillows provide firm support to your neck. Here are some tips for selecting the best pillow for neck pain-
1. Pillow should be made of feather or memory foam.
2. The pillow shouldn’t be too high stiff at all
“Best pillow to relieve neck and shoulder pain”- by Derek Thomas
If your every morning starts with neck and shoulder pain, then the use of a firm memory foam pillow may play a role in this regard. Contour memory foam pillow features premium fabric and contour design to provide relief from all neck pain yet. As the statement from the company, you can also lower the pillow by removing an 8-inch strip of foam from the back of the pillow. It would be great for side sleepers. For a memory foam pillow- the price is great if you need firm support.
In some cases, the foam sinks under the neck when you are on your back. Sometimes it is very uncomfortable when sleeping on your stomach.
“Very Comfy and fluffy with comfortable wonderful pillows. When the packages arrived, they were vacumn sealed and flat. I wasn’t sure they would ever expand back to the shape but they surely did. They were plump, soft, feel durable. “-Cynthia M.Lisa
A pillow that gently supports neck and shoulder while lying on the side is suited to neck pain side sleepers very well. JOLLYVOGUE 2 Pack Bed Pillows with gussets are overall good for the side sleepers. If you’re extremely sensitive to dust mites – they’re comfortable, cool and seem to be great hypoallergenic pillows!
They have king pillows for “side and back” sleepers as well as USA king pillows. The measurements on the pillows are distinctly different. Mind you, it recommends waiting for 48 hrs to allow to plump back up.
“I can’t really describe how great it felt besides it felt like a cloud”- Daniela
If you are looking for exceptional support for your painful arthritic neck, then an adjustable pillow can be an ideal option to provide comfort against the particular arthritic neck. The perfect pillow for an arthritic neck offers the best support and a more comfortable sleeping position indeed.
it is better for those who do not like a pillow too thick. They’re an inexpensive pillow, and you get what you pay for, always. Go FLAT when you place your head on them. And within two months, the polyester fibers have balled up to discomfort.
Misalignment of the upper spine leads to chronic shoulder pain. So it is recommended to use pillows that maintain good posture during sleep to alleviate this issue. Extra-long side slipper pillows with 6″ height are ideal for keeping the shoulder aligned.
“This pillow is a blessing for stomach sleepers”-Trevor Kaufman
Though stomach sleep isn’t best to sleep in, fellow stomach sleepers stay that way while falling asleep. Plus, if you are pregnant, sleeping on your stomach may be uncomfortable. (Source) An ultra-slim gel-infused memory foam pillow is an excellent option for stomach sleepers. These pillows are comfortable enough to sink your face into it. Studies conducted by Mayo Clinic suggest that stomach sleepers receive more strain to the spine and back, simply because all the weight is exercised on the body’s middle.
These may seem pricey, but not when you compare them to other pillows on the market.
“This pillow has helped with my chronic neck and shoulder muscle pain”- Samuel L.
Memory foam pillows provide great comfort to the neck and support the head. Cervical Contour Pillow is designed according to the curve of human neck, this design helps to achieve proper alignment through the neck and spine when sleeping on the back. This pillow was made of 60 density slow-rebound memory foam to provide exceptional comfort for the head, as well. The pillow mainly for back and side sleepers. The 2 sides(Higher and Lower) of this pillow have different heights and shapes, you can find the most comfortable position whether you sleep on your back or your side.
This is a great product if you sleep on your back and don’t move much. It’s definitely harder memory foam for back sleepers only not for side sleepers.
“The pillow supports my neck no matter how I sleep on it, and yet it is soft and comfortable”-Melani Fox
Mediflow water base pillow is an excellent option to improve overall sleep quality and reduce neck pain. It comes with water level adjustment to make your pillow firm, medium-firm, medium, and soft as well. This pillow is constructed with a resilient polyester fiber top layer and a 100% hypoallergenic cotton shell yet. Mediflow pillow offers 30 days risk-free satisfaction to the users.
” I am freaking obsessed with this pillow!!! It’s the best pillow I’ve ever had!”-kashfi Ajem
Nature’s cervical pillow provides optimal cervical support for a more restful sleep. It comes with a dual zipper design that can be adjusted from soft to medium firmness. This cervical pillow provides optimal back sleeper support to shift from back to side sleeping as well effortlessly. This best pillow is equipped with a premium cotton fabric cover and microfiber support filling indeed.
It’s a little more expensive but you get what you pay for.
Finally, a pillow that is adjustable. This pillow gives you the right amount of gentle curve to your neck so you don’t wake up with cramped muscles and tightness. The pillows are of good quality and have good resilience, which helps to improve your sleep quality.
According to Dr. AlissiaZenhausern, NMD physician at NMD Wellness of Scottsdale. “The best sleeping position to avoid neck pain is on your side or your back.”
Answer: Usually, the medium-soft pillows that feature a memory foam with down alternative features are best for neck pain.
Answer: Yes, pillows can cause neck pains. Soft and conforming pillows cause neck pain indeed.
People who sleep on their side if they use soft pillow suffer from neck pain every time and if they use the wrong pillow too.
Back Sleepers: They need a firm pillow that will keep their neck straight along with the spine.
Stomach Sleepers: they will still suffer after using a thin pillow because they move their heads to their side, and their spine also shifts.
Combination Sleepers: they sleep on both sides, so they should use dent pillow.
Side Sleepers: they need a firm or extra firm pillow made of memory foam or natural latex foam because they are firm to keep head and necks straight.
Answer: Yes. Sleeping without a pillow provides better quality sleep overall. It can be better to sleep without a pillow if you sleep in one position. It can reduce some stress on the neck and straight spine, but it can be harmful to people who sleep on other sides as in the back or side.
Answer: Yes, the memory pillow is suitable for neck pain, indeed. Memory foam pillows offer contouring feel by conforming to our neck and head.
They have special pressure point relieving firm features, which reduces pain in neck, shoulder, and back, it gives relaxation to muscles after hard work.
Many studies have been done regarding neck pain over recent years, and physiotherapy is very beneficial for curing Neck pain. According to the research done by the Global Burden of Disease 2010, Neck Pain ranked the 4th highest in terms of disability.
A five-year history of right side neck and arm pain on a 22year old male, spinal manipulation treatment was done; He saw an increase of 45%in PPT readings.
Gender bias in physician’s management of neck pain
Examinations were conducted in labs for both male and female; it has raised a concern about gender bias in medicines, the school circular is recommended to bring awareness of gender theory and attitudes.
Work environment and neck and shoulder pain: Results from a population-based case study
Both physical and psychosocial exposures in work and wanting care for neck and shoulder pain were found, the risk ratios exceeding 1.5 were found more in women than men.
Answer: Side on your back is the best sleeping position to get relief from neck pain. A round pillow that supports the natural posture of your spine is best for side sleepers. The pillow should be made of feathers or foam.
Answer- yes, contour pillows are best for the neck. If it makes a significant difference in neck pain reduction, indeed, it usually features an ergonomic design that contours your neck and shoulder very well.
Answer- Yes, sleeping without pillows is better for our neck if we don’t feel uncomfortable to sleep yet. It keeps our head flat and reduces the stress from our neck. It also promotes better alignment to keep our spine natural.
Answer: Neck pain is a usual and familiar complaint. Rarely, it can lead to a serious problem. Proper care and rest is the primary treatment for this pain. But if it continues over then a week, then you must go for a doctor check-up to have medical care as well. Overall, neck pain is nothing serious at all.
Surprisingly in every three months, ordinary people like you and me suffer from neck pain. Well, the way we gaze towards digital devices most of the time are often the reason behind this. If your neck pain isn’t a severe or medical issue, the following solutions will help you relieve your neck pain for a minor one:
1. Use water bags (cold or hot)
2. Stretching, light exercise or message
3. Use specialized sleeping pillows.
We will get into a detailed discussion on neck pain relief on the latter part. Their steps may be useful if it’s just a minor pain. But if the pain is beyond tolerance, then it’s high time to have a doctor visit.
Answer: Neck pain is widespread pain. Minor neck pain is suffered more or less by the majority of the people at some point. But continuous painful neck pain is a reason to worry. If it causes terrible pain for an extended period, it can be a sign of cancer indeed. If it so, then you must watch out for the symptoms seriously.
Answer: Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen is the best treatment for neck and shoulder pain. Being a standard tissue neck and shoulder pain can be treated best in the following ways:
• Taking Anti-inflammatory medicines
• Taking pain killers
• Antidepressants can also help
• Lightweight stretching and exercise
• Corticosteroids injections
• Cold or hot compressions
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