Sleep is extremely important as it is the time that the body can rest and replenish its energy stores and allow for healing. In fact we spend most of our time during a lifetime asleep.
Headaches, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Muscular Pain & Spasm, Pins & Needles in the hands or arms may all be symptoms associated with using the wrong pillow or with poor sleeping position.
What is the function of a pillow?
The role of a good pillow is to support the cervical spine (the neck) and to fill the gap between the head and the shoulder to alleviate stress otherwise placed on the nerves of the cervical spine and on the shoulder. This is achieved by maintaining proper alignment of the neck.
- The Cervical spine is made of 7 vertebrae (C1-C7) with 8 accompanying spinal nerves on each side. The role of the cervical spine is to protect the spinal cord, support the head and create movement of the neck.
- The Cervical nerves have varying roles including innervating the muscles of the neck, shoulders and arms and if irritated they may affect the immune system, allergies, sinuses, energy levels and balance or cause migraines & headaches.
1. When trying a new pillow put it against a wall with your head against it. Your head should be neutral and not be pushed away from the wall or tilt towards the wall.
2. Try before you buy - at Crystal Street Chiro, we prefer that you take the pillow home with you for a night or two and see if it is the right pillow for you. There are different heights and materials available. It is important to find the right style for your neck and needs.
Why sleep on a Memory Foam/Latex Pillow?
Feather and Down pillows conform to the head and neck. They are usually soft and snuggly but do not give the spine the support that is needed.
Memory Foam and Latex pillows are firmer pillows which mould to the contour of the neck whilst still stabilising the spine. The contour pillows also have a ridge that simulates the lordosis (neck curve), thus supporting the neck in the correct alignment. They also create space between the head and shoulder allowing for the muscles in the area to relax.
Food for Thought!
A pillow is meant to give the body support and comfort so that the body is in alignment during times of rest. The spine contains important nerves, which are vital for the functioning of the body. These need to be protected.
You have to sleep for at least 7 hours a night for the rest of your life therefore choosing the correct pillow is highly important!