If neck pillows are new territory for you, you probably have a handful of questions. What is a cervical pillow? Is it good to sleep with a neck pillow? What do people use cervical pillows for? The sections below will answer all these questions so you understand how neck pillows work and how they can help you!
What Is A Cervical Pillow
Have you ever wondered: what is a cervical pillow? A cervical pillow can align your neck and spine to enhance comfort and reduce pain or soreness. These pillows support your neck at the optimal position, and the shape guides your neck and head to achieve the ideal angles and positions during the night. Your cervical pillow should be plumper where your neck will rest and more compressed where your head will lay. Instead of your neck pressing into the pillow at an uncomfortable angle, the cervical pillow gives extra neck support, so your head and neck are aligned perfectly. These pillows can be cold foam, memory foam, or other materials. But the important aspect is the ergonomic shape that can help your neck and improve sleep quality.
Cervical Pillow Uses:
So, what are cervical pillows used for? There are many reasons and ways to use a cervical pillow. Even the healthiest people can benefit from a quality neck pillow, reducing future pain and soreness and promoting spine health. Below are some of the top reasons people use cervical pillows and how they can help you:
Neck Pain: If you suffer from neck pain, soreness, and stiffness, it likely relates to how you sleep or relax. A cervical pillow can substantially reduce or eliminate pain, improving overall comfort and quality of life.
Neck or Spine Injuries: Neck and spine injuries are no joke, and the healing process is long and arduous. Using a cervical pillow can help relieve pain and stress on the spine. It can also help your spine and neck heal in the correct position to prevent permanent curvatures.
Improve Sleep: People with insomnia or poor-quality sleep can benefit from a cervical pillow. The proper neck support can enhance comfort, leading to more stable sleep patterns, so you wake up refreshed and ready!
Reduce Headaches and Migraines: A cervical pillow likely won’t remedy all migraines and headaches but can reduce chronic headaches and migraines caused by neck stress.
Snoring: If you or your partner snore aggressively during sleep, a cervical pillow can help reduce the noise and make breathing during sleep easier. This cervical pillow use is one of the simplest ways to benefit from a neck pillow!
These are just the top cervical pillow uses, but these pillows can benefit people in many ways.
Therapeutic Types of Pillows
Therapeutic pillows are not all the same. Below are three of the most common therapeutic pillows to enhance comfort and reduce pain.
Housing or displacement pillows provide optimal support to relieve tensions and let your ligaments, joints, and bones relax and elongate properly. These pillows are well-constructed to surround your head and neck and keep them elevated and properly aligned. Essentially, these pillows guide your head and neck to the proper position to relieve any related pain or sleep issues. These pillows are ideal for people recovering from surgery or an injury, as they are more rigid in alignment but still comfortable.
Orthopedic Support Pillows
Orthopedic pillows are a bit softer and offer more flexible support. These pillows have contours that comfortably support your neck and head in different positions. Housing pillows usually require you to sleep on your back, but orthopedic support pillows give you more freedom to move your head and neck during sleep and readjust your position. Orthopedic pillows support healthy rest and are one of the most common therapeutic pillows people sleep with nightly. They can be made from various materials but are most commonly foam.
Combination pillows are the most flexible kind of therapeutic pillow. They are a cross between the pillows mentioned above and a standard sleeping pillow. These pillows typically look like standard pillows at first glance, but when you touch them, you’ll notice a higher density and adjustability. The pillows feature moveable stuffing that you can shift inside the pillow to create a more ergonomic shape to accommodate any soreness. Some people find housing or orthopedic pillows too rigid and awkward, which is not uncommon. Combination pillows are the perfect option if you want a more supportive pillow for your neck and head but want to stay as close to a standard pillow as possible. They can use memory foam, goose down, or polyester fillers, so they feel like a typical pillow but with more shape.
Essential Components of a Pillow
Understanding a cervical pillow is easier if you know the essential components. Cervical and therapeutic pillows enhance every pillow component to optimize sleeping alignment and neck support.
- Filling: The filling is essential, as it wouldn’t be a pillow without stuffing! Some pillows are thick and plump, while others are thin and flat. Some use down feathers, while others feature foam filling. The filling heavily impacts how comfortable the pillow will be and how much support it offers the user.
- Cover: Since you don’t sleep on a pile of feathers or an exposed foam block, you know the pillow cover is essential. This cover is not the pillowcase nor an exterior cover or sham. But this pillow cover is not removable and contains the filling.
- Shape: Pillows come in all shapes, and this feature is important. Contoured pillows can offer more support, and plump pillows may be more luxurious and comfortable. But flat pillows can be beneficial too, depending on how you sleep.
- Size: The size of your pillow is important, as selecting a small one can make sleeping more difficult and uncomfortable. But large pillows can be conducive to unhealthy sleeping positions and movement, so there is a happy medium you need to find.
Do Cervical Pillows Work?
So, do cervical pillows work, or is it just a ruse? They absolutely work! As mentioned, even people with no neck or sleep issues can benefit from the added support and proper alignment. There is research that suggests that proper cervical support can relieve soreness, pain, and stiffness while enhancing the quality of sleep. Not every therapeutic or cervical pillow will suit every individual. The shape, material, contours, and many other factors determine the ideal pillow for your body and needs. But if you find the right pillow, it can make a world of difference, helping you feel more rested and comfortable. So the pillows work if you find the perfect fit for your body
Is It Good to Sleep With a Neck Pillow?
If you are still wondering: is it good to sleep with a neck pillow? The answer is almost always yes. There are a few scenarios where a neck pillow will be unhelpful or harmful for the user. If you’re unsure if a neck pillow is right for you, consult your doctor before choosing one. But people who suffer from neck pain, back discomfort, or morning stiffness and soreness find cervical pillows immensely helpful in relieving these problems. If you struggle with neck discomfort, consider trying a cervical pillow while sitting on the couch or lying in bed to see how it feels. If you like it, use it for a few nights and assess if you feel better rested and at ease in the morning!