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Pillows: Chiropractor Approved

By Sara Butler

Your pillow is a small thing, but it plays a big role in your spinal health and overall wellness. Of course, you want a pillow to be comfortable, but you also must find a pillow that will do its job properly. The chiropractors at The Joint aren’t here to tell you what brand of pillow to buy to properly support the alignment of your neck and spine, but they can tell you what to look for generally that will keep you from a neck injury as you sleep. Here are four tips to help you select the right pillow.

Thickness

A pillow should support your head so that it is in a neutral position as you sleep. Anything other than a neutral position for your neck as you sleep can cause headaches, numbness, tingling, and sore muscles. Don’t buy a pillow that is too large or small -- you have to find one that is just the right size and thickness.

You can find the right pillow for you fairly easily. Lie down on your back and make sure the pillow is filling the gap between your head and shoulders. Then think about your posture in the position you’re in. Is your ear in line with your shoulder? If your head is propped up too much or dips down, then this isn’t the pillow for you.

Shape

You may think of a pillow in its classic rectangular form, but pillows have evolved! You don’t necessarily need one of the fancy contoured pillows to get the support you need. Rather than focus on shape, you should focus on your sleeping position.

The chiropractors at The Joint suggest different pillows for different sleeping positions. If you sleep:

  • On your back – You need a pillow that is thinner to keep your head and neck neutral.
  • On your side – A firm pillow you can place between your shoulder and ear would help.

The pillows with the cervical curves aren’t necessary for side sleepers but may be beneficial if you’re primarily a back sleeper.

No matter what kind of pillow you choose, just remember to change them often. Two years is about the life of a pillow before it gets too flat to offer any good support. Also wash your pillows regularly. You lose skin cells at night and the pillow collects oils from your skin -- both of which are beacons to dust mites. If you have questions, ask the chiropractors at The Joint for help!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Worth, Tex.

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