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Is my pillow causing headaches and neck pain?
Is My Pillow Causing My Headaches or Neck Pain? Neck pain affects roughly a quarter of the population at some point in their life.
This tends to lead to the question: is my pillow giving me neck pain? Is my pillow making my headaches worse? What pillow do I use to help get rid of my neck pain and headaches? With so many different pillow products on the market how do you know which one to get? There are different materials, like foam or feathers. And different heights to choose from too! Studies have actually shown that pillows can either increase or decrease neck pain. Depending on the pillow, some people have also woken up with their headache being worse or better. There is no universal pillow out there that is best for everyone. The type of pillow however, does need to be specific to your body and sleeping style. Once this is found, your neck pain and headaches should improve.
How do I Know What Pillow to Choose?
There isn’t a lot of supporting evidence out there but some studies have found certain types of pillows to be superior than others. Feather pillows are not as supportive as latex or foam pillows.
What about regular versus the contoured shape?
Studies have actually determined that it doesn’t matter, as long as the pillow is firmer, usually made of memory foam. Sleeping behaviour/position is also important to find the right pillow. Different pillows are needed for different sleeping positions like:
- Side sleeper
- Back sleeping
- Tummy sleepers
Once you know the position and type of pillow you’d like, it’s important that it’s sized properly. Your neck and shoulder need to be supported and fitted well. This will give the most relief to your neck pain and headaches. Sometimes people may experience shoulder pain too! It’s important that you get your pillow properly assessed for alignment and height. Our physiotherapists look for this when recommending pillows and make sure your neck and body is properly positioned. We spend about a third of our life sleeping! Make it the best sleep possible with the right pillow.