Unfortunately, back pain is something most of us deal with at some point in our lives. It’s important to understand the underlying causes and manage our lifestyle choices that may affect back health. Using a pillow for back pain can go a long way in easing symptoms.
Back pain can be part of a chronic condition such as fibromyalgia or an acute pain, caused by injury, sudden strain or exertion.
It can develop over time from lifestyle habits: perhaps from poor posture, wearing the wrong shoes or lack of exercise.
The pain can be in the lower, middle or upper back. Sciatica, a certain pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the back of each leg, is another source of back pain.
In most cases, back pain can be managed or short lived, however there are occasions when you should see a doctor. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should consult your doctor if your back pain is severe.
Find the best sleeping pillow – and sleep well tonight and every night!
Here are the categories of the best pillows for back:
1. Therapeutic Cervical Pillows
Do you suffer from back neck pain? Many people experiencing back, neck and shoulder pain need painkillers or expensive treatments just to get through their daily routine.
However, there is an effective way to ease chronic pain that’s simple and safe – sleeping on a therapeutic cervical pillow. These compact, cylindrical pillows provide support to the head and neck and allow for proper spinal alignment.
One manufacturer of therapeutic cervical pillows, Align-Right, had viewed many customer reviews who claimed that their neck pain had receded or even disappeared after sleeping with the Align-Right pillow.
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Due to the effectiveness of the Align-Right Cylindrical Cervical Pillow in reducing Chronic back and Neck, many doctors and chiropractors began recommending therapeutic cervical pillows to patients. Some insurance companies also cover the cost for their clients.
Choosing a Cervical Pillow
When you select a therapeutic cervical pillow, be sure to select one that can be cleaned and sanitized by putting it into your washer and dryer. The dryer will help to remove any dust mites or allergens that build up.
Other things to consider are the durability and loft of the filling, the construction method, and the materials used for the cover.
Purchase a sized cylindrical therapeutic cervical pillow today – and sleep well tonight!
How it Works
Regular pillows are shaped for the bed, not for the sleeper. If you look at x-rays of a subject lying on a conventional bed pillow, you will note that the vertebrae at the base of the spine are compressed. This in turn can lead to nerve compression and create severe back pain.
An x-ray of a sleeper on a therapeutic cervical pillow, however, shows how the natural curve of the neck is supported, gently stretching neck muscles and allowing space between the vertebrae.
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In addition, regular pillows are standard sizes, despite the size of the sleeper. Therapeutic cervical pillows, on the other hand, are usually available in several sizes. Align-Right, for example, offers five different-sized pillows, customized to individual height, body structure, and what they have termed the "Sleep Triangle,” a measurement taken from the top of the ear down to the top of the neck and from the side of the neck to the outer hard part of the shoulder.
Another factor to consider is your dominant sleeping position. Better pillow makers have pillows that are designed for both back sleepers and side sleepers. Sleeping on your stomach is discouraged, since that causes great neck compression.
2. Lumbar Support Roll Pillow
it’s important for people to incorporate healthy back basics into their daily lives, especially while sitting. A lumbar support roll pillow can go a long way to supporting back health.
A lumbar support roll is a small, tubular like pillow that is shaped to fit in the natural curve of the spine in the lumbar region.
Some lumbar support roll pillows are small and light enough that they can be compressed into a small carrying case, making them easy to carry around.
They can be used anywhere you sit e.g. in the car, at work, at home or in an airplane, giving consistent support where it is needed.
These pillows should be firm enough to support the back and keep their shape, yet soft enough to conform to the area you want to use it in. Many are machine washable.
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Most importantly, a lumbar support roll pillow should be supportive and comfortable, helping maintain overall back health.
The lumbar region refers to the area of the lower back where the spine curves inward towards the abdomen.
The muscles in this region are used for lifting, twisting and bending. The spine in the lumbar region supports the most body weight. It is home to the largest nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve.
The lumbar region is also an area susceptible to injury and misuse. When sitting, it is important to have the abdominal muscles engaged, the spine in alignment and the lumbar region supported to prevent slouching.
A lumbar support roll pillow can help the body sit properly.
Managing Back Pain
Once you are sure there is no underlying medical problem or injury, it’s time to look at the causes of back pain and how to manage it.
The right practitioner can often help diagnose the underlying problem and offer solutions. You may want to consult your doctor or other reliable practitioner, such as a:
- Registered Massage Therapist
For long-term back health, you should assess your lifestyle choices. Are you exercising properly? How is your posture when you sit at your desk? Do you often carry a heavy purse or bag? Are you making repetitive movements incorrectly? Are you overweight? When you lift heavy objects, are you straining your back? What position are you sleeping in? Do you have a pillow that eases back pain?
Finding a Pillow for Back Pain
Sleeping with the spine aligned in the correct position can go a long way to easing back pain, giving over-stretched muscles a chance to relax.
Proper alignment begins with the neck, hence finding the correct pillow can be the first step towards back health.
When choosing a sleeping pillow, find one that fits the natural curve of your neck, holding your spine in the proper position. Look for a therapeutic pillow that has been clinically proven to work.
Beware of pillows that comes as one-size-fits-all, but rather look for one that comes in various sizes to suit your body shape.
Consider whether you sleep on your back or side. Older pillows can become moldy, harboring skins cells, dust mites, fungus and mildew, so you should plan on replacing your pillow more often, preferably with one that is machine washable.
Some therapeutic pillows may be covered by medical insurance plans. Those suffering from back pain due to fibromyalgia, have also found symptoms eased, when using the proper pillow.
Sleeping with a proper fitting pillow can go a long way towards easing back pain, allowing you to have a more comfortable sleep.
How to Choose a Pillow
Pillows have four main distinguishing characteristics.
- Size is something we don’t often consider. Regular pillows come in a single size, or may be designated Standard, Queen, and King.
Therapeutic pillows, however, are available in various sizes, depending on your height, body structure, and other factors. You may also want to consider whether you need a pillow that’s small enough to transport easily.
- Filling should be high quality. Memory polyester Hollofil fiber is the gold standard for therapeutic pillows, as it’s durable, resilient, hypoallergenic, and retains fluffiness. It can also be machine washed and dried.
- Construction varies greatly, from machined foam or water bags to blown or stuffed foam pieces. High-quality therapeutic pillows are weighed and hand-rolled for precise, size-appropriate support. The cover should be made of cotton or another natural and easily machine-washed fabric.
- Shape is perhaps the most crucial element when you are facing sleep problems. Conventional pillows are rectangular or square. While these may be good for interior decorating, they don’t begin to address the issue of comfort or proper spinal alignment.
A Healthy Back Lifestyle
Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors. It can be part of a chronic condition such as Fibromyalgia, or an acute pain caused by an injury, sudden strain or exertion.
Often, back pain can be caused by poor lifestyle habits. The way we sleep, the way we walk and the way we sit can affect our back health, especially over time. In most cases, back pain can be managed or short lived. However, it is essential to see a doctor when back pain is severe or spreading, does not dissipate with medication or rest, or if there is a numbing or tingling in the legs.
Once any underlying medical conditions have been ruled out, it’s important to look at the way our everyday habits can affect back health. The way we sleep can be an important factor. Sleeping on a supportive mattress with a proper fitting pillow can help keep the spine correctly aligned.
The way we sit can also be a big a contributor to back health. Due to modern lifestyles, many people sit for longer periods during their day while working, travelling and leisure time. Therefore, it is important to have the spine in proper alignment while sitting i.e. with the lumbar region supported.