A few days ago I wrote a guide to choosing a mattress so it seemed like a natural next step to include some information on the importance of pillows for your back care.

Pillows are there to support your head and neck and to ensure your normal spine curves are maintained. When lying on your back, propping your head up too high will aggravate your lower back, and if your neck arches back too much this can also strain your lower back as it is difficult to relax.

If you’re lying on your side, your pillows should be thick enough to keep your head and neck horizontal – not pushed up or dropping down. You can use pillows in other ways:

  • A pillow under the knees when you’re on your back is often more comfortable than lying flat out.
  • A pillow between your knees when you’re on your side will often keep your top leg from slipping forwards and twisting your lower back painfully.
  • A small pillow (or folded towel) around your waist when lying in bed can make things more comfortable – whether your on your side or back.

You can buy pillows (‘orthopaedic pillows’) which are shaped to support the curves of your neck. They fill the hollow of your neck and support this while also supporting your head. These are a good idea in principal. However, finding one the right size for you might prove difficult. As mentioned above the pillow should fill the hollow of your neck (whether lying on your back or side).

Sometimes a good feather pillow is the best at doing this job. If you are keen on an orthopaedic pillow try a friend’s or see if the company will give you your money back if it turns out to be wrong for you.

I hope that goes some way towards explaining the importance of pillows for your back care and if you have any questions about neck and shoulder pain – or back pain feel free to call the active-x clinic on 0131 221 1415.