What are Chiropractic Pillows and Do You Need One?

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation.

Here’s an eye-opening fact: You spend a whopping one-third of your life in bed. Considering how much time you spend snuggled up to your pillow, it’s important that you use one that’s right for you. And if you have neck or back pain, a chiropractic pillow might be the best choice. Never heard of one? Don't worry. Find out more about this funny-looking pillow, below.

What Are Chiropractic Pillows?

Also called a cervical pillow, a chiropractic pillow is contoured to support the neck properly so that when you rest your head on it, your spine maintains its natural, neutral shape. This posture can help ward off neck pain, which can occur when you sleep on a pillow that doesn’t properly cradle your neck. There is an indentation in the middle of a chiropractic pillow, so the top, bottom, and sides of it are fluffier than the center. Most chiropractic pillows are designed for sleeping on your back, though some work if you sleep on your side. They are also helpful if you suffer from whiplash, tension headaches, or arthritis

What Are They Made Out Of?

The materials used in chiropractic pillows differ from brand to brand. Some are constructed of memory foam (a material that helps your body regulate its temperature on hot or cold nights). Others are inflatable or filled with water, and those tend to be lighter and more portable. Your physician or chiropractor will be able to help determine which style is best for you.

Do They Work?

Compared with conventional pillows, cervical pillows have been found to reduce neck discomfort—especially pain that occurs in the morning—after four weeks of use. But proper usage is important, so talk to your doctor or chiropractor about how to correctly position your head on the pillow.

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