Do you ever wake up in the morning rubbing your neck and reaching for the painkillers? Do you find yourself having to turn your whole body things to look at things? If so, your pillow might just be the culprit of your neck pain, back pain, or shoulder pain.
Having the right pillow can be the key to relieving your neck pain. Neck pillows are designed to provide the perfect support you need to wake up pain-free. Read on to learn more about the benefits of using a memory foam neck pillow and to see if it's the best pillow for you
What Is Memory Foam?
Before we dive into the benefits of a memory foam neck pillow, let’s talk a little about what memory foam actually is. Memory foam is a polymer called polyurethane that’s spun into a dense, durable foam. As the foam absorbs your body heat, it softens, molding to the contours of your body without sacrificing support.
There are three basic types of memory foam: traditional, open-cell, and gel. Open-cell memory foam has a different internal structure that makes it easier for air to move within the material. Gel memory foam has a cooling gel pumped into it that helps to combat traditional memory foam’s tendency to hold onto your body heat.
Causes of Neck Pain
There are a number of things that can cause you to have neck pain. One of the most common causes in our modern age is poor ergonomics. We spend a lot of time craning our heads down to look at phones, tablets, computers, and the like, all of which places strain on our necks.
Stress can also cause neck pain as the muscles there tense and spasm. Conditions like arthritis and bone spurs can impact the bones and nerves in your neck, causing pain. And as anyone who’s ever woken up with a crick in their neck knows, the wrong sleep position on your pillows can cause neck pain.
Impact of Neck Pain
People who do not suffer from chronic neck pain may not realize what a huge impact it can have on your life. When your neck hurts, it can make it hard to perform any of the normal tasks of daily life. Working, cooking, caring for your family, driving, and even eating can become painful ordeals.
This pain can be annoying if it lasts for a day or two, but if it lasts for years, it can begin to rob you of your quality of life. You may begin to withdraw from your family and friends since everything you do with them causes you pain. This can leave you vulnerable to anxiety and depression, as well as damaging your relationships.
What Is a Neck Pillow?
If your neck pain is caused by muscle strain or poor sleeping posture, a neck pillow can help to resolve the issue. A neck pillow is a specialty pillow whose shape is designed to keep your head and neck in a more natural sleeping position. In essence, these orthopedic pillows help to maintain the lordotic curve of your spine.
When you are sitting upright, your spine extends up in a straight line to your skull, which sits evenly on top of your spinal column. But when you lay down on a normal pillow, your head gets pushed to one side, tilting your neck out of line. The best pillows for neck pain are designed to maintain that normal curve from your neck up to your head, even while you’re lying down.
Prevent Cricks in Your Neck
Have you ever woken up in the morning with a crick in your neck? This sharp pain is an unpleasant reminder that you slept wrong on your neck. Oftentimes, this “wrong” position is the result of your head getting shoved into an odd, strained position by a firm pillow.
A cervical support pillow helps to keep your head in the place it is naturally meant to rest. Keeping your head aligned over your spine can allow your muscles to rest in the positions they’re meant to be in. No more waking up with a sharp pain in the side of your neck and having to turn your full body to look at things all day.
Keep Your Spine Aligned
You won’t be surprised to learn that when your head gets shoved into unnatural positions, it impacts the rest of your spine. Under ordinary circumstances, your spine should extend in one long, straight line from your hips up to the base of your head. But when your head is propped up on the wrong pillow, it can force the top of your spine into a curve that can strain the soft tissues in your neck.
This type of pillow will restore your spine to its original alignment. When your head is in a healthier position, your entire spine, from cervical to lumbar, will be able to remain in a straight line. This ergonomic design can prevent pinched nerves, muscle and ligament strains, and radiating pain in your neck and back.
No Need for Flipping
How many times throughout the night would you estimate you wake up and flip your pillow over? It can be nice to find the cool side of your pillow, but flipping the pillow also places the filling that has been shoved out from under your head back under your neck. That is, until you move around a little more and all that filling gets shoved out of the way again.
This need for constant flipping can disrupt your sleep and leave you tired the next morning. But you’ll never need to flip a memory foam neck pillow so you're sure to get a good night's sleep. These pain free pillows are designed only to give way in the places you need them to, providing constant support to your neck without propping your head up at a strange angle and without needing to be constantly adjustable.
Does your partner complain that you snore like a chainsaw when you sleep? Have you ever been tested for sleep apnea, a condition that can cause not only snoring but also long-term sleep deprivation? What would you say if we told you a memory foam neck pillow could help you stop snoring and sleep better?
Snoring is caused by the muscles in the back of the throat relaxing and allowing your soft palate to fall down and block your airway. As you might imagine, that blockage gets worse if your neck is bent at a strange angle, pinching off your airway further. It's also common for back sleepers. Sleeping on a memory foam neck pillow can straighten out your neck, allowing you more room to breathe naturally and reducing snoring.
Get Neck Support
If you’ve recently suffered a neck injury, your neck may need a little extra TLC while you heal. One common neck injury is whiplash, a condition commonly associated with car accidents. The head whips forward and then backward in quick succession when you collide, straining the muscles and tendons in your neck.
The last thing you want to do while those soft tissues are healing up is to put extra strain on them. You need a contour pillow that will cradle your neck and give those tissues the rest they need to heal properly. A memory foam neck pillow will provide the gentle chiropractic support you need while you’re recovering.
Relieve Pressure Points
We may not think about it very often, but our beds and pillows exert more pressure on certain parts of our bodies than others. Imagine you’re lying on a fabric that registers different levels of pressure in different colors. Think about which points on your body would be lighting up the brightest – your shoulders, hips, and head are likely to be the three “biggest” points, especially if you're a side sleeper.
When our beds and pillows don’t give enough to our body weight, our entire body weight winds up resting on these pressure points during side sleeping. This can reduce circulation, cause additional bone wear, mess with your spine alignment, and create a host of other problems. But because memory foam softens with body heat, your weight will be distributed evenly, relieving those pressure points.
Many people who suffer from allergies find that traditional pillows cause them problems. Many pillows use feather down, which is a common allergen. And even pillows that don’t have down in them can harbor dust, bacteria, mites, and other allergy triggers.
But because memory foam pillows are made from a solid, dense foam structure, they don’t have much room to harbor allergens. They themselves are completely hypoallergenic. And cleaning them is a simple matter of stripping off the outer covering and washing it like you would any other pillowcase.
Get a Pillow That Lasts
How often do you usually buy new pillows? Most people find that traditional pillows last them less than a year. And if you are stretching your pillows out for two or three years, chances are they’re worn out enough that they’re making your neck problems even worse.
Memory foam pillows can help break you out of the cycle of replacing your pillows every six months. Because they are made of one solid material, they take much longer to break down. A memory foam neck pillow can be expected to last at least three years, and possibly longer with proper care, and our warranty ensures that you never have to worry about it.
Avoid Lumpy Pillows
Have you ever spent an uncomfortable night trying to punch lumpy pillows into shape? Oftentimes, filling in cheap pillows tends to clump up. Not only are you left with the neck strain of traditional pillows, but you also have filling where you don’t want it and none where you do want it.
High-quality memory foam does not form any lumps, both because of the way the ergonomic pillows are constructed and because of the material itself. Memory foam pillows are usually solid, rather than being a sack filled with some sort of stuffing. And even if you get a pillow with shredded memory foam fill, lumps would simply melt out of the way as the material conformed to your shape.
Types of Memory Foam Pillows
There are a few different types of memory foam pillows even within the neck pillow category. The two primary types are contour or traditional memory foam pillows and shredded memory foam pillows. Contour and traditional pillows are made from one solid piece of foam encased in a machine-washable sleeve.
Shredded memory foam pillows have thousands of small shreds of memory foam packed inside a casing. This helps to promote air circulation through the pillow and keep it from becoming too hot while it provides you with pain relief. But don’t worry – these shreds are tightly molded together, so you won’t have to worry about any lumps.
What to Look for in a Pillow
When you’re shopping for a memory foam neck pillow, there are a few things you’ll want to look out for. First of all, opt for a firmer pillow when you can find one. This will provide you with more neck support and, thanks to the moldable nature of memory foam, you won’t have to worry about it being too hard.
You’ll need to decide whether you want a traditional memory foam pillow, gel foam, or shredded foam. If you’re a hot sleeper, opt for one of the latter two, since they tend to be a little cooler. And if you have allergies or other sensitivities, make sure the pillow you select is certified hypoallergenic. You should also consider the way you sleep, because neck pillows may not be the most effective choice for stomach sleepers.
Get the Best Neck Pillows for You
Neck pain can have a severe impact on your life, from limiting your work activities to cutting into the time you spend with your family. Memory foam neck pillows can help you reclaim your life. Look for a sleeper pillow that will support your neck and suit your sleeping style and stop letting pain rule your world. Improve your sleep quality with a cervical pillow today, because you deserve it.
If you’d like to find more tools to make your life as comfortable as possible, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. In addition to memory foam pillows, we offer travel accessories, humidifiers, oil diffusers, and more. Shop our collections today and discover what it means to live a truly comfortable life.