Do you ever get to the end of a long workday and find that all you want to do is go lay down and try to get the pain to go away? Do you reach for painkillers around lunchtime? Do you wish there was an easy solution to help you live the life you had before the pain set in?
If any of this sounds familiar, the right pillow for your aches and pains could give you your life back. Read on to learn which support pillow you should get and how it can restore your body to a pain-free existence.
Common Causes of Back Pain
Before we reveal the pillow you should get to help with your aches and pains, let’s talk about some common causes of back pain. Of course, one of the most common causes of back pain is injury. Whether you tried to lift something too heavy or tweaked your back at the company softball game, injury can put you on the sidelines for a while.
However, back pain can also be the result of long-term strain. Bad posture can have a serious impact on your back health, as we’ll discuss more in a moment. Your back pain may also be the result of a more serious condition like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.
Impact of Back Pain
Back pain can have more of an impact on your life than simply making you uncomfortable. It can make it hard to perform your job, which may have a negative impact on your career. It can also make it hard to participate in family activities, leaving you to isolate yourself, fighting your pain.
Over time, isolating yourself from your friends and family can increase your risk of anxiety and depression. You may begin to feel as though life isn’t worth living if you can’t do anything you love to do without suffering back pain. What began as a twinge in your back could become something that steals your life from you.
Importance of Good Posture
Good posture is the key to living a life free of back pain. When you practice bad posture, you place extra strain on your joints, muscles, and connective tissues.
Over time, your back will begin to hurt because of this strain. You’ll start to slouch further to compensate for the pain, and a vicious cycle will begin. Over time, your muscles will start to weaken where you’re compensating, which will make it even harder for you to maintain good posture.
When you practice good posture, you keep your body aligned the way it was meant to be. Your muscles that hold you upright will get stronger, making it easier for you to keep good posture.
Common Causes of Bad Posture
Unfortunately, good posture is a difficult thing for many of us to maintain these days. Most people have the best posture when they’re standing. But we spend our days sitting at desks, hunched over keyboards and paperwork, tugging our backs and hips out of line.
Your office chair may not be the only culprit in your bad posture, however. Many people sleep on beds and pillows that are not designed to keep their bodies properly aligned. Spending eight hours a night with your back pulled out of line can impact your posture throughout your waking hours, too.
Which Pillow You Should Get
So what’s this one miracle pillow that’s going to help resolve some of your aches and pains? If you’re going to pick one support pillow to address back pain, we’d recommend you get a combo lumbar support pillow and seat cushion. This pillow will get you the most bang for your buck in terms of addressing pain and helping you to practice better posture.
A lumbar support pillow slides in behind the curve of your low back. It helps to support your spine and the muscles there, as well as pulling you into a better upright position. A seat cushion helps to remove pressure from your hips and tailbones and gently shifts your hips into a healthier position.
What Is Memory Foam?
More than any specific pillow, if you want to fix back pain, we’d recommend you get a memory foam pillow. Memory foam is a dense polymer that’s designed to soften as it gets warmer. As your pillow absorbs your body heat, it gives way under the areas of highest pressure without losing support in the areas that need it.
No matter what sort of pillow you wind up getting, make sure it’s made of memory foam. This will give you a custom-molded support that adjusts as your posture changes. It will keep you in a healthier position without putting additional pressure on your body, giving you a chance to heal.
Remove Pressure from Your Back
One of the best reasons to start with a lumbar support pillow is that it helps to remove pressure from your back. When you slouch, your weight can tend to sit heavier on your low back. You may begin to slide down in your chair to support your upper back, putting greater strain on your low back muscles.
A lumbar support pillow provides gentle support for your back muscles while helping to keep you in a better posture. Your weight doesn’t sit as heavily on your low back, which eliminates your need to slouch. This can help to relieve spasming muscles and give them a chance to rest, restoring your posture.
Support Your Spine
One of the common problems people encounter with lumbar support pillows is that while they do support their back muscles, they place more pressure on their spines. It’s hard to strike a balance between firm enough to provide solid support and soft enough to give under pressure from the spine. This is why it’s so important to get a memory foam lumbar support pillow.
Because memory foam softens as it warms, it gives way only under the areas of highest pressure. This means that your pillow will mold to the unique shape of your spine. You won’t have to cope with sore bones as the price of supported muscles; just pure comfort all the way through.
Give Your Muscles a Chance to Heal
Whether you’ve suffered an injury or you’ve just had bad posture, your muscles may need time to heal. Unfortunately, trying to practice better posture without good lumbar support can be counterproductive. This just strains your muscles further, causing more pain and forcing you to compensate for that pain and muscle weakness.
A memory foam lumbar support cushion takes a load off your muscles, giving them time to rest and heal. Once your muscles have recovered, they can begin to strengthen so you can maintain good posture on your own. But the key to good posture is first breaking that negative cycle, and a lumbar support pillow can help you do that.
Realign Your Hips
A lumbar support pillow can go a long way towards improving your posture and relieving your pain. But your back and hips are connected, and if your hips are out of line, it doesn’t matter if you have the finest lumbar support in the world. You’re still going to wind up with extra strain on your lumbar region.
A seat cushion can help pull your hips into a healthier position that’s more in line with your back. When your hips are aligned properly, maintaining good posture will become more natural. You’ll sit taller, and everything from your ribs down will ache less.
Redistribute Your Weight
Have you ever noticed after you get up from sitting for a while that parts of your hips and rear are asleep? Normal seat cushions place most of our weight on one or two certain spots. Even “ergonomic” chairs can place your weight in odd places, causing all manner of problems.
Memory foam seat cushions help to redistribute your weight more evenly across your entire seat. Because it gives under the areas of highest pressure, it makes sure every area carries the same amount of weight. This can prevent things from going to sleep, as well as more serious problems.
Improve Your Circulation
When various parts of your body go to sleep, it’s caused by veins being compressed and blood flow being cut off to the area. In addition to causing that annoying prickling sensation, reduced circulation can cause some other health problems. Chief among these is raising your risk of deep vein thrombosis or other clotting conditions.
Because memory foam distributes your weight evenly, it doesn’t compress your blood vessels. This helps your blood to keep flowing, reducing your risk of clots. If you sit down for most of the day, this can be a very important way to lower your risk of pulmonary embolisms or strokes.
Relieve Pressure Points
Sitting on a chair with a normal cushion can also put pressure on some specific points in your body. Your hips and tailbone tend to carry a little more of your weight than the rest of your body. If you have osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, sitting on these bones all day can become very painful.
Memory foam helps to relieve pressure points, keeping you pain-free all day. The best seat cushions are thick enough that, although the material gives under those pressure points, there’s still plenty of padding to cushion them. Some seat cushions even have a cutout for your tailbone to relieve pressure and promote healing there.
Support Your Legs
Do you find that when you sit down in your chair, the backs of your knees aren’t touching the seat? Having your legs jammed up like this can put extra strain on your knees. Your legs may also have pressure points that need support while you’re at your desk.
A memory foam seat cushion supports your legs all the way out to the knee. It ensures that your knees stay at a 90-degree angle to prevent strain. Many of the best seat cushions even have separate sections for each leg to ensure you’re supported from tip to toe.
Other Helpful Pillows
Although a memory foam lumbar support and seat cushion are a great place to start, there are lots of other supportive pillows you can get to ease aches and pains.
Beyond those two, the first pillow you should get is a memory foam head pillow for your bed. This will help to support your neck and keep your head aligned while you sleep.
Your next purchase beyond the head pillow should be a pillow to go between your knees. These pillows will remove pressure from your hips, support your knees, and keep your spine aligned throughout the night.
If you want to get another pillow for the office, look into a memory foam footrest. This is especially important if your feet don’t quite touch the floor to remove pressure from your knees.
Find the Right Pillow for Your Aches and Pains
Living with constant pain can have a tremendous negative impact on your life. But finding the right pillow for your aches and pains can make your life fuller and happier. Start with a lumbar support and seat cushion, but know that there are many other memory foam pillows that can give your body the support it needs, too.
If you’d like to find the best memory foam pillows on the market, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We have everything from memory foam pillows and seat cushions to humidifiers and essential oil diffusers. Shop our collections today and start living your most comfortable, pain-free life.