Neck pain can be problematic for many seniors and can occur for a variety of reasons. One common cause has to do with sleeping on a pillow which isn’t exactly right for a particular person. Taking special care to select the right pillow and to sleep on it correctly can have a positive impact on annoying neck pain.
But what kind of special care tips should seniors know regarding their pillows? Here are a few things to consider.
- Stay parallel. Ideally, a pillow should be parallel to the bed rather than raised or pointing downward. This places less stress on the neck and prevents cricks and soreness. Choose a pillow that is the right height or that properly follows the contours of the neck and head in order to achieve this goal.
- Choose the filling with special care. What goes inside the pillow makes a big difference in terms of comfort. Feather pillows are very popular, but they provide the least neck support. That’s because the feathers follow a person’s lead — when the person moves, so do the feathers — so there’s very little support. Buckwheat pillows offer more support for side sleepers, but not so much for back or stomach sleepers. However, buckwheat pillows tend to be cooler, which can be a bonus during hot summer weather. Latex foam generally offers the most neck support (and doesn’t generate as much summer heat as feather pillows).
- Take the bed into consideration. How hard or soft the mattress is has an impact on how effective the pillow is. A really hard mattress requires a thicker pillow, because the body doesn’t sink into it as much as it does with a soft mattress.
- Don’t focus just on the neck. People who sleep on their stomachs often get neck pain. Sleeping on the side can help ease this, but some people miss the pressure on the stomach and front. Using extra pillows along the side of the body can help provide this pressure.
- Replace as needed. Pillows wear out over time, and a pillow that was perfect six months or a year ago may not be so anymore. Replacing pillows regularly is a good idea.
Special care when selecting a pillow can help reduce neck pain — and can help with getting a good night’s sleep too!