Medical Pillow choice - neck pain and headaches

  1. Hi there,

    I need some advice as to improve my sleep quality. I have not been able to sleep very well and usually wake up with a stiff neck and headache sometimes in the morning. My neck is relatively long and I don't feel that my uncomfortable pillow is doing what it should.

    Can you recommend me some more exquisite options like neck comforters or massage machines or the like? Please direct me to a website or a brand, thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I've found that one of those squishy little pillows that I can mold to my head, holds my neck in the correct position (I'm a side sleeper). It has stopped the neck and shoulder pain, also I added a huge ultra soft fine goose down pillow to raise myself up and take pressure off my neck and shoulders.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  4. So I tried googling "squishy little pillows" but didn't turn out much. Are they called microbead pillows?
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, that's it. Mine is a small square pillow, bought it at Walmart for $10. Had I known how awesome these pillows were, I would have bought them all, they stopped carrying them.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  6. Doc Al

    Staff: Mentor

    I need this. Keep your eyes open if you see one online.
  7. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    My wife and I have sculpted pillows made of memory-foam. They have a gentle curve that accommodates your neck (sleeping on your side) and helps prevent aches. Similar to Bodipedic pillows, but I don't know the brand.
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

  9. Monique

    Monique 4,445
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  10. berkeman

    Staff: Mentor

    Have you tried using no pillow when sleeping on your back? I only use a pillow when sleeping on my side.
  11. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

  12. What if I sleep on my face?
  13. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Perhaps that's your problem.

    My youngest daughter sleeps on her stomach and complains of back pains. Coincidence?

    She has slept in the same weird position since she was a baby, when I would lay her on her stomach.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  14. I had exactly the same problem! When it was really bad, I tried various pillows, but it wasn't until I switched mattresses that the pain and headaches finally began to subside. I liked the new mattress so much (Perfect Dreamer from Nine Clouds) that I bought exactly the same one when I moved up to a queen size. It has just the right level of firmness for me.

    More importantly, though, I noticed that the problem always improves when I'm getting regular exercise (like playing ultimate frisbee once a week).

    So although switching pillows seems like an easy solution, I think that the biggest factors are actually mattress and physical exercise. Even just doing 15 mins of yoga a couple of times a week will help a lot. Might sound stupid, but it'd be cheaper than buying a new mattress.
  15. When I had bad neck and shoulder pain, my doctor recommended I roll a bath towel and use it as a pillow or to add to my pillow. A bit tough but works great. Once you find the right thickness and where exactly to put it, it is a big relief.

    It is hard to find the right pillow, essentially it is supposed to keep your neck in line with your spine and head, and you never know what height it will be when your head rests on it.

    The towel thing cut for me, then I found a small blanket rolled into a case and that's what I am using.

    Also, lying on your back on a gym mat and profoundly relaxing all your muscles does help.
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