No matter which sleep position you choose, there is a good chance that you are putting too much pressure on your joints or twisting your muscles in an uncomfortable way. Side sleepers may experience neck pain due to the lack of support beneath their necks. People who sleep on their backs often report neck and upper back pain due to too much pressure on these areas. Even sleeping on the stomach can cause discomfort, as sleeping face-down may put additional pressure on the neck. Orthopedic pillows are designed to alleviate discomfort and pain associated with your chosen sleep position so that you experience better, more comfortable sleep.
Orthopedic Pillows and Sleep Position
Ortho pillows come in a variety of styles, which each different style targeting a different part of the body. Before choosing a model, consider your sleeping habits. Side sleepers will need different models than people who sleep on their backs. Sleeping on the side is recommended for reducing snoring and sleep apnea episodes. However, this sleep position causes frozen shoulder, neck stiffness, and pain. Some companies manufacture orthopedic pillows specifically for side sleepers. These pillows help you maintain the right shoulder and arm placement, reducing stress on these parts of the body. You will also experience less pressure on your neck and reap the benefits of increased neck support.
If you sleep on your stomach, you might prefer a belly pillow. Belly pillows have air cells that help improve blood flow when you sleep on your stomach. These pillows also prevent you from turning your head at an odd angle while you sleep. Orthopedic wedge pillows are ideal for people who sleep on their backs. These pillows elevate the head, reducing snoring and the symptoms of sleep apnea. You can also place a wedge pillow behind your knees for increased comfort.
Leg and Knee Pillows
Some companies also make pillows specifically for use with the legs and knees. These pillows help keep the body in proper alignment and reduce stress on the back. There are three major types of leg pillows: concave leg pillows, roll leg pillows, and leg wedges. Concave leg pillows reduce strain on the spine by keeping the legs in a parallel position during sleep. Roll pillows keep the knees arched during sleep, reducing problems with the spine and back muscles. Leg wedges are especially useful for side sleepers, as they change the angle of the legs.
Neck rolls are orthopedic pillows designed to support the cervical spine and neck muscles. These pillows come in memory foam, polyester fill, and other materials. Memory foam provides excellent support for the neck, relieving discomfort and easing pain. These pillows mold to the neck to relieve pressure and eliminate stiffness. Polyester fill is very soft, but pillows made from this material may not provide adequate support.
The coccyx is the lowest part of the spinal column. If you routinely experience coccyx pain, consider buying a coccyx support pillow. This pillow is ideal for use in any situation where you might put pressure on the coccyx, as it has a unique design that tilts the pelvis forward and relieves pressure. Memory foam support pillows are especially helpful, as they provide support without increasing pressure.
Orthopedic Pillow Materials
Orthopedic pillows are made from several different materials, each of which has different benefits and drawbacks. Some of the most popular materials are standard foam, latex foam, memory foam, microfibers, and organic fillers. Standard foam is an inexpensive option, but it retains a lot of heat. If you find it difficult to sleep when your pillow is too warm, this may not be the right fit for you. Latex foam provides better ventilation, reducing the temperature of the pillow. This material is also hypoallergenic, which makes it a good choice if you suffer from allergies or asthma. One of the drawbacks to latex foam is that some people find it too firm.
Memory foam molds to the shape of the body, so this type of pillow provides superior support. This material also absorbs heat, so it might be too uncomfortable to someone who is sensitive to temperature. One of the major benefits of memory foam is that it quickly adapts to your new position if you turn over while you are sleeping. Microfiber pillows distribute weight evenly, so they do not put extra pressure on the neck. Some manufacturers use fibers that repel dust mites, making a contour ortho fiber pillow a good option for people with allergies and those who are concerned about hygiene.
Some of the organic materials used to fill pillows include beans and grains. These materials do not retain heat, so they are very comfortable to use during warm weather. These pillows are also environmentally-friendly, as they use natural materials instead of synthetic ones. Another type of orthopedic pillow, the water pillow, has a water container inside the pillow. The water container allows the pillow to conform to the unique shape of your head.
Since the contour orthopedic pillow is now a popular option, many manufacturers now offer several models. The Homedics Ortho Therapy contour pillow is one of the most popular models. This pillow has a velour cover and uses your natural body heat to support the head and neck. With proper care, this pillow will last for several years. Serta and Sleep Innovations are other well-known manufacturers that produce orthopedic pillows, check out the latest deals on their pillows.