Spinal Health and Your Pillow


Watch video from Dr. Chrity and Dee Dee about your traction pillow and the correct way to relax into it daily for spinal health.

Pillows and Sleeping Positions

There are three main sleeping positions—on back, on stomach and on side. The pillow has a lot to do with each sleeping position, since each position needs a different level of neck and head support.

  • On back: Those who sleep on their backs need a pillow that will support the head, neck, shoulders and spine. Your cervical spine has a natural curve and the pillow should conform to that curve for maximum support and relaxation.
  • On side: If you sleep on either of your sides, use a pillow that supports your head in line with neck. You should maintain a horizontal posture so that the weight is naturally distributed without exerting undue pressure. The pillow should fill the spaces between your ear and mattress. If your head or neck is tilted, and is not aligned with the rest of the spine, it leads to neck or back pain.
  • On stomach: This sleeping position is not good for your spine, especially during the corrective stage of your care.

Back or side sleepers need a firmer pillow. Pillow firmness depends upon the density of a pillow filling—the more the filling, the firmer the pillow. To test the firmness of a pillow, put it on a flat surface and bend in half. If it folds easily, it is soft. If you need to put some force into folding a pillow in half, it probably has a good amount of support.

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