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What type of neck pillow should I choose for neck pain, based on my sleep position?

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Back sleepers: You want your neck to have support, but you don’t want it propped up. Consider a contoured model designed for this position. You can also try using a roll-shaped one at your neck, with a soft, flat one to support your head.

Side sleepers: To keep your spine straight, use a pillow that provides the right neck support -- one that’s higher under your neck than under your head. A contoured pillow is designed for the job.

Stomach sleepers: Skip the neck pillow and use a thin one to keep your spine as straight as possible.

Sleeping on the go: If you plan to doze on a plane or on a road trip -- or even in a recliner -- try a horseshoe-shaped pillow. These support your neck so it doesn’t droop or jolt to one side.

SOURCES:

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: “Cervical Spine.”

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics : “Neck support pillows: a comparative study,” “Before/after study to determine the effectiveness of the align-right cylindrical cervical pillow in reducing chronic neck pain severity.”

Harvard Medical School: “Is your pillow hurting your health?” “Say ‘good night’ to neck pain.”

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine : “Shape design of an optimal comfortable pillow based on the analytic hierarchy process method.”

National Sleep Foundation: "How to Pick the Right Pillow for You."

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects : “Are cervical pillows effective in reducing neck pain?”

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation : “Cervical pain: a comparison of three pillows.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on April 19, 2020

SOURCES:

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: “Cervical Spine.”

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics : “Neck support pillows: a comparative study,” “Before/after study to determine the effectiveness of the align-right cylindrical cervical pillow in reducing chronic neck pain severity.”

Harvard Medical School: “Is your pillow hurting your health?” “Say ‘good night’ to neck pain.”

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine : “Shape design of an optimal comfortable pillow based on the analytic hierarchy process method.”

National Sleep Foundation: "How to Pick the Right Pillow for You."

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects : “Are cervical pillows effective in reducing neck pain?”

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation : “Cervical pain: a comparison of three pillows.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on April 19, 2020

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