Choosing The Right Pillow for Your Sleeping Position

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Sleep is important. The right amount of sleep is essential for not only spinal health but overall health. But it’s not just important to get enough hours of sleep at night; it should be quality sleep. Sleeping on a pillow that doesn’t offer enough support for your sleeping position can lead to neck pain, headaches and an insufficient amount of sleep at night. Here is how to choose the right pillow for your sleeping position.

Side Sleeper

The majority of the population are side sleepers. Sleeping on your side with your knees bent slightly helps keep your neck and spine in neutral positions. The proper pillow for sleeping on your side should be thick enough to fill the gap between your neck and your shoulder. Without enough loft, your neck can sag into the mattress causing strain and muscle tension. A firm, lofty pillow is the best way to get enough support for your neck while keeping your spine aligned. Experiment with a flatter pillow in between your knees to take pressure off your hips and lower back.

Stomach Sleeper

Chiropractors do not recommend this position since sleeping on your stomach causes you to keep your neck at a sharp angle which puts a lot of tension on muscles and ligaments. You should try to break this habit by turning on your side, but if this is not a possibility for you, a flat soft pillow is the best choice. To support the natural curve in your spine, try using another flat pillow under your stomach.

Back Sleeper

While sleeping on your back should be avoided if you snore or have sleep apnea, it is the most natural way to fall asleep. The best pillow for back sleepers should have medium firmness that is lofty enough hold your head up without extending it past its natural curve.

If you have any questions about choosing the right pillow, your chiropractor can help.

How Chiropractic Procedures Helps Pinched Nerves

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If you’ve ever felt a sharp, intense, sudden pain in your body that seems to be coming from a nerve, you may have diagnosed yourself with a “pinched” nerve. While the pain experienced is often comparable to the feeling of being pinched, the condition we are actually talking about is what a chiropractor calls a “vertebral subluxation complex” or a subluxation.

How Do Nerves Get “Pinched”
Nerves branch off from your spinal cord through openings between the vertebrae and run all the way to your fingers and toes. They are responsible for our ability to see, hear, touch, taste, smell and also regulate important body functions such as breathing, our heart rate, blood pressure and digestion among other things. While the spinal cord works to protect our nerves, if any of the spinal bones (vertebrae) are misaligned, they can impinge, irritate, compress or stretch the nerves. This misalignment is what a chiropractor refers to as a vertebral subluxation and can be caused by a variety of things including stress on the vertebrae, bad posture, a poor sleeping position, emotional stress, or a combination of factors. A subluxation may not be a sudden occurrence, it can on set gradually over time until it begins to produce discomfort.

Dealing With “Pinched” Nerves
Since a vertebral subluxation is not always a painful condition, there is a chance that you are currently enduring one! For this reason, it is important to see a chiropractor for periodic checkups of your spine. These trained professionals can help correct a subluxation before it becomes painful and help guide you in stretches and lifestyle changes to help protect your spine. The common course of action for a subluxation is a regular schedule of spinal adjustments and check-ups to gently realign your spine and help release your “pinched” nerves.

While the process of an adjustment may seem daunting to someone who has never visited a chiropractor, you can rest assured that millions of adjustments are completed each year and many individuals swear by their chiropractic office!