Neck Pain: Best Pillows and Sleeping Positions for Relief

Discover the best pillows and sleeping positions to relieve your neck pain
By Luna
Neck Pain: Best Pillows and Sleeping Positions for Relief

Having neck pain? You’re not alone. In fact, most of us have experienced it. Up to 70% of adults report that neck pain negatively impacts their lifestyle and daily activities. But what you might not know is that relief may be as simple as changing your bed pillow.

To determine which pillow works best for you, think about how you sleep. What is your normal sleeping position? There are three:

  • Back sleepers
  • Side sleepers
  • Stomach sleepers 

Each position requires a different kind of pillow to better align your cervical spine and soothe your aching neck. 

The best pillow for back sleepers

Sleeping on your back is one of the best positions for relieving neck pain. For those that sleep best in this position, a thin or a cervical pillow are excellent options. A cervical pillow is specially designed to support the neck and head. It provides the correct spinal alignment and relieves pressure better than a thin pillow would. Alternatively, you can slide a small neck roll pillow (or a rolled-up towel) into the pillowcase of your thin pillow, as it aids in proper neck positioning. Also, try placing a pillow under their knees to help cut strain on the lower back. 

The best pillow for side sleepers

Sleeping on your side is the second-best position for relieving neck pain. Side sleepers get the most benefit from a thicker pillow -- one that is of medium height and made out of firmer material such as latex foam. Side sleepers find that a taller pillow better aligns their neck and back in a straight line. Also, side sleepers should place a pillow between their knees to help keep their spine straight. A body pillow is a good one to try for this particular body and leg positioning.

The best pillow for stomach sleepers

Stomach sleepers are at a disadvantage since this sleep position causes the most neck pain. Sleeping this way makes the head turn and the back arch in awkward positions, putting unnecessary stress on the neck. Try to train yourself to sleep on your side or back. But if you must sleep in this position, use a skinny pillow, or even better, no pillow at all. Also, try placing a thin pillow under your pelvis for improved lower spine support.

If you change out your pillow yet still experience neck pain, consult with your doctor to rule out other conditions or possible neck injuries. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to relieve your neck aches. If so, consider on-demand physical therapy. A board-certified physical therapist will visit your home when it's convenient for you. Also, a physical therapist can provide fast neck pain relief with simple lifestyle and postural changes. Don't wait -- begin healing and take the necessary steps for effective neck pain relief and contact us today.

Tips for best sleeping positions


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