Pillow for Back Pain: The Ultimate Guide
Whether you’re in the side sleepers club, part of the stomach sleepers soiree or you sleep on your back. Pain comes for everyone at some point or another. Especially, back pain when your spine isn’t in proper alignment while you sleep.
But don’t worry, there are all sorts of remedies you can use to give yourself pain relief — most of which come in the form of pillows! Regardless of which sleeping position you find yourself in most nights, there is a pillow that is bound to take your chronic back pain away.
Before you can find the ideal pain relief, it is vital that you learn the causes of back pain and whether you should receive a medical advice diagnosis before shelling out for a new mattress and/or pillow.
What Causes Back Pain?
Generally, it is rather hard to figure out the exact cause of back pain. But, the good news is that it is rarely anything very serious.
Back pain tends to be split into two main categories: non-specific or mechanical. Non-specific is where there is no obvious cause, and mechanical refers to the pain that stems from the joints, tissues, or bones surrounding the spine. The symptoms for the former are pretty self-explanatory, including:
- It feels worse or better in different positions. For example, it might feel awful when you’re sitting upright, but in a lying down position, you may feel some relief (or vice versa).
- The pain develops slowly or all at once.
- It feels stiff when you’re moving around.
- It can be the result of bad posture, unhelpful sleeping positions, or unsupportive pillows.
- It can be the result of lifting something with improper support. In other words, the object may have been too heavy for you, or you bent down without using your knees.
- It may follow a sprain or strain.
- You might find that the pain intensifies when you’re overworked or stressed.
- It begins to feel better after 5 weeks or so.
Non-specific can be helped without seeing a physician. You can buy a specific head and neck pillow, invest in a new mattress, and buy into essential oils to promote support and comfort. But more on that later. It’s important to understand that there are medical issues that cause back pain. Conditions like the following are usually the reason behind mechanical back pain:
- Sciatica — This condition is incredibly common in pregnant women. It’s simply the irritation of the nerve connecting your feet to your lower back. It causes nerve pain, tingling, and sometimes, weakness in your lower body.
- Spondylolisthesis — This means one of your bones in your spinal column is sliding out of position. It tends to cause a lot of stiffness in the low back, numbness, tingling, and pain.
- Slipped Disc — Otherwise known as a prolapsed disc, it is when a cartilage panel in your spine is constantly pressing on a nerve. This places a lot of strain on your spinal column, causing back pain (from low to upper, depending on where the disc sits), numbness tingling, and weakness.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis — This means that your joints in your spine are swollen. Here, your pain will start to feel better when you move around as the pressure releases. It can cause tingling, stiffness, and chronic pain. You might find that your head hurts, as well as your lumbar and neck.
Extremely rarely, there may be instances that your back pain stems from conditions that are far more serious. These include the following:
- Infection — Again, this is highly unlikely, but if you leave an infection for too long, it can turn itself into a chronic pain machine. While it may help to keep your spine straight here, it’s going to take a qualified doctor to get rid of the problem.
- Broken Bone — You’ll know about it if you have a broken bone in your spine as nine times out of ten you won’t be able to move!
- Cancer — Specifically, bone marrow cancer will cause back pain (low to upper usually).
- Cauda Equina Syndrome — This is where your nerves in your lower back become incredibly compressed. As you may imagine, this tends to cause intense amounts of pressure and strain on your spinal column.
It isn’t wise to diagnose yourself, and all of the above should be used for informational purposes only. If you believe that your back pain is caused by something more than just your need for lumbar support or finding the right pillows, then always consult your general practitioner.
How to Reduce Back Pain
There are plenty of ways to find back pain relief. The methods that work for your friend may not work for you. It’s all about trial and error. At least one of the following tips will help you to relieve back pain (although it’s best for your neck and spine if you do all of them).
1. Don’t Stay In Bed
Even though it’s tempting to stay curled up in the fetal position and wish that back pain didn’t exist, this won’t do you any good. It could make it a lot worse.
An orthopaedic surgeon from the San Diego Medical Centre stated that he “encourages his patents to get moving as soon as possible”. He also went on to say that those with neck and spine problems should avoid over three days of bed rest as it will be detrimental to the healing process.
2. Practice Posture
While your sleep position is important, your posture throughout the day is equally pressing — especially if you have a desk job. Typing for hours on end can be taxing if your sitting position produces pressure in all the wrong areas.
Try to set up your desk so that you can stay sitting with your spine aligned. To do this, implement the following:
- Lift your laptop so it’s at eye level (can be a couple of inches off sometimes). This stops you from overextending your neck and head.
- Purchase an ergonomic chair. Ensure your feet can touch the floor, so your body isn’t slouched. There are plenty of products made for helping your feet stay grounded while you work.
- Try a standing desk. This way you can alternate between two positions which helps your back, knees and lower body too.
3. Strengthen Your Abs
Your stomach muscles can help protect your back and shoulders from having to deal with too much pressure. Try crunches, push-ups, planks, and other floor exercises to build up your core strength.
4. Try Yoga
Yoga doesn’t just help you to relax. It also aids sleep and provides proper neck, shoulders, and back alignment. Doing poses like the bridge, cat, cow, happy baby, and a salute to the sun may well give you relief.
5. See If Heat and Ice Work
For some people, cold packs and heating pads are their saviours. Whether these methods will work for you is 50/50. If you feel like trying it out, use ice for the first 48 hours and then switch to heat by placing a warm pad on your lumbar. This should bring a whole world of comfort to sore your back.
6. Try Talking
Many people quickly discover that their pain is coming from a place of emotional uncertainty or past trauma. Therefore, talking to a professional or even just to your loved ones can help reduce the pressure in your back, head, and neck. Plus, it’s always nice to have a bit of cathartic support when your back keeps disrupting your sleep and overall quality of life!
7. Kick Smoking
Smoking greatly harms your body. It can cause a build-up of unnecessary pressure surrounding your head and lumbar. All parts of your life will improve when you kick your smoking habit — even your financial state. But, if you find yourself struggling, you can look into products that are designed to help you quit.
8. Sort Out Your Sleep
The amount of sleep and how you sleep can make a huge difference to your back pain. Sleeping on a mattress with pillows that offer little to no support is guaranteed to make you uncomfortable. Plus, arranging yourself in a haphazard position can have detrimental effects too.
Luckily, it may be a simple issue to fix. Sometimes, it’s just a case of putting a breathable pillow under or between your knees (depending on whether you sleep on your side or are a member of the back sleepers society). This will reduce the pressure you feel on your body.
Do Pillows Help Back Pain?
The right pillow helps to ensure your spine stays aligned while supporting your shoulders, head, and neck too. A pillow can act as a leg spacer to support your hips and help them stay in a neutral position, letting your body relax into its natural curve.
What Is The Best Pillow for Back Pain?
There are a few factors to consider when you’re trying to decide which pillow is best for back pain. Think about things like:
- The sleeping position you like. Do you prefer side sleeping? Are you one of those back and side sleepers? Do you like stomach sleeping the best?
- The support you need. If you are already suffering from overexerted pressure points, firm support is ideal. However, you can choose between soft, medium, and firm to ensure the pillow is right for you. The shape of the pillow also plays into how well it will support you. A gull-wing shape is ideal for protecting your jaw, shoulders, spinal column, head, and neck while sleeping. People have found that the enVy pillow is the perfect design for keeping your face wrinkle-free and your body flawlessly supported.
- The pillow’s materials. Would you rather have a memory foam pillow? Do you prefer pillows made from down? You’ll likely need a foam pillow as down tends to be far too soft for providing proper comfort and support.
- Whether it’s easy to wash. A breathable, machine washable material pillow is ideal. The enVy pillowcases are made from 100% bamboo or mulberry silk to ensure freshness after every wash.
What Kind of Pillow Will Help With Lower Back Pain and Lumbar Support?
There are plenty of pillows for back pain out there. Stomach sleepers and side sleepers love a body pillow while others go for the standard down materials. While the best one for you does depend on which of the sleeping positions you prefer, back sleepers and side sleepers will greatly benefit from an enVy pillow. It has many features that allow you to keep your spinal column aligned and give yourself back pain relief during the night. Take a look below, your neck, head, shoulders, and back will thank you for taking a chance on some pillows for back pain.
The Features of The enVy Pillow
- The shape provides ergonomic and orthopaedic support. Whether you sleep on your side or your back, the sloped sides will relieve facial pressure and tension, letting you sleep all night soundly. The central elevation or the “sweet spot” is designed to improve facial circulation while you’re in bed and reduce pressure points. Plus, it supports your back, neck, and shoulders to encourage quality alignment often not achieved by other pillows.
- It’s made from high-quality materials. Not only is it breathable, but the pillow is constructed from memory foam that provides amazing support when used at night. The enVy pillow is not too soft, medium, or firm. Instead, it’s just right.
- It’s the perfect shape and size for great sleeping support. Even if you haven’t yet invested in a high-quality mattress, the pillow shape is designed with your comfort in mind. Whether you sleep on your side or sometimes shift to your back, you will benefit from the two-stage neck support. The wedge shape allows you to place a second enVy between your knees to keep everything in the optimal position — all the way down to the cervical region, which often gets disrupted in pregnant women. You will sleep easier knowing that you’re using something designed with your comfort and pain relief in mind.
- The pillowcase is washable. To make life easier, you can place the pillow cover into the washing machine. To clean the memory foam pillow itself, simply wipe with a damp cloth and let it dry.
- It comes with a travel bag. The wedge shape is even useful when it comes to taking it on holiday! Just cover the pillow with the bag and away you go. It won’t matter what kind of mattress you sleep on when you get such fantastic support from this memory foam pillow.
How Should I Lay With Back Pain?
As long as you use the memory foam enVy pillow, your sleep position doesn’t matter as much as it did before because the pressure will be alleviated anyway. However, sleeping on your stomach should be avoided because it places more unnecessary strain on your joints, back, and neck.
Ideally, you should be laying on your back or side while resting your head and neck on the wedge memory foam pillow. You’ll relieve pain throughout the night much quicker, promote circulation, and ensure you keep your all-important skin looking wrinkle-free.
The Bottom Line
Your bed should be a haven of good quality materials promoting high-quality sleep and support. If it isn’t and you’re dealing with chronic back pain, something needs to change. And nine times out of ten, it’s your pillows, mattress, and sometimes both!
To relieve that pressure once and for all, use the enVy pillow packed with features designed to support a healthy bed posture, work those abs, and stretch out your muscles. Your body will thank you for it.