My neck hurts. What pillow should I use and how should I sleep? – Chiropractor Bloomingdale IL

Many people with neck pain complain that their neck hurts at night, they can’t find a comfortable pillow or that they wake up with stiffness along the neck and shoulders.  You should be spending at least 8 hrs a day resting your head on a pillow.  It only makes sense that you should put your neck in an ergonomic position during the night to reduce pressure on the joints, disc, muscles and nerves.  Here’s some sleep ergonomic tips and a video to help you stay comfortable all night long.

When sleeping on your back, it’s best to use a flatter pillow so that your neck is not over stretched.  If you are a side sleeper, you can use a thicker pillow.  Just make sure that it’s not so high that it’s putting pressure along the side of your spine.  If you are a stomach sleeper, there’s not much advice that we can give you…just do your best to keep your neck as neutral as possible!

As you can see in the video below, even when you use pillows at the right height, there is often misalignment of the neck if you do not use a cervical roll to support the natural curve of the spine.  I was blown away when I watched the playback of this video and I saw the angle difference of my neck without and then with proper support.

After trying lots of orthopedic pillows over the years (and spending a lot of money), I have discovered that the McKenzie Cervical Roll works well for most people and is very affordable.   Designed by a physical therapist for use by those with neck pain, you simply slide the McKenzie Cervical Roll under the pillow case with a standard pillow.  You can use it for back sleeping or side sleeping.   If you are considering trying one, just let us know.  We have them in stock for only $20 each and can help show you how to use them.

Chiropractic adjustments and exercise are safe and effective treatment options for neck pain.  In fact, a research study from 2012 showed that patients with neck pain experienced greater relief from chiropractic care and home exercises than those taking medication in the short term and at a follow up a year later.

Know someone has neck pain or maybe someone who is even taking medication for neck pain?  Share this blog post and let us know if we can help them become active and pain-free!  



Dr. Erin E. Ducat is a Chiropractic Physician, who is Board-Certified in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.She also is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and maintains a private practice in Bloomingdale, IL.Dr. Ducat has been the team chiropractor for professional and youth sports and treats a variety of orthopedic, sports and pelvic floor conditions for the communities of Bloomingdale, Roselle, Itasca, Medinah and surrounding suburbs.For more information about Dr. Ducat, go to

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