neck and shoulder pain reliefWhen you injure your neck or have arthritis of the neck, sleeping can be difficult.  If you attempt to use a regular pillow, the pain can be made worse because it doesn’t support your entire neck and you wake up with a worse neck ache than you had when you went to bed.

Fortunately, there are special pillows you can use for your sore neck.  One of these is the classic body pillow.

Body Pillow for Neck Pain – Does It Help?

The Advantages of using a Body Pillow

Body pillows can be purchased at regular department stores or over the internet.  They are large, long pillows that are designed to cradle body parts and to give you more support over the part of your body that are injured or sore. A body pillow for neck pain has a couple of advantages over a regular pillow.

One of the main advantages of a body pillow for neck pain is that it can be easily tucked beneath the neck with the rest of your head and body cradling the pillow.  You use the pillow the long way, parallel to your body and put the pillow in such a way that the body pillow is cushioning your neck and head, with the rest of the pillow either in front of you or behind you.

The other main advantage of a body pillow for neck pain is that it is generally thicker than a regular pillow so that your neck hits at just the right level. Rather than sleeping with your neck stuck sideways (which can lead to increased pain and torticollis), the neck is held straight on the body pillow so you wake up without a kink in your neck.

The body pillow can also prevent torticollis, which is a permanent stiffness of the neck, in which the neck muscles, particularly the sternocleidomastoid muscle (running on the side of the neck) becomes in spasm so that the neck turns to one side or faces chin up or chin down and won’t move from that position.  If you support the neck so that the head and neck are in alignment, the twisting of the neck doesn’t occur and the muscle spasm is prevented.

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How to Use the Body Pillow for Neck Pain

The body pillow should be fluffed up inside the tube covering the batting is located within.  This thickens the pillow and takes out any dents that occurred in shipping or in previous uses.  One way to use the body pillow is to hug the pillow at about the halfway point and then lay your head and neck on the top part of the pillow, letting your neck be supported by the pillow along with your head.  You can lean into the body pillow so that the head and neck stay better on the pillow during the night.

Another way of using the body pillow is to put the length of the body pillow behind you.  Bend the body pillow to a 45 degree angle and lay your head and neck on the bent part.  In such cases, you can lean against the rest of the body pillow in order to keep your head and neck on the pillow.  It also is a good way to support your back.

Summary

A body pillow for neck pain can allow you to sleep more comfortably and to wake up with your neck less stiff and so that you are better able to go about your day without pain.