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  • Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

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    Old 10-18-2006, 01:24 PM   #1
    EricG301
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    Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    I just found this board, so forgive me if this is posted in the wrong forum...

    Here's some background...

    I've had neck/shoulder problems for 5+ years. There's not a day that goes by where I don't wake up with a stiff neck, stuck joint, or general muscle soreness/tightness. I've been getting prolotherapy, with some success, for the past year. Been through several physical therapy tours of duty too.

    As the muscle stuff has gotten better, the joint stuff has gotten worse. Had an MRI done...I have a slightly herniated disc at C5-C6 and C6-C7. I'm having an epidural injection this week.

    Ok, now for the question...

    Every doctor I've seen for this, from chiros to pain management guys, have told me to use a cervical neck pillow. I went through several of the cheap ones from Wal-Mart, before going out and investing in a pricy, higher-quality one from Sharper Image about 6 months ago. It's more or less a rebranded Tempur-pedic. I've never really slept that well on it.

    But a few nights a week now, I've found myself using a good old regular foam pillow, and my joint problems have decreased. I'm still having muscle tightness, but my joints are MUCH better.

    Is it possible that the cervical pillow is actually causing problems? I'm thinking that the structure of my neck, after years of stretching, injecting, etc. doesn't "match" the hump and groove on the pillow. I'm trying to figure out why I'm sleeping better and feeling better using a regular pillow, and not the one that doctors have recommended.

    I normally sleep on my side and stomach (which I know is bad...)

     
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    Old 10-18-2006, 01:35 PM   #2
    beachgirl01
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    Hi there

    Welcome to the boards. You have come to the right place. I think that if you are using a regular pillow and you are getting a good night sleep than that is way better than any cervical pillow can offer you. The reason for that is, if you are not sleeping because of the cervical pillow than you are causing more damage than good. Your body heals itself when it sleeps. Therefore, my thought on this is do what your body tells you to do.

    Also, maybe use your cervical pillow for when you are sitting on the couch, in the car, sitting in a chair etc. That's when it may benefit you the most.

    Let your doctor know about this when you see him next and see what he has to say.

    Take care and good luck. Beachgirl.

     
    Old 10-18-2006, 04:19 PM   #3
    Suzy-Q
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    Hello Eric-
    Nice to meet you. I also have a herniated disc at C5-6. And I, too, awake every morning with a stiff neck and varying degrees of muscle sprain or shooting pains in my arm and hands and sometimes numbness in my fingers. Funny thing is that I have never been told to get a special pillow for my neck! Every person I've asked (epidural doctor, neurosurgeon, PT) has said it is really a personal decision and some people find they help and others don't. So, I've never bothered with them though I still often wonder if it would help.
    I had an epidural for my neck on Sept 1st and it worked wonders for a month. Now things are getting bad again. My next shot is set for Nov 1. Interestingly, the 4 epis I had for my lumbar spine problems didn't do a thing for me.
    Best of luck to you-Suzy-Q

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 06:51 AM   #4
    EricG301
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    Thanks for the advice.

    Because my pain was mainly muscular, my doctors never really thought I had disc problems. But as the prolotherapy cleared up a lot of the muscle stuff, I noticed more and more joint-related issues. As I said above, I finally got an MRI that showed the slight herniations, but my doctor said my symptoms don't really match--I don't have the numbness and shooting pains typically associated with disc problems. Nonetheless, he's still going to treat them with an epidurals. it's worth a shot--pun intended! If that doesn't work, facet injections are next on his list.

    - Eric

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 08:19 AM   #5
    dennisgb
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    The really important thing to consider is the position of and support of the spine when sleeping.

    Is you neck in alignment with your back when you sleep? If the head is lower or higher than the back, then you may cause problems. Generally the contour pillows help align the neck better with the back (spine).

    If the pillows you are using don't put the neck in an odd position, then they are just as good as the contour pillows in this regard.

    Dennis

     
    Old 10-19-2006, 05:27 PM   #6
    loveshinesthru
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    i used to have a really expensive pillow from select comfort, but like you could never sleep on it. for about a year or two ive been using a foam neck roll, and that has worked better for me. i have surgery on the 24th for a hermiated disc on c5-6.

     
    Old 10-21-2006, 06:38 PM   #7
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    I went through the same thing - buying multiple "neck pillows" and after my surgery found that a foam pillow (with a lot of 'bounce' to it) was the best bet. Now my tempurpedic and beaded pillow (they type currently being sold on TV) sit by the side of the bed. Rarely, when I am having trouble sleeping on my foam pillow I'll switch for one night to the others.....but I have never found them to be the consistent best for me.
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    Old 10-22-2006, 08:57 AM   #8
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    I tried a cervical pillow when I had neck & shoulder pain, but it was a buckwheat pillow that one would normally use while driving to prop behind your head. That's all I had at that time so I tried it anyway and actually felt much better the next morning. I like this pillow because you can push the inside buckwheat into other areas of the pillow and kind of form it to the way it's most comfortable. Someone else I know made a long one and put rice inside...and can heat it up in the microwave and just wrap it around as you lay down to go to sleep (and you can move the rice around as well, like make one spot flatter or fuller, etc.)

     
    Old 10-22-2006, 05:14 PM   #9
    ember919
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    Before surgery, I used a 3-inch cervical roll, couldn't live without it. After accidentally leaving one in a hotel room, I made sure to always have two -one for home and one for travel. After surgery, the cervical roll didn't feel right and I eventually started using a curved memory foam pillow. It is soft enough to sleep comfortably on yet still gives my neck & head good support. (and, yes, I have two of them)

     
    Old 10-22-2006, 06:29 PM   #10
    Ramsfan
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    I also have problems getting a good night's sleep. I've gone through a lot of pillows trying to find something that works. I tried filling a pillow case full of micro beads (styrofoam beads the size of bb's). I have used the same pillow for over 1 year now. It is the best option I have been able to come up with. I also am bad for sleeping on my stomach.I start on my back but always end up on my stomach. I'm fused from C3 thru C7 and have limited movement.

     
    Old 11-05-2006, 12:00 PM   #11
    Jaynebyrd
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricG301
    I just found this board, so forgive me if this is posted in the wrong forum...

    Here's some background...

    I've had neck/shoulder problems for 5+ years. There's not a day that goes by where I don't wake up with a stiff neck, stuck joint, or general muscle soreness/tightness. I've been getting prolotherapy, with some success, for the past year. Been through several physical therapy tours of duty too.

    As the muscle stuff has gotten better, the joint stuff has gotten worse. Had an MRI done...I have a slightly herniated disc at C5-C6 and C6-C7. I'm having an epidural injection this week.

    Ok, now for the question...

    Every doctor I've seen for this, from chiros to pain management guys, have told me to use a cervical neck pillow. I went through several of the cheap ones from Wal-Mart, before going out and investing in a pricy, higher-quality one from Sharper Image about 6 months ago. It's more or less a rebranded Tempur-pedic. I've never really slept that well on it.

    But a few nights a week now, I've found myself using a good old regular foam pillow, and my joint problems have decreased. I'm still having muscle tightness, but my joints are MUCH better.

    Is it possible that the cervical pillow is actually causing problems? I'm thinking that the structure of my neck, after years of stretching, injecting, etc. doesn't "match" the hump and groove on the pillow. I'm trying to figure out why I'm sleeping better and feeling better using a regular pillow, and not the one that doctors have recommended.

    I normally sleep on my side and stomach (which I know is bad...)

     
    Old 11-05-2006, 12:04 PM   #12
    Jaynebyrd
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    Hi Eric..I tried a cervical pillow as well. I tried so many different types of pillows as I have degenerated discs in my neck that are quite painful. I finally have found something that helps so much. A squishy pillow...full size...they are harder to find now but I got one a year or so ago. It conforms to your head and neck and does not make it stiff like every other pillow I tried. I still wake up from hearing that awful crunching noise in my neck but not nearly as much as when I was using the cervical pillow. It is definately worth trying if you can locate one. Jaynebyrd

     
    Old 11-05-2006, 11:02 PM   #13
    loveshinesthru
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    Re: Neck Pain - Pillow Talk

    since having my surgery the 24th i can no longer use my foam neck roll unless i am propped up in bed and rest my head against it. i have switched to using a squishy pillow on top of my feather pillow. otherwise my feather pillow is too hard.

     
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