A chiropractic pillow is a pillow specially designed to promote proper spinal alignment while sleeping. Chiropractic pillows can be made of a variety of materials and come in many of shapes, depending on the individual needs of the user. They can be purchased from a chiropractic office, specialty retail stores, or on the Internet.
The general purpose of a chiropractic pillow is to keep the vertebrae, hips and knees from coming out of alignment. At its most basic, a chiropractic pillow will accomplish this by means of memory foam that is shaped much like a regular pillow, but that conforms to the shape of the patient's head and neck to provide stability during the night. Others, called water pillows, can be filled with more or less water to achieve the ideal level of firmness. Full-body pillows are also available to support the lower back or to meet the particular sleeping needs of pregnant women. Horseshoe-shaped or dog bone-shaped travel pillows help keep the neck from flopping when a person has to sleep sitting up, such as on a long car or plane ride.
In addition to reducing or preventing back pain, a chiropractic pillow can improve other areas of health. By keeping the throat suitably relaxed and open, a properly supportive pillow may reduce the incidence of snoring or sleep apnea, a condition in which the person stops breathing intermittently while sleeping. A pillow that lifts the head and back at an appropriate angle can help people who suffer from heartburn or acid reflux.
The best way for a person to determine whether he or she would benefit from a chiropractic pillow and what type would be best is to consult with a chiropractor or orthopedic doctor. A less expensive option might be to research pillows online and buy one from a retailer. Some mattress, housewares or furniture stores may also stock a chiropractic pillows. These stores may have a more limited selection, but they offer the advantage of allowing customers to try the pillows out before purchasing them.