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Good sleep is necessary for the body to restore itself and maintain good health. People who suffer from disrupted sleep or who are always tired when they get up may benefit from using an orthopedic pillow. These pillows are believed to have therapeutic value for many sleep problems. Some types of pillows are used to help support or correct sitting position and relieve back and neck pain.
Orthopedic pillows are firmer than ordinary pillows and are shaped to support the body in a position that will let the sleeper get the best possible sleep. The type of orthopedic pillow is chosen to correct particular kinds of sleep problems.
The wedge pillow is shaped like an isosceles triangle with very long sides. It is used to raise the sleeper’s head and upper body from a horizontal position. This often helps reduce acid reflux symptoms. When the position of this orthopedic pillow is reversed, it elevates the legs and feet.
The contour pillow, also called a cervical pillow, is used to reduce frozen shoulders, headaches, and neck pain. It also helps keep the sleeper’s airway open, which reduces problems with sleep apnea and snoring. This type of orthopedic pillow has a curved shape that supports the head, neck, and shoulders.
The knee pillow has an hourglass shape and is placed between the sleeper’s legs. It holds the sleeper in a straight side sleeping position. Back sleepers place this orthopedic pillow under the knees. The pillow reduces strain on the spine, which relieves lower back pain.
The body pillow is very long with a gently curved shape. It is used by people who sleep on their sides. This orthopedic pillow supports the sleeper’s body from the head to the knees.
The lumbar pillow has a half moon shape. It is used to support the lower back while seated. This kind of orthopedic pillow is especially helpful for reducing lumbar pain.
The neck pillow has a horseshoe shape that supports the neck. It is used while the sleep is sitting up, usually when traveling. This orthopedic pillow is also called a travel pillow.
An orthopedic pillow is firmer than an ordinary pillow so that it can provide more support. Some types of pillows achieve this with a special kind of dense, firm foam. Pillows filled with buckwheat hulls are also popular.
People who think they would benefit from an orthopedic pillow should experiment with different kinds of pillows. Usually a trial period of one week is enough to determine whether or not a particular orthopedic pillow will alleviate the problem.