Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Any suggestions for pillows

spunky21sspunky21 Posts: 161
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had an anterior cervical fusion c5-6, c6-7, March 2008. Neck pain is still awful along with pain in shoulders and extends to both arms and hands. I have been having migraines alot lately. The neurosurgeon says my fusion is going well but I did have an upper and lower emg and there is nerve damage which neuro says is permanent. I can only sleep approximately 1-2 hours in my bed. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for a good pillow for people with cervical issues. I also have lower back issues and the pain my both legs is getting so bad its hard to walk. When I am in bed I sleep with the covers tucked between my legs. I have looked online for pillows for neck and back problems but it gets confusing. I thought I would go straight to those who are suffering from the same problems. Any suggestions would be wonderful. I am simply exhausted. I do sleep better in my recliner but then I stiffen up all over.
Thank you


  • Paul,
    I too have this pillow but are you able to use it in bed. Seems like everything I try just isn't working. I have not tried this pillow in bed yet.
    Thanks for your quick response
  • tempurpedic neck pillow medium size the large is to thick.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Jan,
    Have you ever tried no pillow? For me that works the best as I always try to sleep on my back. If I go to my side I will tuck a standard pillow under
    my neck. I have had a discectomy, corpectomy, multi-level fusion of C3 thru
    C6, done both from anterior and posterior, with a strut, cage, plates, rods,
    and screws. I also have permanent nerve damage in my left arm and hand.
    I hope you can find a solution to your sleep issues, rest is a very important
    part of our health.
    Take care and best of luck to you.
  • I sort of mirror the same things that Ranger has had done, with vertebrectomies rather than corpectomies. Either way, it is entirely too much reconstruct on our necks.

    Through the last couple of years I have tried several different pillows. What works one night may not work the next. My favorite thing when I can sleep in my bed is to sleep on my side with a very soft and mushy feather pillow that I can scrunch up and tuck between my neck and shoulder. and then I have a tempurepedic type pillow under my head.

    You could try using a rolled towel and see if this gives you the support you need. There are companies who make water filled pillows for people with neck issues. I haven't tried those though.

    I tried several different feather pillows until I found one that was lightly filled so that I could bend and fold it to fit just right. I wish I had a better answer. Just experiment until you find what works for you.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Tempur pillow but it takes a while to get used to it at the beginning! also I found it confortable at the begining to put a pillow under my head and two pillow under each arm like and armchair =)) and having the arms laying on the pillows in a straight line and slightly higher up helped. We are all different so what is good for one might not be for another, keep experimenting till you find a good position.
    Take care and I wish you a prompt recovery!
  • thanks all for your posts!
    I will try them all or at least until I find something that will allow me to sleep in bed more than 1-2 hrs. I know sleeping is an issue for us all. Being exhausted doesn't help when we are in such pain. I have read about the tempur pillows but just wasn't sure if they were too hard. At this point I am willing to try just about anything. I can't get out much as walking is very difficult so I rely on my husband to do all the shopping and pillow shopping is not an easy task. But we will keep looking until we find it. Or as ranger said maybe no pillow will work.
    Thanks again
  • I agree with Neck Of Steel...a good feather pillow that you can fold or mold around you works best for me. Nothing firm or too fluffy. I also have lower back issues & sleeping is very difficult! It can bring me to tears, because I am soooo tired & want to sleep, but in such pain that I'm unable to. I recently ordered an Occipivit pillow and a Real-Ease Neck & Shoulder Relaxer Pillow, but haven't recieved eighter of them yet. I'll have to let you know how they work.
  • It may take a while to find what you need.
    You can get adjustable pillows from physios and chiropractors, at least, maybe other places too.
    You have a choice of overall size-small, medium and large.
    Then each pillow will have removable foam so that it can be made a bit smaller again, and a little softer.
    You will also have two ends to try, with one having a higher profile than the other.
    So overall these types of pillows can be quite flexible.
    I would suggest a smaller one, which is soft with support, and start with the lower profile.
    Sometimes you will feel that you need a bit more support and use the higher profile.
    Some time ago i thought that mine had become a bit too soft and needed replacing. So I bought a new one from the chiro.
    OK for a few nights and then the neck aches started. Surprisingly it took a few weeks to work out that it was the pillow! I put the pain down to other things, and had been sure that the new pillow would not be a problem as it was the same as my old one, just newer and firmer.
    Went back to the old pillow and all was good again. Tried the new one a few more times but found it too high and firm.
    So it seems that I now need a lower and softer pillow as the arthritis progresses.
    If you get a multi-adjustable type, you should be able to find at least one position that suits you.
  • My Chiro told me that there was no easy answer to pillows due to everyone's neck is different and the cervical pillows are made with the "standard" curve in the middle, for some that fits thier neck well, for others it does not. He reccomended trying out several to see what worked best. He even sells the 95$ water pillow in his office but suggested trying other less expensive options. I have a cervical pillow but I use it upside down curve toward the mattress (the curve makes it hurt more) then I put a soft pillow on top of that scrunch it up between my shoulder and head, and use a second soft pillow like a teddy bear and hold it to my chest. The best position for me to sleep in is on my left side, and thats the side that hurts (when it hurts) works like a charm!
  • I also have wondered what kind of pillow/pillows I will need after my surgery on 2-24 for C5-6 C6-7, which the Doctor will be fusing together.

    I think I will try one like the Tempurpedic neck pillow and a few soft pillows, which I have at home. Right now I have a soft one that I bunch up under my neck to help me sleep, but was wondering how I was going to sleep with the colar on at night.

    How in the world did any of you sleep with the colar on at night? I am not looking foward to trying.

  • I have found for me sleeping flatter helps with the collar. First I thought Ok I need sleep up on a bunch of pillows but that really didn't work and I think the back of the ccllar was pushing into my back cause I'd wake up with a back ache. So I sleep with two regular pillows under my head and one under each arm. I feel like I am building a fort every night but thats what works for me.

  • My neuro did not have me wear a collar at all after surgery. At this point I don't know if that was good or bad. Pain is back! When I started out all pain was mainly on left side. Now it is also on right side. Neuro says fusion looks fine. EMG shows permanent damage left arm and hand. Good luck to everyone who has been through this or who are going to be having cervical operations.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    Take a look at the Wellness tab at Spine-Health

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have tried 3 or 4 different pillows since my surgery last March. I finally found a Tempurpedic one that is like a "roll" pillow. It is flat on one side and rounded on top. It has worked better than any of the others. I also use pillows to prop my arms up. Generally I have my arms straight out to the side and a pillow underneath. I always have my heated mattress pad on and most of the time I have heating pads on my neck, back, or arm.
    I did not wear a collar either after surgery. My doctor said that the 'hardware' he used was all I needed. I am going to have surgery again in May for a different disc.
    I don't really sleep at night regardless of the pillow, but at least I'm a 'little' more comfortable.
  • Until my neck injury...........last week my wife bought me a buck wheat pillow it was too thick so she removed about half of the buckwheat and made me a second pillow with the left over buck wheat.

    When I do sleep I love the thing it molds nicely to my neck.....might be worth checking out.
  • I have a memory foam pillow but only use the small bump to cradle my neck and I use a body pillow between my legs or a regular soft pillow. I also bought a memoryfoam mattress I use oxazepam to help me sleep for a good 8 hours. Without a sleeping pill I can't sleep. I hope you find a better way so you can sleep. I can't do anything without at least 6 hours sleep. Of course I'm still not back to work it's been a year since my back pain started. Good luck. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
Sign In or Register to comment.