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Chiropractic Research Review

The Ideal Cervical Pillow?

Muscular tension and neck pain are common complaints both at work and during night rest. A number of neck-support pillows claiming to improve sleep and reduce neck pain have recently appeared on the market.

In this study of 37 healthy hospital employees and 18 patients presenting with neck pain, subjects were asked to randomly test six different neck pillows with different shapes and consistency over the course of three weeks and then grade them according to comfort and effect on neck pain.

Results: Thirty-six of 55 subjects found that the pillows positively affected sleep, and 27 of 42 found that they positively affected neck pain and tension. The pillow that received the highest rating included two firmer supporting cores for neck lordosis and was characterized by patients as a fairly soft, relaxing pillow that provided simultaneous neck support and comfort.

It is important to note that this study only evaluated pillows available on the Scandinavian market, and the longest exposure to any type of pillow was three consecutive nights. More extensive studies should be carried out before specific pillow recommendations are made.

Persson L, Moritz U. Neck Support Pillows: a comparative study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 1998;21(4), pp237-40.
Reprints: Tel: (800) 638-6423; Fax: (410) 528-8596

Chiropractic Research Review

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