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When’s the last time you thought about your pillow? When it comes to sleep and back pain, your mattress probably gets most of the attention. But, think about it: Your pillow supports your neck (and possibly also your back, knees, and hips) throughout the night. It has a big responsibility, and this guide will help you pick the right pillow to meet the challenge.

First, Some Simple Tips for Buying a Quality Pillow
These general guidelines apply to just about anyone looking for a spine-supportive pillow. When buying, look for pillows that:

  • Keep your spine naturally aligned (your head should rest directly over your shoulders—it shouldn’t be propped up or pushed back too far)
  • Have maximum adjustability
  • Support your head
  • Eliminate pressure points
  • Increase facial air circulation
  • Are hypoallergenic

Picking Pillows Based on Your Sleep Position
While the tips above are a good starting point, picking the right pillow for you means understanding more about how you sleep. Your sleep position may lead the way toward your optimal pillow.

  • Back sleepers should look for a pillow that’s on the thinner side, but it should also have some loft or lift in the bottom third of the pillow to help support your neck. Memory foam is a good material option for back sleepers because it adjusts to your specific head and neck.
  • Side sleepers should seek out a firm pillow, ideally one with a gusset (a gusset is a piece of material that adds strength and thickness). A more structured pillow will help keep your spine aligned while you’re on your side.
  • Stomach sleepers benefit from the thinnest pillows—and you might even get away with not using a pillow under your neck at all. Sleeping on your stomach puts more pressure on your lumbar spine (low back) than any other sleeping position, so consider sleeping on your side or back for spine health.

Specialty Sleep Aids: Pregnancy and Chiropractic Pillows
In some cases, such as if you have severe spine pain or if you’re pregnant, a standard pillow won’t fit the bill. Fortunately, specialty pillows may provide comfort and pain relief. Pregnancy pillows and chiropractic pillows are 2 examples.

Pregnancy pillows come in several varieties, but the goal is the same: to provide added support to your growing abdomen and aching joints. Pregnancy pillows include body pillows designed to fit under the abdomen and between the knees, smaller pillows that go under the belly, and large tube-like pillows that can support all areas of the body—the head, abdomen, and legs.

Chiropractic pillows, also called cervical pillows, may be a worthwhile investment if you have severe neck or back pain that’s interfering with your sleep. These pillows are molded to your neck and keep your spine in proper alignment throughout sleep, and they come in a variety of styles and materials. Your chiropractor or physician may help you choose the right pillow and show you how to use it properly.

Other Tips and Considerations for Pillow Purchasing

  • If you have allergies, take special care when purchasing a pillow. Some pillows are made of allergens, such as down or latex. Carefully read the pillow’s packaging to ensure it’s a safe pick for you.
  • If you’re buying a pillow in a store, feel free to rest your head on it to see how it feels.
  • Pillows come in a range of sizes, but don’t buy simply based on what you think will look best on your bed (that is, don’t buy a king pillow because you have a king-sized bed). Think about your body size and match that to the size of your pillow.

When Should You Replace Your Pillow?
Generally, you should replace your pillow every 18 months to 2 years (though a pillow protector may keep your pillow longer). Keeping a pillow beyond its “lifespan” not only reduces its ability to support your spine, it also creates hygiene issues (such as a buildup of dead skin cells, mold, and dust mites). Wondering whether your pillow is past its prime? Fold it in half. If it doesn’t return to its original position, that’s a good sign that it’s time to buy a new pillow.

SOURCE: https://www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/sleep/find-your-dream-pillow-banish-back-neck-pain

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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