What do you know about orthopedic pillows? Do you think of them as those oblong bed pillows that support the neck? Maybe you are envisioning one of those "horseshoe" shaped pillows that gives a lot of support to the base of the neck and the head. Perhaps you think that orthopedic pillows are the same as those strange "body pillows".
It might surprise you to hear that orthopedic pillows come in many different styles that include a few of those described above, plus many other unique forms. The entire purpose of orthopedic pillows is to provide specialized support and long-term benefits. The reason that they are even necessary is because we might hold our bodies in strange positions during sleep, and end up doing harm to delicate areas of the body.
For instance, we've all woken up in the morning with a horrific "crick" in our neck. You know what we mean - that pain that stops you from properly turning your head from side to side or which makes you grit your teeth for hours on end. A lot of the orthopedic pillows would prevent such problems from occurring in the first place because they would gently discourage us from holding the head in this way.
So, let's take a few moments and consider the best of these pillows. There are the air pocket pillows that look like upside down muffin tins. They give the head a tremendous amount of support no matter what position it is placed and ensures that the neck stays in alignment.
There are also those very familiar neck or support pillows that have a central hollow into which the back of the head is placed. These are sleeping pillows that cradle the curve of the neck and allow the sleeper to lie flat on their back in an ideal condition. They can turn on their side with such pillows too and the curved edge supports proper neck position.
Water pillows are the gentlest of the therapeutic pillows and just cradle the head in a comfortable position that still gives a lot of support to the neck. There are also some specialized pillows that are not meant for sleeping but which actually deliver therapy as they are used. For example, a cervical traction pillow will never work as a bed pillow but it does align the neck and spine and uses the weight of the head to make a mild adjustment if necessary.