Many a times we go through the whole day headache-free but we wake up within a few hours of sleeping or in the morning with a headache. We haven’t been ‘using’ our neck at night when we are sleeping. So what might have caused this headache .... have you ever wondered if this maybe caused by your pillow? In this blog we will discuss how can your pillow cause headaches and 3 tips to manage this.
Lets first look into how a pillow can cause a headache. In our spine there are nerves coming out from either sides of the spine. These nerves go and supply different parts of the body. The ones that exit the spine at the upper to mid cervical spine (the area at and above the hairline) supply the back and sides of the head. If these nerves are pinched or irritated from any swelling or inflammation or a problems in the spine such as disc bulges, stenosis etc or a poor posture they can lead to spasm in the surrounding muscles, causing a nerve irritation and thus a headache.
When you are sleeping and you are not using a pillow of the correct height then your neck is in a poor posture for the 6 to 8 hours that you are sleeping. This prolonged positioning of the neck in a poor posture, due to a wrong pillow can cause irritation of the nerves that supply the head and lead to a headache.
The solution to these headaches is to use a pillow that keeps your neck positioned in a good posture while sleeping. If you are a side sleeper this first tip is for you. The height of your pillow should be equal to the distance between the earlobe and the shoulder. This will prevent your neck from tilting to one side, thus avoiding the stresses from building up on the neck muscles that may have lead to a headache.
The second tip is for those who sleep on their back. Your pillow height should be equal to the distance between the back of your head to your upper back. If your pillow Is high it will push the head up and if the pillow is too low it will let your head roll backwards. Both these situations can irritate the nerves and lead to headaches.
The third tip is for you if your pillow is of the correct height but you still get a headache. The reason for your headache may be the stresses that have built up on your neck throughout the day. Once you lie down in bed your neck is unable to relax completely on the pillow and the tight neck muscles can irritate the nerves in the cervical spine and lead to a headache.
Watch this video to learn the three tips in more details:
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