Time for some “Pillow Talk”

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Determining what pillows you should buy and where to put them is of high importance, but a lot simpler than people, even the “experts”, make it out to be.  Your pillow selection and placement will differ based upon your sleeping position.  If you have not already read my previous chat about sleeping positions then I highly encourage you do so to determine what your position is, and what it should be.

We should all agree that having proper alignment and good posture is just as important while sleeping as it is standing, sitting, walking, etc.  So how do we achieve it?  Pillow selection and placement are essential yet different between side sleepers and back sleepers.  Notice that I did not include stomach sleepers.  We have already determined this is a “no no”, and we should really strive to become side sleepers or back sleepers.

Let’s discuss the similarities first.  Everyone, no matter your sleep position, should have two personal pillows.  This does not include the countless “throw” pillows which are properly named by their distinctive bed placement.  The two pillows will differ based upon sleep position and each individual’s air gap.  Air gap is the space between your body and your mattress while in a properly aligned lying position.  There are two air gaps that you need to address: the neck and knees.  For example, if you are a side sleeper then a pillow should be placed in the air gap under the side of your neck and between your knees.  The back sleeper should place a pillow in the air gap behind the neck and behind the knees.  Be careful to fill the air gaps without changing the neutral spine and good posture.  This will be important when determining if the pillow is too thick or thin.  Check out the pictures below for a visual explanation.

That is as simple as it is for pillow placement, and pillow selection is even simpler.  Pillow selection should be based upon personal preference that adequately fills the two air gaps while keeping a neutral spine and good posture.  Here is a good chart to help you with your perfect pillow selection:

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I have collected some illustrations that will help you visualize our discussion.Before you click out of our chat check them all out!

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That’s enough pillow talk.  I hope it has been informative.  

Until next time…

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~  Dr. Garrett Hall

Member @ The Back & Neck Pain Clinic on Westgate Parkway, Dothan AL

334-702-0898

 

 

 

 

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Time for some “Pillow Talk”

The 3 Sleep Positions (No No, Ok, Ideal)

Baby smiling in bed with eyes closed and arms out.

A very common question that I hear in my office is: “What is the best position to lie while sleeping?”. Since about 1/3 of your life is spent sleeping then it is definitely worth a conversation.

So, is there really a right way or wrong way to sleep? The answer is yes and no. Clear as mud, right? Let me explain. Sometimes, especially when pain is present, it is better to just sleep. It is truly amazing what your body does while you are sleeping! No matter what sleep position you are trying to acquire, make sure you are getting adequate sleep.

There are basically 3 sleep positions.. the “no no”, the “ok” and the “ideal”. (yes, I came up with those on my own).

Let’s start with the “no no”. It really is pretty simple, if you sleep on your stomach.. stop! The only good thing that can ever come from this sleep position is sleep. You have no spinal support and are in a constant state of spinal rotation (you can’t sleep with your face in the pillow). Just say “no” to the “no no”.

The “ok” sleep position is lying on your side. This position is great for breathing which will help cut down the snoring. You can increase your quality of sleep due to increased oxygen intake and decreased pillow to the face intake from your spouse. It stays in the “ok” bracket since we are still lacking the best spinal support. Good spinal support can be had in this position if you can keep a neutral spine throughout the night, but let’s be real.. that is not reality. We (especially women) favor the fetal position while side-lying. So if you are in the “ok” sleep posture and wish to continue to be mediocre then grab your pillow, snuggle up and feel the back/neck stiffness in the morning!

Now.. if you are like me.. and choose not to settle for ok.. then let’s talk “ideal”! The ideal sleep position (in my professional opinion) is on your back. I have to warn you though.. it may take time and consistency to form this habit, but the benefits should be worth it. You’re spine is supported and in proper position while you are on your back. This will help keep your spine in better alignment and your muscles more relaxed which will keep you feeling better for days and years to come.

I break it down for my patients with this simple statement: “You should always try to be in good posture.. whether you are standing, sitting or lying.” Face down and fetal position don’t cut it for good posture. The back is where it’s at!

We will have “pillow talk” next time.

til’ then :)!

~ Dr. Garrett Hall

Final Logo-3

Team member at The Back & Neck Pain Clinic

321 Westgate Parkway, Dothan AL 36303

(334) 702-0898

The 3 Sleep Positions (No No, Ok, Ideal)

Snap, crackle, pop?! The mysterious chiropractic “pop” explained.

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“What is the POP thing all about?”, “Are you going to POP my back?”, “Is the POP noise the actual adjustment?”… these are a few of the questions that echo the halls of every chiropractor’s office.  So let’s dive deep into the mysterious abyss of “the pop”.  Ok well.. we really don’t have to dive that deep because it really is quite simple and yes, just like many things,  we over analyze it and create unnecessary fear.

We, in the healthcare world, like to church “the pop” up and call it a “cavitation”.  Let’s get real though.. your body makes some popping noises.  The joints of the spine, which are synovial joints, produce synovial fluid that lubricates the joints for movement.  By the way, movement is what chiropractic is all about.  Without such movement then dysfunction sets in.. pain!  Sorry.. back to the pop.. I tend to wander off in the middle of conversation to randomly emphasize how awesome chiropractic is.. there I go again.  Oh yea.. synovial fluid.  Oxygen, nitrogen and CO2 are all byproducts in the production of synovial fluid.  These byproducts float around and in the joints just waiting to be pushed.. excuse me.. “popped” out.  Have you ever wondered why you had to wait before you could “pop” your knuckles again?  Well now you know that you are just waiting for your body to produce more synovial fluid and byproducts.
A cavitation (pop) usually does happen as a result of a chiropractic adjustment,  but it is not the adjustment.  When the spine has to be re-aligned (to restore proper function and reduce symptoms) then a gentle force is required to the joint involved.  This force is what expels the gas out of the joint creating “the pop”.
Not only is it completely safe, when performed by a trained chiropractor, but it is also usually met with a sense of great relief and enjoyment.
So, to sum it up.. that “pop” that you’ve been wandering about.. it’s just gas!

Dr. Garrett Hall

Team member at The Back & Neck Pain Clinic

321 Westgate Pky, Dothan AL

334-702-0898

 

Snap, crackle, pop?! The mysterious chiropractic “pop” explained.

FREE back pain reducing secret.. and it’s been with you the whole time!

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Sometimes we try to re-invent the wheel, when our very own wheels have been one of the best answers the whole time. Walking is not only a great option to reduce back pain, it may be your best. Regular low impact excercise, such as walking, has been proven to reduce inlflammation and increase healing time by sending oxygen-rich blood to the painful area. You will also build and strengthen muscle which will aid in preventing further problems to occur.

It is always a great idea to set aside time 3 to 4 times a week for low impact aerobic activity. In fact, studies show that people that do some sort of low impact activity, such as walking, at least 3 times a week, notice fewer episodes of low back pain and less pain when an episode occurs. Walking will also help you lose weight which decreases the stress placed on the spine and joints of the body. Ok, but let’s get real and down to it. Everyone wants to just feel better. So blah, blah, blah with walking helps us lose weight which will help us with our back pain. Tell us something we don’t know. Let’s talk endorphins! These are your bodies natural pain-killers! And yes, walking 30 minutes at a brisk pace increases the production rate of endorphins which in turn help combat pain, elevate mood and decrease the need for pain medication.

So, if you ever have low back pain then the secret is now out.. Walk! Set aside time 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes each, but also find ways to walk more during your daily routine.

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Dr. Garrett Hall

Member of The Back & Neck Pain Clinic

321 Westgate Pky, Dothan AL 36303

(334) 702-0898

 

 

FREE back pain reducing secret.. and it’s been with you the whole time!