What is a good pillow?

The 1st question we need to ask is “what is good posture?”

When we look at a spine’s ideal shape, it needs to have 3 very important curves from the side view in the neck, the mid-back and the lower back, which allow the force to be distributed the way it was designed to. From behind the spine should be really straight. When this is not present, each individual segment is physically under more stress on a day to day basis which accumulated to accelerate degeneration. The spine is the armour of the nervous system and therefore must function correctly, not doing so creates increased pressure on the nervous system that decreases its ability to correctly send its signals to and from sensation receptors, muscles and vital organs and functions!

So when we’re looking for a pillow, there are 3 things we need to consider;

– What position do you sleep in and how high is the pillow lifting your head? The height of the pillow should be appropriate to keep your head in a neutral alignment during sleep. Typically, sleeping on your back would require a lower profile pillow so that your head remains lower and in line with your spine, where as a side lying posture would need a slightly higher support to fill the gap between the neck and shoulder keeping the head in line once again.

– Does your pillow have a contour? Your head is larger in diameter than your neck, hence, having space for your head to fall into is important to keep your neck straight during sleep in any posture. Traditional pillows don’t form the shape of your head and neck and therefore don’t keep you in good posture for the full night’s sleep.

– How soft is your pillow? As a general rule, softer pillows and mattresses offer comfort for the short term, where as a firmer pillow or mattress will offer support. A balance needs to be found to create a comfortable and supported sleep to allow you to wake refreshed the next day!

Ask Dr Matt what pillow he uses and recommends!

Text neck

The modern day lifestyle brings us many great things, but hey have brought them with great costs also! One of the most significant but silent stresses on our functional and physiological well-being is growing and growing with time and technological advancements. We are all probably guilty of looking down at our phone, or slumping back on the couch from time to time (or all the time for some??). Some of the worst offenders would have to be the young kids given a laptop or tablet to keep occupied, while they look down and sit with it on their lap.

Children are pretty carefree, they don’t tend to live in pain often, if ever. As adults, we tend to notice more and more with age that aches and pains begin to be more prevalent in our lives with our repetitive lifestyles – until old age where pain is another fact of life… The mistakes and injuries we experience during youth often present themselves and are paid for when we are older. We are doing this thing called ‘Posture’ 24 hours a day, we need to make sure we do it as well as we can for as long as we can, this is the biggest thing that determines how much and how fast you get arthritis, not age!

While we look down at our phone, our necks are bent forwards for a period of time, we accumulate pressure on the bones and discs and stretch the ligaments and muscles that stabilise and hold the bones in place. Eventually, the bones and discs remain deformed, damaged and ideal posture is permanently lost. This has a massive cost in the form of pain, dysfunction and reduced quality of nerve function to organs which reduced your potential to remain healthy! Common symptoms that occur from regularly giving yourself text neck are; headaches, sinusitis, neck and shoulder pain, poor sleep and decreased energy, difficulty breathing, amongst many others.

Speak to Dr Matt about how this can be corrected!