Orthopedic Pillows: Tall on one side, Skinny on the Other

I remember when I was a kid and orthopedic pillows were avant garde items that chiropractors recommended for their patients. My dad had several throughout the years and they always came from his chiropractor’s office. Nowadays, orthopedic pillows are a commodity that are available in every big box store packaged generically as a solution for a good night’s sleep.

While there IS some workability to these pillows they fall short for MOST people. Many times patients stil complain about their arm going numb, the neck being sore in the morning or their back being stiff.

Using a pillow that is taller on one side and skinnier on the other so you can choose whether you want to sleep on your back or your side is a step in the right direction. But the reason it USUALLY fails is the tall side of the pillow isn’t nearly tall enough to give MOST patients enough support to sleep on their sides.

Then the skinny side is usually too THICK for those who sleep on their back. Think about the normal posture when standing—the head should line up over the shoulders. Now look at the posture when lying down on the skinny side of the orthopedic pillow: the pillow pushes the patient’s head forward into the “granny hump” misalignment.

Orthopedic pillows, whether sold by a chiropractor or the knock-off brand at your local big box store, are not “Dr. Erica-approved” as a stand-alone product.

If you already have one though, and you are a side sleeper, try building up your pillow by experimenting with several layers of bath towel underneath your pillow. The towel can be folded and re-folded to make the pillow higher, depending on how wide your shoulders are and how much support you need until you do not twist forwards OR backwards while side sleeping.

Watch get an idea on how to do this effectively to turn a “not-approved” “orthopedic” pillow into a Dr. Erica-approved item.