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Comparative Study
, 14 (6), 671-8

Pillow Use: The Behaviour of Cervical Pain, Sleep Quality and Pillow Comfort in Side Sleepers

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Comparative Study

Pillow Use: The Behaviour of Cervical Pain, Sleep Quality and Pillow Comfort in Side Sleepers

Susan J Gordon et al. Man Ther.

Abstract

A random allocation single blind block design pillow field study was undertaken to investigate the behaviour of cervico-thoracic spine pain in relation to pillow use. Participants (N=106) who reported preference for side sleep position with one pillow were recruited via a telephone survey and newspaper advertisement. They recorded sleep quality and pillow comfort ratings, frequency of retiring and waking cervical pain and duration of waking cervical pain while sleeping for a week on their usual pillow, polyester, foam, feather and rubber pillows of regular shape and a foam contour pillow. Analysis was undertaken comparing sleep quality, pillow comfort, waking and temporal cervical pain reports, between the usual pillow and the trial pillows, between pillows of differing content and foam pillows of differing shape. This study provides evidence to support recommendation of rubber pillows in the management of waking cervical pain, and to improve sleep quality and pillow comfort. The rubber pillow performed better than subjects' own pillow in most instances. Subjects' own pillow performed similarly to foam and polyester pillows, and there is no evidence that the use of a foam contour pillow has advantages over the regular shaped pillows. Feather pillows should not be recommended.

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