The Effect of Different Pillow Heights on the Parameters of Cervicothoracic Spine Segments

Korean J Spine. 2015 Sep;12(3):135-8. doi: 10.14245/kjs.2015.12.3.135. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


Objective: To investigate the effect of different pillow heights on the slope of the cervicothoracic spine segments.

Methods: A prospective analysis of data from 16 asymptomatic adults (aged 20 to 30 years) was carried out. Exclusion criteria were history of injury or accident to the cervicothoracic spine, cervicothoracic spine surgery, or treatment for neck symptoms. We used three different pillow heights: flat (0 cm), 10-cm, and 20-cm pillows. Cervical sagittal parameters, measured with radiography, included; C2-7 Cobb's angle, T1 slope (T1S), thoracic inlet angle (TIA), and neck tilt (NT). Statistical analyses were performed using Spearman correlation coefficients.

Results: As the height of the pillow increased, the T1S & C2-7 Cobb's angle increased while the NT values tended to decrease. The TIA values, however, remained constant. Additionally, there was a statistically significant sex difference in T1S with the 0-cm pillow (p=0.01), and in NT with the 20-cm pillow (p=0.01).

Conclusion: From the data obtained in this study, we recommend that the most suitable pillow height is 10 cm, considering the normal cervical lordosis.

Keywords: Cervical spine; Lordosis; Pillow.