Which Pillow Should You Use?

Why Your Pillow is So Important

Can My Pillow be Causing Neck Pain?

I get SO many questions about pillows. And I’m glad when I do! Most of the pillows I see are HORRIBLE! The vast majority of them are too thick and put your head in a severe, very-dangerous forward head posture/ syndrome (FHP) if you’re on your back. FHP is a very common cause of neck pain and myriad disabilities. And think about it: when we’re trying to correct alignment and posture through exercises, adjustments, and traction but you’re in bad posture fully one-third of your life as you sleep, it might make it harder! For example, if you’re 45 years old, you’ve been on a pillow on average for 15 YEARS! I don’t know about you, but my mom always said, “Don’t frown or your face will stick like that!” Same with jamming your head forward on a pillow for 15 years! If you’re a patient in my office, please bring your pillow in and have us look at how you’re sleeping on it and how suitable it is for you! If you’re not a patient but you live in the California north state, come on by anyway! I’ll be happy to take a look. One test I’ve been sharing for years to know if your pillow at home is too thick is when you stay in a hotel, try their pillow. If you like their pillow, YOURS IS TOO THICK! In the rare event, I forget my pillow when traveling, I do not use a pillow. No thanks! Sooooo, YES a pillow can cause neck pain!

What pillows do you recommend?

Almost all pillows induce a significant forward head posture (FHP). Including all the memory foam pillows. They’re just too thick! The best pillow made today for most people is the Denneroll pillow. It helps encourage the proper healthy neck curve (called a lordosis) when sleeping on the back WITHOUT putting the head forward. It also keeps the head position as level as possible when sleeping on the side.

How often should I use the Denneroll?

The Denneroll is a custom orthotic device used to induce proper cervical, thoracic, and lumbar (neck, mid-back, and low back) curves when used regularly (usually twice per day for 20 minutes.) These are only sold and only to be used under the direct supervision of a chiropractor. Ideally, one who is trained in Chiropractic BIoPhysics, the biomechanical system for which the Dennerolls are made. We have over 270 peer-reviewed scientific publications on spinal analysis and correction and are the most qualified to determine the optimal type and placement of Denneroll for the patient’s unique needs. If you have a Denneroll orthotic please do NOT EVER allow anyone else to use your appliance(s) unless they’ve been instructed on proper use because they are custom-fit for each person and what makes one person better can and does make another person worse!

What is Denneroll made of?

Dennerolls are made of high-grade, closed-cell cross-linked polyethylene. They are very durable and last a very long time. However, many toddlers and many dogs find them irresistible. Ask me how I know! My Denneroll at home has many teeth marks and many chunks out of it! But I kinda like it “custom” in that way…

Share This Story:

Todd, time to get up.

What? No, I don’t want to go to school. But, mom, my neck hurts. Will you take me to Dr. Todd today?

What is wrong with you? I just took you last week.

I don’t want to go to school.

Get up and get ready for school now.

Do you want to be like that every day, or do you want to bounce out of bed? Let’s try this again.

Is it time to get up for school yet? Oh boy. It’s time to get up for school. I feel so great. My neck feels perfect. How straight, with my Denneroll pillow. The Denneroll pillow is amazing because you can lie on your side or your back and have it be proper mechanics for your body. So, this is designed so that you can sleep on your side or your back. Let’s turn it this way. It’s for the camera’s view. I’ll flip that out of the way. But the Denneroll pillow is the best pillow on the market today. You can lie on your back and have it support your head and your neck. You see from the side how my head is nice and neutral to my body. Almost all pillows you buy are too thick and bring your head up like this. Does that look like a healthy position for your neck? It does not. Your head is like this on almost all pillows you buy. If you go to a hotel, how do you know if your pillow is too thick?

Number one, you take a picture of your level with your head, and you send it to me. And you have me comment under it, if you’re a patient, you bring it in and have me look at it, or you actually physically bring your pillow in and have me look at it. But the problem is, you’re creating a forward head. We’re going to talk about what that is and what that means in just a moment. But it can be, wreck, real, real havoc on your body to have your pillow too thick. The other way you know is if you ever go to a hotel and you use that hotel pillow, if you like that pillow, then your pillow is way too thick that you use at home. So, what we need to do is when we’re on our back, we need a little support for our neck, but our head is almost flush with the bed, and when we’re on our side, we need our body to be neutral. So, we need one line from the top of our head, through our nose, through the bottom of our chin, through the soft spot here, which we call the episternal notch, and through our sternum down through there.

The other thing about when, the best position is going to be to sleep on your back by far, but the second-best position will be to sleep on your side. And if you are going to sleep on your side, then you need to have your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows mirrored like this. You don’t want to be all twisted up and kinked up like this. You want all this mirrored. This pillow happens to be too thin for me, I need a large size, that’s why I’m demonstrating it. If you see my head is down like this, it’s kinked and in at an angle when I’m on my side. If it’s neutral, we want that, but if it’s too thick, we’re going to be like that, so it’s a major problem. So, you need to order the size that’s proper for you. There’s a small, medium, and large in that pillow. But even if you don’t want to do that, I mostly sleep with feather pillows from ducks and geese I’ve harvested over the years and fluff them up, and I sew them myself because I took sewing classes in January, because I like to do things like that, because I’m kind of a nerd.

But anyway, I sleep well, and I sleep with healthy functioning pillows. So, on our back is best, on our side is second-best the worst is face down, so look what this is doing to my neck, my neck is permanently turned just like this and kinked to the side. Think about this, the mattress salespeople are right. They say that we’ll sleep a third of our life, so eight hours a day, approximately a 24-hour day, that means that by the time you’re 45 years old, you will have been asleep for 15 years. We talk about the magic of 20 minutes in a certain posture, the way we do our blocks, the way we line our Denneroll blocks, we do those for 20 minutes twice a day, and it’s amazing at transforming the body right or wrong. By the way, do not give your Denneroll blocks to anyone else because if you’ve been around a while in my office here, you know that what’s great for one person may be the exact opposite for another. It’s a terrible idea. Don’t say, “Oh, this is what Dr. Todd gave me. So you give them to your friends.” Don’t do that.

So the same with that, we want we… 20 minutes twice a day is amazing for helping us; it can also wreck us. The same thing when we’re sleeping. If we’re sleeping all kinked up, we’re going to cause major postural problems. Now is it just because we like good appearance, we kind of know. Most of us had our mothers, like my mom nagging me to get up for school. That was actually Jen, as some of you know from the office, but not The Office, the show, but from the office here. So right, Christine? They love the show The Office, and they’re always talking about office quotes. But I digress. So what we want is to be able to hold our body and not just good appearance posture, but our posture dramatically affects the health of our bodies.

If you look at this handy dandy chart right here, we see that the nervous system in your spine controls every single cell, tissue, organ, and function in your body. The brain controls it all by setting life through the spinal cord and out through the nerves that bleed between the spine’s bones to control everything in our bodies. As long as that’s working without interference, these things are all working great. When there is an interference, a misalignment in a vertebra, created by a car accident by constant emotional stress, by fear, by bad chemicals like vaccines and things in our bodies, when that happens, it chokes off life to our bodies and our body stops working at their optimum. So we don’t want to create those things, we want to minimize them. Those are called a subluxation, you can see it on my website, and it’s all over; you can Google subluxation and learn what that’s all about.

Put simply. It means a misaligned vertebra or a group of vertebrates that are misaligned, choking off energy from the brain to the body and the body to the brain. So we don’t want to create any of that. It is devastating to human health, life and performance. So we want to get adjusted, sleep right, and take care of the structures of our spine. So this is a patient that recently came, and I can’t show the photograph of the patient, but in the photo of the posture picture, it looks much more dramatic. The head shifts to the side because a lot of the shift comes from down at the base of the neck and the top of the mid-back, the thoracic spine. But his head has shifted off significantly to the side. So if he’s to sleep on his side with a pillow that’s too thin and have his head go down. Is that good or bad?

I’m going to give you a hint. It’s really, really bad. So he’s creating worse subluxation, so you’ve probably already figured out, my smart viewers, that the ideal thing would be to have him sleep either on his left side and have it below, have the pillows be just a little bit thinner than neutral or on his right side and have the pills be thick and have it lifted if you have questions about that, please feel free to ask me. I don’t care if you’re a patient. Put a message on here, and put a, “How do you do that?” Put a question below, and we’ll monitor it and try to answer for you. So we spend a great deal of time, energy, effort, money, adjustments, rehab, exercises, all these things that we do to correct this, don’t blow it off by sleeping badly overnight in a bad position. So now, when we look from the lateral view, and this person, I’ll call him a Column, but that is not his name, you look at this, every X-ray has a normal, this X-ray, the normal in the neck is this green line right here.

He has a reversed curve in his neck there, and he said he is also a little bit forward. If we put a pillow that shifts his head forward, that does not encourage the proper head posture or the correct curve in the neck. So we need support for the neck with a pillow or a structure, and then have the head flush with the bed as close as possible. We can be benefiting from this or we can be making it worse. So one of the best pillows you can get is a Denneroll pillow, if you’re using a feather pillow or dacron or whatever, most of those dacrons don’t mold enough, and the head is actually shifted up. So probably most of those are not good, but support under your neck and head almost touching the bed. So if you have any questions, please let us know, but my friends know how to have a great pillow.

Looking for a great family chiropractor to get you out of pain?