Neck pain and pillows- A blinded study of the effect of pillows on non-specific neck pain, headache and sleep.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Neck support pillows are widely used in patients with neck pain to reduce pain and get better quality of sleep. To test whether specific neck pillows have any effect on neck pain, headache and quality of sleep in people with chronic non-specific neck pain and to find the optimal characteristics of such a pillow, 52 patients with chronic neck pain tested four different pillows (three specially designed neck pillows and one normal pillow) with different shapes and consistency randomly over 4–10 weeks. The patients graded them according to comfort and described the characteristics of an ideal pillow. The effects of the pillows on neck pain, sleep quality and headache were stated on a questionnaire. Forty of the 52 patients found a positive effect on the neck pain, 24 of 31 (77%) reported a positive effect on night's sleep and 19 of 31 (61%) a positive effect on headache. There were no differences in graded comfort between two of the specially designed neck pillows and the “normal pillow” in the test. The opinion was that an ideal pillow should be soft and with good support for the neck lordosis. A specially selected and individually tested pillow with good shape, comfort and support to the neck lordosis can reduce neck pain and headache and give a better sleep quality.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physiotherapy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-127
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Physiotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch