Choosing the correct pillow for you

What difference does a pillow make anyway?

Choosing the correct pillow for you is a task to do today! We spend up to 9 hours a day lying on a pillow, if you are sleeping on a pillow that is of poor quality, or not the right shape or style for your body type, chances are you will wake with neck pain or stiffness, numbness in the hands, headaches or shoulder pain.

Everybody is different in their sleeping habits and their body type, therefore one pillow will not suit everybody.

How to choose the right pillow for you?

First thing to think about is what position you usually sleep in:

1. Side sleeper – generally you will need a higher, firmer pillow to support your shoulder so that your neck is aligned in a neutral position. If you have broad shoulders you will need a higher pillow than someone with narrow shoulders (who would need a low contour pillow).

Choosing the correct pillow

2. Back sleeper – as you are not needing to support the height of your shoulder you can use a lower pillow as a back sleeper.

3. Stomach sleeper– stomach sleeping can be a huge problem for people with neck pain, since you need to have your head in a position of extreme rotation (to turn your head to the side to breathe) it can cause a lot of neck pain on waking. Generally stomach sleeping is discouraged, if you can not sleep any other way, try hugging a pillow and rolling half way onto your stomach (this way your neck is not rotated as much).

Types of pillow ‘fillers’:

1. Feather or down pillows – These tend to have the shortest usable lifetime of pillows as it tends to loose its shape very quickly, thus this pillow shape is not great for side sleepers who need a lot of support for the neck and shoulders.

2. Memory foam – Memory foam has an open-cell structure that reacts to body heat and weight by ‘moulding’ to your body, helping relieve pressure points, preventing pressure sores. Memory foam can come in a range of densities, with higher density foam being firmer, thus it tends to have a longer life. Memory foam is thought to be a good combination of comfort and firmness to support the neck, so depending on how dense your pillow foam is it can be quite supportive.

3. Latex – Latex is a firm substance derived from plants which can create a firm but comfortable pillow, ideal for side sleepers as it holds its shape well to support the neck and shoulders.

How to pillow shop

Take a friend or partner with you, especially if you are a side sleeper. Make sure you “try on” your pillow, lie down in your preferred sleeping position, make sure the pillow is comfortable to your tastes. Get your friend/partner to check your neck position while you lie on the prospective pillow – is the neck supported straight, or does your head look too high or too low? Try a few different brands in different styles and fillers. Also check the warranty on your pillow many pillows will have a year or two guarantee.

Remember when you have your new pillow, it can take up to two weeks to get used to, particularly if it is a big change from your previous pillow. If you wake with a little neck  stiffness in the first week, this is common. After your initial two weeks or so of “getting used” to your pillow, you should find it is very comfortable, and that you have less neck and shoulder stiffness than previous. If you are still having neck stiffness you should seek assistance from your physiotherapist for further investigation.

You will also find pillows for sale at our Physiotherapy clinics – please ask our Reception staff for help.

Gold Coast Physiotherapy – Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach Physiotherapy Centres 07 5535 5218


Our Response to Covid-19

This page is up to date to our best knowledge, however, this is a rapidly evolving situation so we apologise for any potential delay in updating this information.

We want to reassure all our patients that we are following stringent infection control procedures in our clinic, and screen all people coming into the clinic, to exclude any patients that have any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, as well as screening any patients that should be in isolation ie recently returned from overseas, or have been advised to isolate due to recent exposure with a known Covid-19 patient.

All our staff have now completed the Department of Health Covid-19 Infection Control Training.

What are we doing to minimise risk?

  • Screening patients for risk factors over the phone or through text messages before they attend appointments. Those with risk factors or symptoms are advised not to attend & to seek medical advice.
  • Hand sanitiser station at the front of the building must be used before you enter.
  • Following stringent infection control measures within the clinic. This includes
    • Disinfecting all beds, door handles, EFTPOS machine before and after each patient use.
    • Linen changed between each patient and commonly touched surfaces through the practice are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
    • Minimising the distances between clients in the waiting room- some chairs are outside undercover.
  • We have advised our team members not to come to work if they have cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • We are following all Department of Health recommendations for our type of business.

On the 30th March 2020 – the Australian government issued a statement that “People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.”

The decision to come in for physiotherapy treatment really is an individual one – if you feel that your treatment is medically necessary, and are comfortable with the risks of leaving your home and coming to physiotherapy, then rest assured that when you attend our physiotherapy clinic, we are following our strict infection control processes and doing everything we can to minimise your risk whilst in our care. However, we completely understand if you are not comfortable with coming in for treatment.

TELEHealth Consultations

We are offering telehealth consults and home visits (where suitable) for patients who cannot attend our clinic.

Read more about TELEhealth Consultations here.

Staying Healthy

  • Wash your hands often (and for 20 seconds) with soap and water
  • Cough into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Social distancing practices – Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching, including shaking hands
  • Limit contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick and encourage employees to stay home when sick
  • Get 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to help your immune system stay strong
Please stay safe and take care of each other!

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will make adjustments to our business as we are further informed. Our priority is the health & well being of our patients and our staff. Thanks for your understanding.

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