Water-Based Pillow May Reduce Neck PainFebruary 06, 1997
Like water beds designed to better support the whole body, a water-based pillow may help people with chronic neck pain to sleep better and lessen their discomfort, a Johns Hopkins study shows.
In the five-week study, 41 people with benign neck pain slept with their usual down or foam pillow for one week, a roll pillow for two weeks and a water-based pillow (Mediflow? Waterbase pillow +) for two weeks.
Results, published in the February issue of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, show the water-based pillow significantly improved quality of sleep and modestly reduced morning pain intensity and overall pain compared with the other pillow types. It did not significantly affect evening pain intensity, duration of sleep or the underlying medical problem. Twenty-two participants were satisfied with the water-based pillow, while seven were satisfied with the roll pillow and four with the standard pillow.
"Studies have found that 35 percent to 80 percent of the population suffer from benign cervical pain at some point in their lives," says Robert A. Lavin, M.D., lead author and an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation. "Overall, the water-based pillow showed a significant advantage over the standard and roll pillows, so selecting the proper pillow may be a simple and effective way to relieve some of that pain and improve quality of life."
The water-based pillow may lessen neck pain and associated headaches and improve sleep and stress-coping skills by better supporting neck muscles and structures damaged by injury or disease, says Lavin. The improved support may result from the pillow reducing head movement during sleep, conforming to changing positions of the head and neck, and absorbing and redistributing the weight of the head and neck, he adds. The water-based pillow contains a pouch of water, adjustable for firmness, on the bottom under four inches of soft polyester fiber, and should be used on a flat bed.
The study participants included 20 men and 21 women, age 26 to 76, who had intermittent or constant neck pain from one month to 25 years, with 78 percent reporting pain for at least one year. Many had sought medical care, chiropractic treatment or physical therapy and were taking medication because the pain interfered with their normal sleep, activities or work.
The incidence of benign neck pain increases with age and is reported more frequently by women. It may radiate into the arms and often is accompanied by morning headaches. Cervical pain may be caused by muscle trauma or disease in the discs and joints. It can be worsened by emotional stress, sleep problems, physical activity and cold.
Other authors of the study, which was supported by an unrestricted grant from Mediflow, Inc., makers of the Mediflow? Waterbase pillow +, included Marco Pappagallo, M.D. and Keith V. Kuhlemeier, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' news releases can be accessed on-line through the following services:
To enroll in our direct e-mail news release service, call 410-955-4288.
World Wide Web at http://infonet.welch.jhu.edu/news/news_releases
CompuServe in the SciNews-MedNews library of the Journalism Forum under file extension ".JHM"; also in NASW Online in same forum.
JHMI toll-free Health NewsFeed BBS at 1-800-JHH-0046.
Quadnet: send email to: email@example.com. In the body of the message type "info Quadnet."
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Related Sleep Articles from Brightsurf:Size and sleep: New research reveals why little things sleep longer
Using data from humans and other mammals, a team of scientists including researchers from the Santa Fe Institute has developed one of the first quantitative models that explains why sleep times across species and during development decrease as brains get bigger.
Wind turbine noise affects dream sleep and perceived sleep restoration
Wind turbine noise (WTN) influences people's perception of the restorative effects of sleep, and also has a small but significant effect on dream sleep, otherwise known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, a study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows.
To sleep deeply: The brainstem neurons that regulate non-REM sleep
University of Tsukuba researchers identified neurons that promote non-REM sleep in the brainstem in mice.
Chronic opioid therapy can disrupt sleep, increase risk of sleep disorders
Patients and medical providers should be aware that chronic opioid use can interfere with sleep by reducing sleep efficiency and increasing the risk of sleep-disordered breathing, according to a position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
'Short sleep' gene prevents memory deficits associated with sleep deprivation
The UCSF scientists who identified the two known human genes that promote 'natural short sleep' -- nightly sleep that lasts just four to six hours but leaves people feeling well-rested -- have now discovered a third, and it's also the first gene that's ever been shown to prevent the memory deficits that normally accompany sleep deprivation.
Short sleep duration and sleep variability blunt weight loss
High sleep variability and short sleep duration are associated with difficulties in losing weight and body fat.
Nurses have an increased risk of sleep disorders and sleep deprivation
According to preliminary results of a new study, there is a high prevalence of insufficient sleep and symptoms of common sleep disorders among medical center nurses.
Common sleep myths compromise good sleep and health
People often say they can get by on five or fewer hours of sleep, that snoring is harmless, and that having a drink helps you to fall asleep.
Sleep tight! Researchers identify the beneficial role of sleep
Why do animals sleep? Why do humans 'waste' a third of their lives sleeping?
Does extra sleep on the weekends repay your sleep debt? No, researchers say
Insufficient sleep and untreated sleep disorders put people at increased risk for metabolic problems, including obesity and diabetes.
Read More: Sleep News and Sleep Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.