Wedge Pillow Articles

Elevation Pillow for Feet

Elevation Pillow for Feet

A foot elevation pillow can be an important (and all-natural) way to get better rest, improve your health, and feel better. Read below for two very important ways that this tool can help you!

Treats joint and muscular conditions

The average person spends 7-8 hours sleeping at night. This equates to around 1/3 of a lifetime. We NEED sleep, there is no question about it. If we want to function at our best, our body requires rest, recovery, and healing.

Because we spend so much time resting, it is of the utmost importance to set ourselves up for success while we sleep. Investing in a supportive mattress and pillow can pay dividends for our health.

Another simple and effective tool we can use is a foot elevation wedge pillow. When we lie flat on our back or on our side, the natural curves of our hips and legs cause pressure points on our muscles and joints. This is due to gravity’s pull on our body. We want to avoid sleep positions that cause these points of pressure build up on our body.

A foot elevation pillow is a solution to this problem. Elevating your feet puts your joints and muscles in more of a “neutral” position. When our joints and muscles are in a “middle” or “neutral” position (not compressed and not stretched), they can relax and heal while we sleep. Sleeping in a neutral position with an elevation pillow for feet can decrease hip and leg stiffness in the morning and help you feel more refreshed.

A foot elevation pillow decrease swelling and improves circulation

Gravity can be both helpful and detrimental to the body when it comes to circulation. When in sitting and standing positions (especially for people with cardiovascular disease, vascular disease, or who are pregnant), it is harder for the body to send blood flow back to the heart for re-circulation.

When you stand or sit, gravity pulls fluid down towards your feet. Your circulatory system has to then pump the blood and fluid from your feet AGAINST gravity back up to your heart. This is why leg and ankle swelling is common after standing or sitting for prolonged periods.

This is where a foot elevation wedge pillow can come in very handy. Your feet should be elevated during periods of the day to reverse the effects of gravity on your cardiovascular system. To increase the effects of an elevation pillow, exercises like ankle pumps can be completed while on the wedge. This gets the leg muscles involved which helps with fluid return back to the heart. A foot elevation wedge pillow can also be used at night so that while sleeping, the heart can have a break by letting gravity do the work of returning blood back to the heart.

In Conclusion

If you have any orthopedic conditions or circulation deficits, using a foot elevation pillow is a vital tool for your well being. If you are using a wedge pillow for a specific medical condition, always consult with your physician before using a wedge pillow to ensure that it is compliant with your specific condition and/or any medications you may be taking.

There is no time like today to start making changes that your body will love! Try an elevation pillow for feet and feel the difference in your legs and feet!

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Best Leg Elevation Pillow for Circulation

leg elevation pillow for circulation

A leg elevation pillow for circulation can be used to increase circulation throughout your entire body. But to improve circulation, you’ve got to have the right pillow, AND be using it correctly.

Correctly positioning a pillow for leg circulation

When it comes to decreasing swelling and increasing blood flow in the lower body, a leg elevation pillow for circulation is a tool you need. When looking for a pillow to improve leg circulation, it is essential to get one that is the right size. Once you get a leg elevation pillow that is the right size, you’ve got to know how to position it correctly. Here is how you master the art of leg elevation pillow size and positioning. 

First, the pillow should run from your gluteal fold to your Achilles tendon. Your gluteal fold is the horizontal line that forms at the base of your buttocks and the top of your upper thigh. It is important that your leg elevation pillow starts at this fold so that your entire leg is supported.

The leg pillow should then extend all the way to your Achilles tendon and stop just short of the heel. The heel should be hanging off the end of the pillow. This positioning element improves the overall comfort of the leg elevation pillow. You don’t want the contours of your ankle and heel mashing up against the leg wedge, so keep your heel hanging off.

Second, the contours of a leg elevation pillow need to align with the center of the knee joint and the Achilles tendon. This alignment will broaden the surface area of bodily contact with the pillow. The more area of your body that is in contact with the pillow means the less pressure you will have on any one area of your legs. This improves overall comfort, especially if you have any pressure points in your legs.

Third, the pillow shape should be such that the foot is resting at the highest point of the pillow. This position maximizes gravity’s ability to assist the return of blood flow back to the heart. When you enlist gravity to help improve blood flow, your veins thanks you for the break!

Sizing a leg elevation pillow for circulation

When determining what size leg circulation pillow you need, measure from your gluteal fold to your Achilles tendon. Then, compare that length to the length of the leg elevation pillow you are looking at. This can give you a general guideline for how long a pillow you are looking for.

At Wedge Pillow Solutions, we carry two lengths of leg elevation pillows so we can accommodate all lengths of legs! We have an exact sizing guide for our contoured leg elevation pillow. This is so you can be sure that you are ordering the correct size leg wedge pillow for your legs!

A leg elevation pillow for circulation should also have a minimum height of 4 inches. This is an adequate height to ensure that there will be enough angle to properly help with circulation. Four inches is the minimal height, leg wedges that are higher are great too!

Get a pillow for leg circulation made of high quality foam

If you are going to buy a leg circulation pillow, get one made with high quality foam. High end foams don't break down over time. They also offers your legs great support while you elevate.

Not only are high quality foams supportive, they are comfortable! If you get a foam that naturally conforms to your body, you don’t have to worry about whether you are maximizing support and comfort because….you ARE!

Now, when you look for a leg elevation pillow for circulation, you know what length it should be, how it should be positioned, and what quality to look for so that your pillow works the most effectively!

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy


The #1 Triangle Pillow for Legs

triangle pillow for legs

A triangle pillow for legs serves one main purpose, to help you elevate your legs. There are two main types of leg pillows, contoured and triangular. Each is used for slightly different purposes. Keep reading to find out which type of triangle pillow is best for your legs!

A contoured, triangle wedge pillow for legs

A contoured, triangle pillow for legs is especially beneficial for anyone with leg tenderness or pain, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, varicose veins, venous insufficiency, or leg, ankle, or foot swelling. This is because of the strategically placed contours found on this leg wedge.

The purpose and function of the contours is to maximize the surface area of the pillow on the legs. The increased surface area of the wedge pillow gets rid of any discomfort that would otherwise be caused by pressure points. This is because the force of gravity on your legs is spread out among the contours, instead of concentrated in any one spot.

Conditions like diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia are notorious for localized areas of pain. So much so that even brushing against a cotton sheet can bring about an increase in discomfort. A contoured, triangle wedge pillow for legs does a fantastic job of spreading out forces and enhancing comfort for these types of debilitating conditions.

Additionally, a contoured triangle pillow helps with vascular conditions such as varicose veins and venous insufficiency (swelling in the legs). When there is too much compression on the veins, they have trouble bringing blood back to the heart. Two examples of situations where there could be too much compression on your veins would be prolonged standing or prolonged sitting. This is due to the force of gravity pulling blood and fluid down towards your feet when you are in these positions.

The contoured nature of this triangle knee pillow counteracts the effects of gravity on your veins. Gravity makes it harder for blood to flow from your legs back to your heart. When you elevate your legs on a contoured, triangle pillow, blood flow back to your heart increases.

Additionally, the other added benefit of this wedge pillow is that when you lie flat with your feet elevated, your feet are at the highest point of your body. This allows gravity to help, not hinder, the return of blood to the heart. This is an important position to lie in each day because it's often the only time of the day that our legs don't have to work against gravity.

An angled, triangular knee pillow

A triangular knee pillow is especially beneficial for anyone with lumbar radiculopathy, sciatica, disc herniation, or SI joint dysfunction.

A slight variation from the contoured, leg wedge pillow, this triangular knee pillow has an incline area extending from the hip to the knee, and then is level from the knee to the feet. This is important for several physiological reasons.

First, the bend in the knee allows gravity to help unweight the legs in a way that also completely relaxes the lower back. You have muscles that connect from your knees, to your hips, to your lower back. Because of these muscle attachments, when you have a slight bend in your hip and knee, it takes tension off of these muscles. Relieving this tension decreases strain on the joints, muscles, and discs in your spine.

Second, for individuals that have nerve dysfunctions such as lumbar radiculopathy or sciatica, the knee bend helps with decreasing nerve tension in your hips, legs, and back. Whenever the knee is straight, it increases the nerve tension in your legs. A slight increase in knee flexion, like what you get when resting on a triangular knee pillow, can really help with any nerve related disorders.

When you sleep on a triangle knee pillow, either contoured or angled, you give yourself a foundation for improved sleep and better healing for your body!

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Get Migraine Relief at Home With An Elevation Pillow for Head Support

migraine relief at home with an elevation pillow for head

If you are looking for migraine relief at home, you may need to consider sleeping on an elevation pillow for head and neck support. Learn why sleeping with your head elevated on a wedge pillow may be an easy way to relieve migraine symptoms.

How an elevation pillow affects your head while you sleep

During the day when your body is upright, gravity assists the blood flow and circulation between your head, neck, and heart. However, when you sleep at night, your body and head are lying flat. When you lie flat, the circulation loop between your heart and your head slows down.

Your system must work harder to circulate blood through your brain and head because it doesn’t have gravity helping it. Lying flat can cause an increase in intracranial pressure. This decreases oxygen to the brain which can lead to headaches or migraines.

Sleeping on a head elevation pillow may change this. Some studies have shown a decrease of up to 60% of migraines for individuals that sleep with at least 30 degrees of head elevation. When you sleep with your torso and head elevated, it lessens the restriction of blood vessels going to your head. In turn, the amount of oxygen going to your brain increases while you sleep.

What wedge pillow do I need to elevate my head?

For migraine relief at home, sleeping with a minimum head and torso elevation of 30 degrees may decrease your incidence and intensity of migraines. A comfortable and effective way to sleep at the correct angle is to invest in a wedge pillow to elevate head, neck, and torso. A 12-inch wedge pillow would effectively get your head to this 30 degree position.

To be most comfortable, combine your elevation pillow for head support with a knee wedge pillow. This will prevent your upper body from sliding down your elevation pillow during the night. It will also align your hips, knees, and lower back correctly so your muscles and joints are completely relaxed and not affected by any gravitational pressure.

Using an elevation pillow for head and neck support may prevent or lessen the severity of migraines. Get migraine relief at home and don’t go another day debilitated by head pain!

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy


Stop Sliding Down Your Triangle Foam Wedge

triangle foam wedge

Were you so excited to start sleeping on your triangle foam wedge, only to find out that you kept sliding down it during the night? Let’s learn how to stop sliding down your foam triangle, so you can get the sleep your body needs!

Why you slide down your triangle foam wedge

If you were to drop a ball onto the highest part of your triangle foam pillow, it would roll down the wedge, right? This is because of the effects of gravity on the ball. The effects of gravity on your body are similar, the difference is, your body is not completely round (hopefully!). Because your body is not completely round, you won’t roll completely down your wedge pillow, but you may slide down it a little bit!

This can be a difficult thing for some people to navigate, and it can lead to frustration, discomfort, and loss of sleep. However, you can position yourself in ways to avoid sliding and in turn, maximize your foam triangle pillow experience!

How to stop sliding down your foam triangle

Anytime you introduce an angle (via a foam triangle) to your sleep position, gravity will want to slide you down. Your job is to outsmart gravity by using… you guessed it! Smarter positioning!

When lying on a triangle foam wedge, your head should be resting on a neck pillow. By placing a neck pillow on top of your wedge pillow, you align your spine correctly. Another helpful positioning tip is that your glutes should be resting against the mattress so that the bend in your hips occurs at the base of the pillow.

The most important tip for preventing your body from sliding down your triangle foam wedge is this: use a knee wedge pillow. When you use a knee wedge pillow, it counteracts the downward gravitational pull on your body from the foam triangle. The knee wedge pillow essentially cradles your body and re-aligns the gravitational forces so your body stays put.

This position is optimal for several reasons. First, it aligns your spine perfectly. Second, it allows the hips to be the anchor point for the rest of the body which ensures comfort and helps prevent sliding during the night. And finally, it counteracts the downward gravitational pull on your body which prevents it from sliding down the wedge.

Know all your options

Did you know that there is a triangle foam wedge made especially for side sleepers? If you enjoy sleeping on your side, but need to sleep on an incline, this is a great option for you. The contoured nature of this pillow also allows you to be in a comfortable position that minimizes movement and increases comfort.

These are the only two positions recommended for incline sleeping, so you can know that we have all your bases covered. Maximize your positioning with a triangle foam wedge, tonight!

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

4 Facts About a Leg Elevation Pillow

leg elevation pillow

A leg elevation pillow does a lot more for your body than you think it does. There are A TON of reasons why you should be elevating your legs each day, and some of these reasons, you might not be aware of!

Fact #1: A leg elevation pillow for circulation, DOES actually help with circulation

You may be thinking "how does a leg elevation pillow help with circulation?" The answer is… gravity! When your feet are resting on a leg elevation wedge, your feet are at the highest point of your body. This allows the force of gravity to assist blood flow back to the heart.

Elevation is important especially if you have any sort of vein related issue. This could be a problem with the valves in your veins, or it could be the result of your veins stiffening. Either way, when someone with a vein issue spends a lot of time standing or sitting, their veins have difficulty transporting blood back to their heart efficiently. This results in blood “pooling” in the legs which causes swelling and leg discomfort.

Elevating your legs on a leg elevation wedge, 15-20 minutes each day, is an excellent way to manage leg swelling caused by venous insufficiency. It takes gravity out of the situation and gives your veins a chance to “catch up,” if you will. After a long day of gravity pulling fluid down to your feet, elevate your legs to help the fluid flow out of your feet and legs.

Fact #2: Inflammation decreases when you use a leg elevation pillow for swelling

A leg elevation pillow for swelling can help those who have redness, skin sensitivity, fluid retention, and tenderness in their legs as a result of edema. These symptoms occur as a direct result of the pressure built up in your compromised veins. Leaving this untreated can cause serious complications.

To prevent and help treat complications from lower extremity swelling, use a leg elevation pillow. Consistent elevation will gradually decrease the swelling in your legs. As your swelling decreases, so will the pressure in your veins, leaving your feet and ankles more mobile and leaving you in less pain.

Fact #3: The best way to elevate is with a contoured leg wedge

You heard it, the best way to elevate your legs is with a contoured leg wedge. Why, you ask? First, when you recline on this type of leg wedge, your ankles are resting at the highest point of the wedge. This is important because it ensures gravity will be able to bring blood flow from the furthest part of your leg, back up towards your heart.

Secondly, the contours spread out the force of gravity on your legs to eliminate pressure points. These are areas where blood flow may be restricted due to excessive pressure. When you rest your legs in the contours, it ensures that your legs won’t be resting on any painful pressure points.

Thirdly, the strategically placed contours are ergonomic. They match the natural shape of your legs and offer them the most support. This offers you the most comfort while you elevate.

Fact #4: You can use a leg elevation pillow for varicose veins

A leg elevation pillow for varicose veins is a natural treatment for varicose veins with no side effects. Leg elevation can even be combined with simple exercises to reduce swelling.

When you exercise while you elevate your legs, your muscles act like a pump sending blood back to your heart. This, combined with gravity, is an effective way to reduce lower extremity swelling. Check with your doctor if you have a complex medical history, just to make sure using a leg elevation pillow is appropriate.

A leg elevation pillow is a great tool to use daily. There are very few things that most everyone will benefit from, but leg elevation is one of them!

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy