Wedge Pillow Articles

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

A Leg Elevation Pillow For Side Sleepers

leg elevation pillow for side sleepers

If you have been wondering if you should be elevating your legs while sleeping on your side, you have come to the right place. In short, the answer is yes, a leg elevation pillow for side sleepers is an essential component to side sleeping.

Why use a leg elevation pillow for side sleepers?

Side sleeping is comfortable, until it isn’t. As a physical therapist, the most common complaint I hear from people having trouble sleeping on their side is “my (back/shoulder/hips) hurts when I lie on my side.” Explaining why this pain is happening, and how to avoid it, is one of my favorite things to educate my patients on.

Our bodies weren’t made to just sleep flat on our sides. No matter your body type or body shape, the outermost part of your body has various curvatures. You may have wide hips and a narrow waist, broad shoulders and a narrow hips, or any other combination of curves. The bottom line is, no one's body is completely straight. Because of this, when you lie on the naturally curvy side of your body, on your flat mattress, those natural curvatures are left unsupported.

For instance, when you lie on your side, there is an area between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your hip bone that doesn't have the same outer bone structure that your ribs and hip provide. So, when you lie down, what takes the brunt of this area that does not have an outer bone structure? Your spine! Your spine will curve down towards the bed. This can lead to back stiffness and pain.

Next, think about your hips and legs (which is where a leg elevation pillow for side sleepers will come in). When you lie on your side, the outside of your hip is the tallest point on your body. Your thighs angle down to your knees, your knees mash together, and there is another downward angle from your knees to your ankles.

In this position, gravity pulls on your back, thigh, and hip. This causes your muscles to be out of balance. Imbalanced muscles pull on your joints and cause both muscle and joint pain.

To solve the problem of bad angles and improper body support while sleeping on your side, you need a leg elevation pillow for side sleepers. But not just any pillow. To work properly, it needs to have several different characteristics.

Characteristics of a leg elevation pillow for side sleepers

A leg elevation pillow fits in between your legs. It should be placed right up against your pubic bone and be long enough to go past your feet. It should keep your top leg elevated so that your top leg is parallel with the bed (or close to it). This restores muscle and joint balance to your body and prevents you from waking up with pain in the morning due to improper positioning.

Additionally, side sleepers should use a side sleeper wedge. This small wedge fits in the area between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your hip. It keeps your spine supported during the night so that it does not curve down towards the bed.

Choosing a leg elevation pillow for side sleepers is the next step on your journey to find comfort. And as we like to say at Wedge Pillow Solutions, find comfort, because your life is waiting.

-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

When to Use a 7 inch Wedge Pillow

7 inch wedge pillow

A 7 inch wedge pillow helps you sleep slightly reclined. One of the most common reasons a 7 inch bed wedge is sought after is due to its ability to combat acid reflux.

A 7 inch wedge pillow for acid reflux

Most gastroenterologists will recommend that their acid reflux or GERD patients sleep slightly elevated on an incline pillow. When you sleep on a slight incline, it is much harder for stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus (which is the source of heartburn). Many people wonder what height wedge they should be looking for in order to combat reflux or GERD.

The answer is a 7 inch wedge pillow. Seven inches is the height that doctors recommend for combatting acid reflux or GERD. Studies show that this amount of incline reduces reflux symptoms, allowing you to sleep comfortably.

Is sleeping on a 7 inch bed wedge comfortable?

There are several things that go into whether or not sleeping on a 7 inch wedge pillow is comfortable:

First you should consider what material the wedge pillow is made of. Some wedge pillows are cheaply made. Wedge pillows made with cheap materials have a tendency to sag. Sleeping on a saggy pillow leads to stiffness, soreness, and pain in the morning. Because of this, it is important to find a 7 inch wedge pillow made with a firm foam base to give your torso the most amount of support.

Next, make sure your wedge pillow has a memory foam topper. Due to its ability to conform to your body, a memory foam topper offers you the most comfort. The combination of a firm foam base and a memory foam topper give you both support and comfort.

Third, use a knee wedge pillow for your legs. Some people find that they slide down their 7 inch wedge pillow during the night. The way to combat this is to prop your legs on a knee wedge pillow. Propping your legs on a knee wedge pillow keeps you from sliding down your wedge pillow overnight. It also relaxes your hips and lower back. Sleeping reclined with both a knee wedge and a 7 inch wedge is truly the crème de la crème of sleep positions.

Lastly, sleep with your regular neck pillow on top of the wedge. Just because you are sleeping on a 7 inch wedge pillow, don’t forget to place your regular neck pillow on top! You don’t want to lie with your head flat on the wedge. For maximum comfort, place your regular neck pillow on top of the wedge, just like you would if you were sleeping flat on your mattress.

Not all 7 inch wedge pillows are created equal. Once you find one that is supportive and comfortable, you’ll never want to sleep without it.

-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Is Your Child Struggling With Pediatric Sleep Apnea?

pediatric sleep apnea

The diagnosis of pediatric sleep apnea comes with a mix of emotions. On the one hand, it’s a relief to find out that there is a medical diagnosis responsible for your child’s sleep disruptions! However, on the other hand, it can be stressful to figure out how exactly to help them.

The following comes from one of our moms whose 3-year-old daughter slept through the night for the first time EVER, after making one nighttime change.

Here is her story:

My daughter has always woken up 5-6 times during the night. As time went on, we kept thinking it would get better. However, after she turned three years old and was continuing to wake up this frequently, we wondered if there could be something else going on.

In light of this, our next step was to make an appointment with our doctor. After discussing my daughters sleep troubles with our pediatrician, he referred us for a sleep study. The sleep study came back with remarkable results. Our daughter was diagnosed with pediatric obstructive sleep apnea.

I had never heard of pediatric sleep apnea! I was shocked to learn that the test showed that our daughter had over 11 breathing disturbances in one night. It is no wonder she woke up so often while sleeping, she was having trouble breathing!

Sleep apnea treatment without CPAP

After the sleep study, our next step was to visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor to talk about a pediatric sleep apnea treatment. One option was of course a pediatric CPAP machine. Before jumping straight into that, I wanted to look around at all the potential treatment options.

During my search, I learned more about what causes sleep apnea in pediatric patients. During my research, I found that a sleep apnea treatment for adults is to sleep elevated and on their side. So, I thought, why wouldn’t this work for kids? That’s when I started looking for a wedge pillow for sleep apnea.

Thankfully, I found exactly what I was looking for at Wedge Pillow Solutions: a contoured incline wedge pillow. This wedge elevates your torso and is made especially for side sleepers. I wondered if this wedge, which is technically made for adults, could help my daughter sleep?

I decided to give it a try. My husband and I were amazed. The first night my daughter slept on the wedge, she woke up ZERO times. This had never happened before. The first night of sleeping on this wedge pillow was the first night she had ever slept through the night.

Now, it has been a month, and she has slept through the night every, single, night. We are so thankful that we found a natural treatment for pediatric sleep apnea that helps our daughter sleep. And the best part is? She loves the wedge! I place it under the fitted sheet on her bed. Now, she won’t go to bed without her “princess pillow”!

If your family is struggling with pediatric sleep apnea, try a side sleeping wedge! It changed our life, and it could change yours!

-Happy mom!