Wedge Pillow Articles

Are You Using Your Reflux Pillow The Wrong Way?

reflux pillow

Many reflux pillow advertisements show models positioned completely wrong on their acid reflux pillows. This is detrimental to you, the customer, because if you go home and sleep on your reflux pillow how the model is demonstrating, you could wake up stiff, sore, and still have reflux.

As a physical therapist, this kind of advertising really bothers me because sleeping incorrectly can hurt your body. Here are some mistakes you can look for to tell if a company truly has the knowledge required to help you find comfort, or if they are just trying to sell you a reflux pillow.

Mistake # 1: Don’t sleep sideways on a triangle wedge pillow

Sleeping sideways on a reflux pillow that is triangular in shape is a big mistake. A big mistake that leads to back and hip pain. If you see a company advertising this, run! You should always sleep on your back on a triangle wedge pillow, and here is why:

Sleeping sideways on a straight wedge contorts your spine all night. This contortion compresses and strains the joints that move your spine, leading to inflammation and stiffness in the morning.

Instead, if you prefer to sleep on your side, look for an acid reflux pillow that is made especially for side sleepers. This contoured reflux wedge pillow is perfect for side sleepers. The contours conform to your body’s curves and fully support your spine. Combine this contoured reflux pillow with a leg separator pillow to maximize hip and back support, and get ready for some comfortable and reflux-free side sleeping!

Mistake #2: Sleeping on your reflux pillow without a neck pillow

You cannot sleep on a reflux pillow without a neck pillow. When you try to sleep flat on a triangle wedge pillow, the angle of the force of gravity will cause your neck to extend back into the wedge pillow. Sleeping in this extended position all night can lead to neck stiffness, soreness, headaches, and pain

Instead, put your regular neck pillow or this neck wedge pillow on top of your triangle wedge pillow. Sleeping on a neck pillow will support the natural curve of your neck. This support decreases strain on your cervical muscles, ligaments, and joints, so you wake up without neck pain.

Mistake #3: Not Using Any Sort of Leg Pillow

Sleeping on your back on a triangle shaped reflux pillow increases the amount of force on your lower back. The triangle shape of the wedge naturally makes the tailbone take the brunt of the force of gravity.

To decrease the strain on your lower back, use a knee wedge pillow. A knee wedge pillow takes away gravity’s pull on your back and instead, disperses gravity’s force evenly on your whole body. When gravity is dispersed evenly on all parts of your body, your muscles, joints, and ligaments fully relax. This leads to deep and rejuvenating sleep.

Additionally, not using a leg pillow can cause you to slide off of your triangle wedge pillow during the night. This again has to do with gravity and you can learn more about why you may be sliding off your acid reflux wedge pillow here. The bottom line is…using a knee wedge pillow will stop you from sliding down your wedge.

Mistake #4: Positioning your torso incorrectly on the wedge

To sleep correctly on a reflux pillow, your glutes should be lying on the mattress, and your torso and low back should be lying on the reflux wedge. Sometimes, the pillow ends somewhere in your mid-back area. This means you have slidden down too far on the wedge. If your glutes are on the wedge pillow, then you are positioned too high.

If you have been using your reflux pillow incorrectly, it’s not your fault, you were probably shown wrong! Start implementing these tips and you will be sleeping comfortably in no time!

-Bryan Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Solutions to Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

One of the biggest complaints from moms is swollen feet during pregnancy! When you are pregnant, EVERYTHING gets harder. You have less energy, you gain weight, and your body works harder just to maintain your pre-pregnancy level of activity.

One of the reasons lower body swelling occurs during pregnancy is because when a woman is pregnant, fluid increases substantially in her body. The result of gravity, upright positions during the day (walking, sitting, standing), and increased fluid is: leg swelling! Gravity pulls the excess fluid down to the legs, feet, and ankles. All pregnant moms will agree: this swelling is uncomfortable, in more ways than one!

Swollen ankles during pregnancy

To reduce swollen ankles during pregnancy, leg elevation is essential. Some women try to stack pillows up as a leg prop. However, it takes an average of 7 regular pillows to adequately support your legs above your heart. These 7 pillows need to be positioned properly from your gluteal fold to your ankles, and fully support the weight of your legs. Oftentimes, storing 7 pillows and trying to position them just right isn't practical.

Because pregnancy is 9 months long, and comfort, practicality, and convenience are top priority, many moms might prefer to use just one wedge pillow to elevate their swollen feet. A wedge pillow specific for leg swelling during pregnancy is only one pillow as opposed to seven, is easy to set up, keeps your legs fully supported at the correct height, and is the most comfortable option for leg elevation.

Mama, take at least 3 breaks during the day to elevate your swollen feet during pregnancy. These 10-15 minutes breaks are needed for your health, well-being, resilience, and comfort. Elevating your feet with a wedge pillow can be a great way to reduce swelling while you are growing your precious baby.

Consistent exercise

As I mentioned earlier, pregnancy can lead to decreased energy, weight gain, and increased fluid volume in the body. You may be asking, "How can I exercise when I can barely make it through my day?" The key is consistency and loading.

If you aren’t pregnant yet, try to start a consistent exercise program. Women who have been exercising prior to pregnancy are able to maintain their level of fitness during their pregnancy. Sometimes, you aren’t able to start an exercise program before getting pregnant ! Life gets in the way, so no worries!

If you haven't been actively engaged in an exercise program, you can still start one up. Just be sure to start at a beginner’s level. Growing a baby is not the time to go from 0 to 60!

Starting out, even exercises as simple as ankle pumps and heel slides on a wedge pillow are perfect for getting rid of leg swelling during pregnancy. These exercises get your blood flowing, muscles pumping, and help push swelling out of your legs.

Starting a light walking program can also be beneficial for leg swelling during pregnancy. Walking is safe, and is a great way to get your body and joints moving. From there, you can gradually begin to focus on increasing strength and endurance.

Diet and fluid considerations

Diet and water consumption is another essential way to manage swollen ankles during pregnancy. Drinking enough water and taking in the correct nutrients are important components of a healthy pregnancy. This two factors directly influence swelling and how your body functions on a day-to-day basis.

Swollen feet during pregnancy

Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy. But, with the proper diet, consistent leg elevation, and simple exercises, you can directly control some of how your body responds during pregnancy. Don't let swelling take you over during one of the most special times of your life!

-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy

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