A Chiropractor Guides You to the Best Travel Pillow
More and more airlines are pulling their pillows from their flights. Good riddance! In addition to the questions of hygiene and sanitation, those pillows were largely useless. Do yourself and your neck a favor and upgrade.
As a licensed chiropractor, I see many patients who return from traveling with all sorts of new ailments and re-injured old ones. Usually, the injury occurs during the flight, due to long periods of sitting uncomfortably. The right travel pillow will not only allow you to relax, which offers its own health benefits, but help prevent soreness or even injury.
During the day, the postural muscles in your neck are in contraction, to support your head. When you relax, your neck muscles relax with you.
When you are lying in bed, gravity helps keep your head and body aligned. When you are sitting upright, like in an airplane chair, gravity is working against you. Especially, if you are trying to relax.
The standard U-shape travel pillows lack support under the chin. This allows your head to fall forward when you start to relax. Standard U-shape travel neck pillows have padding in the back. This padding is largely unneeded since the high-back airline chair is there for support, much like your bed supports you when you are lying down. Making matters worse, this unnecessary padding pushes your head forward even further accentuating the lack of support in front.
Your head is now putting extra stress on your spine. Not only will you be uncomfortable and unable to rest, you'll likely end up tired, sore, and perhaps injured.
Picture your head and neck alignment when you are lying in bed. You naturally place yourself in neutral alignment, minimizing stress on your spine and neck postural muscles. This want to keep this neutral position when you are upright in an airline chair. Hanging your head forward or cocking it to one side is not only uncomfortable, but places great strain on your spine and neck postural muscles.
The best memory foam travel pillow is one that provides full support, including under the chin. This support helps you maintain proper alignment while sitting upright. Posture = comfort.
Maintaining proper alignment while traveling or sleeping upright is not only important with regards to personal comfort, but vital in reducing stress, soreness and preventing injury.
So don't be worried about cost cutting measures by the airline industry. View this as an opportunity to get a travel pillow that works.
Dr. Kirsti Neely is a licensed chiropractor and owner of Marina Chiropractic in San Francisco. Dr. Neely is author of Best Travel Neck Pillows and is design consutant for the Embrace Sleep Collar Travel Pillow. For more information, please visit: http://www.sleepcollar.com/