Coping, Treatment

The Great Pillow Experiment: Results Not Encouraging

My joy following the Great Pillow Experiment was sadly short-lived. The day of my original post was the best and the next day was pretty good. The relief dropped dramatically and I haven’t found it since. That was almost four weeks ago.

I tried a new pillow combination three nights ago. My neck and shoulder pain has lessened. While the chronic daily headache is unchanged, the migraine episodes haven’t been as severe as they were the past couple weeks.

If this doesn’t pan out, I’m not sure what’s next. My sensitivity to odors rules out memory foam, latex and the synthetic filling of most pillows. I’ve tried wool, buckwheat, down, and organic cotton over buckwheat, all to no avail. These fibers may be perfectly fine, but the pillow construction is never right.

The pillow of my dreams is shaped kind of like a memory foam pillow. There’s a densely stuffed ridge at the bottom to hold my neck in the right position and a dip above to keep my head at the correct angle. Maybe I should build my own.

12 thoughts on “The Great Pillow Experiment: Results Not Encouraging”

  1. I have migraines from neck problems as well. I let the tempurpedic pillow air out for at least a month to get rid of the smell. In addition to the pillow I use the Homedics pillow neck massager for about 20 minutes each evening, and get Botox injections in my neck from my neurologist. This combination (each of which is critical) has helped me go from 3 migraines a day to one every couple of weeks.

    I’m ready for that new pillow anytime though. I’ve spent a fortune on tempupedic ones because the minute it starts conforming to my neck–out it goes!

  2. I have neck pain every morning I wake up because of dreadful sleepless nights tossing in the bed, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in. It happens every night and ive tried several pillows but none have worked well for me. Ive read a lot about tempur and memory foam pillows. Any suggestions on which one would help reduce the pain and give me comfy nights so that i can sleep well?

    Many have said tempur has helped them. If so, which one – the one with the bulge or the classic one? Please help… thanks in advance 🙂

  3. Try the Chiroflow or Mediflow pillow. It looks like a regular pillow but there is a pouch that you fill with water. It supports your head at any angle as you move while sleeping. It may take a few trys to get the water level correct. Amazon sells them. The memory foam pillow I had gave me a neck ache, however, I did not have a tempurpedic.

  4. Ask your neurologist for a prescription for a c-spine soft collar (you can buy them over the counter but the fit isn’t customized). I wear one every night, and though I still get headaches everyday, it has dramatically reduced the severity, especially upon waking. Highly worth a try, and not expensive.

  5. After about a week either we just can’t smell it anymore or the smell dissipated. Either way we love our pillows. The cheap pillows are ok but won’t last as long. We love our Tempurpedic pillows!

  6. Pam, I will be right behind you!

    FWIW, I’ve had good luck with tempurpedic pillows not being too smelly for me (I have terrible problems with anything that has even a whiff of “rubbery” smell).

    I tried to cheap-out and bought a memory foam pillow at Target or Ikea… huge mistake, and I ended up giving it away after the first night when the fumes from my hands having touched the pillow (which wasn’t in the room, even) gave me a migraine. Truly dreadful.

  7. Have you thought about using a flatter pillow and just lying a bath towel along the bottom edge so you head rests at the correct angle? The one I got from The chiro is good but I can hardly send you one from Australia. I also found that I brace myself with a bath towel when sleeping on my back around my neck so it doesn’t droop and be painfull.

  8. I had the same smell issues with the memory foam pillows, what I ended up doing was buying one, and letting it air out for a good 6months to a year. I know it sounds like a long time, but in the end it was worth it.

  9. Have you tried any pillows from Tempur? I have both a Tempur mattress and a Tempur pillow, and I can’t live without it! I take my pillow with me everywhere I go, even to hotels 😉 Here’s a link:
    I use the “the NeckPillow” in size small (and my dad is addicted to his “the UniversalCushion”). Although I still have chronic daily headaches, the mattress and pillow has at least made me rest better when I sleep.

    Happy pillow-hunting! 🙂

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