We often see scoliosis patients suffering from chronic pain, mostly in the lumbar (or lower) spine area. Pillows don’t necessarily improve or worsen scoliosis on a structural level. But some specially designed supportive pillows offer some relief to the scoliosis patient while sleeping. A lumbar support pillow makes the best choice in this case.
It supports the natural curvature of the spine, especially the lumbar part of a scoliosis patient during sleep. A person with scoliosis may go through recurring back pain which can worsen due to the gap between the mattress and the back. A lumbar pillow can fill that gap and help alleviate the back pain by taking the strain off these muscles.
Why Scoliosis Patients Require Sleep Aids
You probably know scoliosis is a medical condition that causes spinal deformity. The thoracic curve and the lumbar curve are two common types of scoliosis curves that affect the alignment of the entire spine.
As a result, scoliosis patients often suffer from pain, strain, or discomfort due to improper spinal alignment. And that’s where sleeping aids like pillows or mattresses have a role to play.
Medical experts like Dr. Hall or Dr. Velikova mention sleeping aids like pillows while talking about sleeping positions and sleep hygiene for scoliosis patients. Many patients reported getting pain relief after using the lumbar pillow for back support or the cervical pillow for neck support.
Engineering Behind Lumbar Pillow
Lumbar pillows are generally ergonomically designed and crafted to ease back pain, including ones caused by the scoliotic curves. So a person with scoliosis can enjoy a good night’s sleep using this pillow.
Generally, these pillows come in a triangular shape to support the neutral position of the spine. It’s designed to help both the back and side sleepers alike. The lumbar pillow is made of memory foam; some even consist of multiple densities to provide spinal corrective support regardless of sleeping positions.
The memory foam also adapts easily to the body’s natural curve to keep a scoliosis sufferer from tossing and turning. Besides, high-quality memory foam doesn’t flatten out easily and keeps up to the shape for maximum support. The lumbar pillows are generally hypoallergenic and include a skin-friendly, organic cotton cover.
These pillows evenly dissipate body heat while sleeping, making it less likely to feel sweaty or uncomfortable. They are generally machine washable and include easy care and maintenance.
How Do You Find A Good Lumbar Pillow
According to LondoOrthotics, there are different pillows and mattresses available for scoliosis patients that use terms like ‘postural’ or ‘orthopedic.’ Some pillows also include the terms Lumber Support in the advertisement.
These terms shouldn’t con any person with scoliosis; rather, they should verify if the product is engineered well enough to purport the medical benefits for people with scoliosis. Getting product reviews from authentic sources is one way to check if they are true to the claim.
Using a Lumbar Pillow in Different Instances
Scoliosis patients, in many instances, can use a lumbar pillow; while sleeping on the bed, while sitting in the car, or while sitting on a reclining sofa. But patients with scoliosis are most likely to use it while sleeping.
According to most medical experts, there are only two ideal and comfortable sleeping positions for people with scoliosis. These are sleeping on the back and sleeping on the side.
Although stomach sleepers can use the lumbar support pillow, it’s a strongly discouraged sleeping position. We’ll see how to use a lumbar support pillow for these sleeper types and how it can be used while sitting for a long time to support the back.
For Back Sleepers
Most scoliosis patients with lumbar curves prefer sleeping on the back. It’s also suggested by top medical experts, including Dr. Hall. You can simply slip the lumbar pillow under the back if you’re a back sleeper. It’ll create an S-shaped curve and provide you with the comfort and safety required during sleep.
The triangular shape of the lumbar pillow also tucks in comfortably beneath the waist to keep the hips, spine, and legs in right alignment as you lay on the bed. You can also set the pillow under the calves of your legs to increase the blood flow. It’ll help you feel relieved when too much time is spent on your feet.
For Side Sleepers
Sleeping on the side is the second-best position for sleeping with scoliosis. In that case, you can use the lumbar pillow underneath the rib cage to close the gap between your body and the mattress.
You can prop the lumbar pillow on the car seat or behind the back when sitting on a couch or reclining sofa to provide the required lumbar support. It’ll ensure that you don’t hurt your lumbar after sitting for long.
Benefits of a Lumbar Pillow for Scoliosis Patients
A lumbar pillow may not prevent the progress of the scoliosis curve on a structural level, but it can surely bring some benefits to the sufferers. Some of its benefits include:
- Relieving extra pressure on lumbar
- Supporting and improving poor posture while sleeping
- Relieving sciatica and lower back pain
- Improving blood circulation in legs
- Adapting to the body positions while sleeping due to the ergonomic design
- Providing maximum comfort with breathable materials
- Washable covers with skin-friendly materials
How You Can Maximize the Benefits
For a comfortable sleep, you can maximize the benefits of a lumbar support pillow by combining it with other sleep aids. The most important aid to consider here is a comfortable mattress.
There are different mattresses for scoliosis patients available, but you’ve to choose a firmer mattress that provides enough support to your back. Some even consider thick, cushy mattresses with enough firmness to support the natural body curve. You can also add a cervical pillow to release strain off the shoulders and neck.
We assume you’ve managed to find a comfortable position to sleep in and got a lumbar pillow to support your back. Then you’re probably set to have a restful night with plenty of sleep, even with scoliosis.
Although it doesn’t contribute to the recovery process, it still works great for pain relief. You may not improve the spinal condition, but at least you can maintain an ideal posture by reducing pressure build-up on the back. It’ll also ease up your natural movements that are restricted by the abnormal curvature of the spine.
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