The importance of the neck
A fact unknown to most, the neck is one of the most important cornerstones of the human body. Not only does it provide a safe passageway for food and oxygen, delivering two of the most important substances to the interior of the torso (and let us not forget the flow of blood to and from the head), but it hosts the transmitter of all messages towards the body; the cervical spine.
Despite this, the neck is also one of the most delicate and exposed areas of the body; a mere blockage of food in the oesophagus or a blow to the exterior could signal certain doom. Due to this apparent evolutionary flaw (why should the oesophagus carry both air and food?) it is imperative that we look after our necks as much as possible.
Steering away from the imminently obvious dispositions that surround our corridor of life, the neck is also formed of intricate muscle tissue which allows the assured movement of our head, which if under the slightest slither of strain, will become a certain source of pain for some time to come.
Due to the complexity of the neck, and the job in which it carries out, there are various strains and stresses in which it can become subjected to; for instance, a sharp movement caused by the sudden and let’s face it – unnatural – braking of a vehicle can cause a person to undergo weeks of even years of pain. Unfortunately, whiplash is a common occurrence and is caused by the abrupt straining of muscles in the exterior of the neck. In the United Kingdom alone in 2010, there were 554,000 whiplash claims.
How can you look after your neck?
As already stated, looking after your neck is highly important for the wellbeing of your body as a whole to ensure a healthy and happy you. Even the appearance of a bad or tumulus pillow can cause a day of stiffness and mild pain. Whilst choosing a pillow for your bed, it is important to choose a pillow that is right for you. Ideally, whilst you lay on your side in bed, your entire spine should be aligned horizontally, without any curvature or stress being applied throughout the length of your body. If you are a person who regularly suffers from a stiff neck, though are unsure as to why, the cause could very well be down to the pillow in which you sleep upon.
Memory Foam Pillows
Ideally, a memory foam pillow would make the perfect replacement to any unwanted or unsavoury pillow. Using polyurethane as its basis, memory foam pillows are often known as visco-elastic foam; reacting to both body heat and pressure in order to maximise comfort. By pressing an object against it, the high-density foam absorbs the pressure inhibited by the object and evenly distributes it along the surface of the memory foam. Invented by NASA in 1966 for astronauts experiencing G-force lift offs, the foam was quickly taken into use by hospitals and medical associations around the world; though its popularity did not become prominent until the early 1990s.
Since then memory foam has spread throughout the world and is only now rising in popularity in the United Kingdom.
Of course, besides the addition of memory foam pillows to the UK market, there are also memory foam mattresses and mattress toppers which are an excellent way of looking after your body; especially if you suffer from arthritis or are elderly. As the foam distributes the weight of your body across its surface, this also means that it is great for your circulation!
What if I’m Pregnant?
If you are currently pregnant, you will be glad to know that there are various forms of pregnancy pillows that are great for relieving aches and pains caused by the stressors of pregnancy. Maternity pillows such as breastfeeding pillows, maternity support pillows and supportive pregnancy aids are all key things to have before, during and even after your pregnancy.