Is your pillow causing health issues, or improving them?

Most common patient questions.  There are a lot of questions that patients have when they begin their journey into the World of Spine & Posture.  When you meet the top experts in the field, Spine Surgeons (MD, DO) or the Biomechanics and health experts, Chiropractic Physicians/Doctor of Chiropractic.  One of the most popular questions are regarding beds and pillows. Given that you spend 8-10 hours a day in these positions, they play an integral role in both recovery and health.  In this article, we’ll cover what’s the best sleeping position, and whether or not a pillow is actually helpful!

Trust the experts.  This may come as a surprise to most, but as an expert in the Spine & nerve system, functional movement and human performance, I don’t commonly recommend a pillow.  Most pillows are based in misinformation and faulty advice.  For example, waking up with or with out pain is not the best way to guage the effecrtiveness of your pillow.  It starts with understanding your overall health, and how to properly interpret your body’s symptoms and signals.  Check out this article first. (LINK TO BODY SIGNALS ARTICLE).

Poor science with misleading ‘results’.  Once you’re convinced that health is NOT how we look or function, and the gold standards for health outcomes are also related to objective measures that have nothing to do with pain, or looking good, you’ll quickly realize that most research is bad, as it only focuses on pain relief. Which leads may lead to serious disease or disability and reduced quality of life.  ormation is specifically detailed in CBP courses such as the Cervical Rehab Conference. It would behoove all interested in cervical spine correction to attend this program for your Doctor. Or if you are a patient, understand this higher education is a post-doctoral program level knowledge and requires an extensive basis of knowledge in biomechanics, physics and the clinical application of such aspects in regard to spinal correction.

Most pillows worsen health.   Many pillows on the market appear as nice user friendly devices that assists with ‘pain relief’ or ‘sleep improvement’.  Some attempt to discuss the process of cervical curve rehabilitation. Axial distraction is typically a beneficial maneuver, however only a Doctor can actually determine that. Further, most pillows leave the spine (the neck specifically), in an compromised flexed position, reducing or reversing the cervical curve of the spine.   This is an abnormal position and posture for the spine, and causes reduction in function, simply put.  Additionally, to my knowledge, I know of no high quality published, peer reviewed Randomized trials with long term follow up providing proper data to support the claim that their pillows improves the cervical curvature to the magnitude that most patients and doctors require— EG., 10-20 degrees minimum Correction is what most patients need.

Denneroll pillow improves health.  There is much research being done on reducing forward head posture/position and improving cervical lordosis and the tremendous benefits, including while in the supine sleeping position.  Research has bee nperformed comparing its effects to the most popular of contour pillows, with the denneroll pillow showing the most outstanding results.  Health benefits included, but are not limited to:

improved airway for better breathing, reduced muscle tension for relaxation, helping you get to sleep, improved blood flow to the brain.

We are always reading the most up to date literature, and welcome any peer reviewed published data with long-term follow up showing specific devices that can refute their unproven claims.  We appreciate new properly performed data.

The best pillow focuses on curve correction & function.   Spinal health & posture are critical for quality of health and long term health, which is why the Denneroll pillow is the best researched pillow.   In contrast to most pillows, the Denneroll pillow is based on multiple published Randomized trials using the Denneroll itself, with long term follow-up (1-2 years)  indicating it can improve the cervical lordosis in a short 10-week program. The correction averages 12-15 degrees of curvature and 10-25 mm reduction in forward head posture with the denneroll.  The image above is consistent and repeated across doctors who practice curve correction at the highest level. Simultaneously with curve and posture improvement the Denneroll groups afforded demonstrative and significant improvement in outcomes of chronic pain, disability, range of motion, functional measures and neurological outcomes.

The best Researched & Proven Spinal Orthotics & Pillows (Spinal Alignment)

The Denneroll Pillow is affordable, very easy to use, and is more versatile than the other pillows.  It allows for both back sleeping (the best position) and side sleeping postures.  See the below links to the research.

Simply put, the Denneroll and Denneroll pillow, is a proper evidence based prescription orthotic and pillow respectively, with the Denneroll itself having multiple RCTs supporting its usage in properly selected patients.

A few of the Denneroll publications— note there are several more in review:


A video is worth a thousand words.  We’ve included a few still images from the video, but check the link and watch it.  When it comes to proper medical advice, we maintain our standard of excellence.

The posture pump here is utilized simply to demonstrate the principle of proper medical guideance, especially with the spine.  The video showcases what happens when devices are utilized without first imaging and researching their effects.

Patient’s beginning neck curve.  A very ‘common’ but abnormal curve in the population. This curve is dramatically worsened under spinal load, and is the same case when this patient stands and attempts to utilize the posture pump.

In the end, health care is about best evidence and patient outcomes. To me the evidence clearly supports the Denneroll pillow, based on the Denneroll device and the ideal cervical spinal model from a true corrective care perspective and from a patient outcome perspective. This is not to say some pillows are not helpful in pain relief, just as it is not to say the posture pump is not a useful adjunct to a chiropractor and a patient. Like the posture pump,  many Doctors utilize them in their clinics, however, we don’t prescribe these to patients. We only use this when the patient is unable to tolerate extension at first. Once able, we fit and prescribe the patients for the Denneroll and Denneroll pillow as a home tool.

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