What should a cervical pillow do? Provide adequate support of the cervical spine to introduce and maintain the proper curve and provide counter traction at the base of the skull so that intersegmental traction can occur during plastic deformation of the soft tissue (allow actual separation of the vertebra while patient is asleep). Why use a cervical pillow? Many chiropractic patients and virtually all trauma patients display a loss of curve. One of the first objectives for a doctor recommending a cervical pillow is to restore the proper curve to the cervical spine. Any pillow that cannot restore the proper curve is nontherapeutic regardless of how comfortable a patient may find it. The second objective for a therapeutic cervical pillow is to provide counter traction by holding the back of the patient’s head at the skull when plastic deformation occurs. This way, intersegmental traction is provided. When the body is at rest, soft tissue relaxes and the body stretches. This is why we are shorter in the evening (after a whole day’s worth of gravity effects) and taller in the morning (after plastic deformation). By providing counter traction, the individual vertebrae are able to slightly separate and relieve pressures on discs and the nerve roots that emanate from between them. If a pillow fails in either of these objectives, it is a comfort pillow – not a therapeutic pillow. These cervical pillows come in different sizes just as people vary from smaller to larger in stature. It only makes sense that a therapeutic cervical pillow needs to be fitted to the individual’s size. Dr. Cleveland is skilled in fitting patients with cervical pillows to give them optimal benefit.

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