Chiari Online Support Group

Such a "pain in the neck"...so is there a pillow?

I am trying to come up with ways to cope with this darned chiari. I have a 12mm herniation and have yet to have my "neuro" in Knoxville respond to my repeated requests to a neurosurgeon for a consult on HOW to deal with the aching pain at the base of my skull. He is clueless if I need surgery and told me to "cope as best I can" and to consider Cymbalta for the pain (huh???).

I start my days out feeling ok, but as the day goes on my neck is throbbing. Especially if I look side to side. Or up. Or down. (try avoiding all those activities as my neuro suggested all day long...yeah...)

My biggest challenge is I can't find a pillow that doesn't compress the lower part of my head and if I say, lay on my back or God forbit sit in a chair with my head resting against the chair, I feel like someone hit me in the head it gets to achy. So I end up twisting and turning trying to get comfortable.

I am trying to come up with non-drug pain relief and so far am not having much luck. Any suggestions? I have my fingers crossed I will get a referral SOMEWHERE in Tennessee for some long term suggestions. I know nothing except I have the 12 mm herniation apparently with no blockage of spinal fluid but that is about it. Thanks everyone.

I bought J shaped pillow at a garage sale it works good for me. I think they sell them on Walmart online. I have also talked to people that use a boppy pillow that is used for infants. It is trial and error you could try them maybe one might work for you. Good luck.

Thanks!! :)

Believe it or not...the BEST pillow I've gotten so far is the next to cheapest "memory foam" knockoff at Walmart...I use it with another pillow. I've been sleeping on a couch to combat choking on my own saliva at night for the last year or so...and this pillow is wonderful!! My neck pain/stiffness always precludes a choking episode. Hope this helps!

My go-to pillow is the Sobakawa Cloud pillow. It's like $20 in the as seen on TV aisle of most stores. It's the only pillow that works for me.

I will check it out now!! Thanks! :slight_smile:

I had to look it up for you:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Leggett-Platt-Bedding-Brisa-Memory-Foam-Pillow/16623372

I've had it just over a year...you can mangle it to conform to whatever angle you need it...it takes it!



new2net98 said:

I had to look it up for you:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Leggett-Platt-Bedding-Brisa-Memory-Foam-P...

I've had it just over a year...you can mangle it to conform to whatever angle you need it...it takes it!


This looks pretty comfy and small enough to manipulate under my neck just right...often harder said than done lol. Thank you!
new2net98 said:

I had to look it up for you:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Leggett-Platt-Bedding-Brisa-Memory-Foam-P...

I've had it just over a year...you can mangle it to conform to whatever angle you need it...it takes it!

I have to use the softest and thinnest pillow I can find anything pushing up my head hurts within minutes. Even memory foam is too hard for me. Soft pillows tend to wear out fast but it works for me. Otherwise sleeping sitting up on the couch with pillows behind my back is my other comfort. I got my pillow at Walmart too. It's a trial and error. We sure do have plenty of pillows for visitors now...lol

I can only sleep on one of my sides and then I have to fold part of the pillow to prop my head up.

Good Luck!

God Bless!

Lol thank you Jay…and it is a little scary to open my guest room closet and see the collection of failed pillow contenders. I agree…anything that pushes my head at all aches. Sometimes finding a comfy position is more of a chore than most anything.

Pre-op I used one of those horse shoe shaped travel pillows when laying on my back. It supports the outside rim of your head without putting any pressure on the center of your head or your neck. As a bonus they aren’t that expensive and are easy to find. The softer ones were the best.
I hope you find a pillow that helps you! :slight_smile:

For me, the "Chiari Pillow" has been my favorite pillow. You can adjust how much filling is in it (they give you extra if you want to make the pillow firmer). I have mine soft... I can't sleep on anything firm, period.

My main issue right now, as far as my head, is that I need to avoid too much pressure to the right side of the back of my head, otherwise it will hurt my head more and sometimes cause muscle twitching in my limbs. I also use ice from time to time to help relieve excessive pain (why heat makes my head hurt more, I don't know).

I've tried a few other pillows, including the Sobakawa pillow and a Boppy pillow, but none of them were helpful for me for one reason or another. The Chiari Pillow has been worth every penny for me... with it being soft, I can sort of mold it how I want to in order to make it work for me. It is a bit expensive, but if nothing else works for you, I would recommend trying this one.

Here's the link for the place I bought mine from: http://shop.medpillow.com/Original-Chiari-Pillow-CP.htm

Hopefully you find something soon that helps you out.

Other than the softest/thinnest pillow, this is how it is for me. I can't find a pillow that works. Its either too hard or too thick. Pushing up definitely hurts. Sleeping on my back hurts because of my head/incision. I will have to go to WM and get a soft/thin pillow.


Thanks for the idea.

Jay Jensen said:

I have to use the softest and thinnest pillow I can find anything pushing up my head hurts within minutes. Even memory foam is too hard for me. Soft pillows tend to wear out fast but it works for me. Otherwise sleeping sitting up on the couch with pillows behind my back is my other comfort. I got my pillow at Walmart too. It's a trial and error. We sure do have plenty of pillows for visitors now...lol

I can only sleep on one of my sides and then I have to fold part of the pillow to prop my head up.

Good Luck!

God Bless!