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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Pillows for sleeping

    Hey everyone,
    I recall reading that some of you sleep on your back with no pillow beneath your head. I use a tempurdic pillow, but sometimes it does seem too high. I can't imgine not using a pillow though when I sleep on my side, my preference. So for those of you who don't use a pillow, do you do it because it was recommended or that it is just comfortable? For those who use a pillow, what brand or type do you recommend? Thanks for your input.
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I use a tempurpedic pillow too.
    44 years old at time of surgery, Atlanta GA

    Pre-Surgery Thorasic: 70 degrees, Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 68 degrees, lost 4 inches of height in 2011
    Post-Surgery curves ~10 degrees, regained 4 inches of height

    Posterior T3-sacrum & TLIF surgeries on Nov 28, 2011 with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis
    2 rods, 33 screws, 2 cages, 2 connectors, living a new life I never dreamed of!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    Primarily, I use a WAL-PIL-O (; when I first came home, I had just bought a brand new bed, and it came with a couple of free pillows. I put one of them under the WAL-PIL-O for the first several weeks when I was sleeping primarily on my right side.

    When I was sleeping on my right side exclusively, that pillow combination worked very well for me. But once I started sleeping on my back as well, it was too high for me. I then removed the standard pillow and left only the WAL-PIL-O, which is what I used before the surgery.

    I started having a lot of neck problems, initially I thought because of the two-layer pillow once I was sleeping on my back. That's why I removed the pillow that had been under the WAL-PIL-O. But my neck continued to hurt after I did that, so I then tried to identify a pillow that might work better. I found the PILLO1 (, which is designed for BOTH back sleepers and side sleepers, and ordered one. I thought it might help because I probably spend just as much time sleeping on my side as I do sleeping on my back. I've used it a little bit, but it didn't really help with my neck pain at all, so for the most part still use the WAL-PIL-O, but I will occasionally switch over to the PILLO1 for a night or two. I had thought that the difference it heights in the PILLO1 between the middle and the two sides would be what I was looking for, but it wasn't.

    If I could design my own pillow, what I would do is take my WAL-PIL-O, make it just a tad longer, and then cut it into three sections. I'd have the middle section consist of only the WAL-PIL-O, and the left and right sections consist of the WAL-PIL-O plus another pillow layer underneath -- similar to what I had with the standard pillow under my WAL-PIL-O -- only the layer underneath would now be permanently connected. That way I could sleep on my side comfortably without having my shoulder collapse too far forward, and would be comfortable on my back as well (at least pillow-wise may be several months or more yet before my back itself is comfortable when I'm trying to sleep on my back).

    My husband has decided that most of my neck pain probably comes from spending so much time playing games on my iPhone with my head bent down; he could well be right. Whatever the case, my neck hurts a lot when I try to turn my head to the left or to the right, and also hurts a little bit when I try to either look down to the floor or up towards the ceiling. I'm guessing at this point that trying yet another pillow won't help any more than what I've already tried.

    I used to have a tempurpedic-like pillow (i.e. a contour pillow without the costly brand name), but ended up with a LOT of neck pain from that -- that was when I first switched to the WAL-PIL-O, because at that point only a professional massage could ease the pain in my neck from the bad pillow. Fortunately the WAL-PIL-O cleared that pain right up -- at least it did back then.

    -- Good luck,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Indianapolis area
    I sleep without a pillow. A personal preference that started before surgery to ease daytime neck pain. It has been even more important post-surgery. When I have to (or accidentally) put my head on a pillow, I just feel too much pulling/stretching in the upper back/neck. But, no, no doctor ever told me no to use a pillow. (How's that for a triple negative?)
    age 48
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Broken rods 12/1/19; scheduled for revision fusion L1-L3-4 with Dr. Lenke 2/4/2020
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    NJ across from NYC

    Great Pillow!

    For years I used the generic version of the Tempurpedic pillow but after my last surgery, it was very uncomfortable and never felt rested. I recently ordered from (my pain mgmt doctor told me about it) and what a difference. The website will explain what pillow is right for your size. If you put "Facebook" in the place where it says "Promo Code", you'll get 25%off. I ordered one for my husband and the travel pillow. I am extremely happy with it.
    1981 Surgery with Harrington Rod; fused from T2 to L3 - Dr.Keim (at 26 years old)
    2000 Partial Rod Removal
    2001 Right Scapular Resection
    12/07/2010 Surgical stabilization L3 through sacrum with revision harrington rod instrumentation, interbody fusion and pre-sacral fusion L5-S1 - Dr. Boachie (at 56 years old)
    06/11/14 - Posterior cervical fusion C3 - T3 (Mountaineer System) due to severely arthritic joints - Dr. Patrick O'Leary (at age 59)

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