Do you suffer from occipital neuralgia? If so, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. One of the best ways to reduce pain is using a good pillow. This blog post will discuss seven of the best pillows for occipital neuralgia. We will also provide tips on choosing the right pillow for you.
Check out our sister post on How to Sleep With Occipital Neuralgia for more tips.
What’s the best occipital neuralgia pillow for neck pain?
Let’s get right to it.
Best overall – Tuft & Needle
If you’re looking for a pillow that will provide both comfort and neck support, Tuft & Needle’s Original Foam Pillow is a great option. It’s dense enough to support your neck and back but light enough to prevent you from overheating at night. This effective sleeper pillow can help relieve neck pain.
- The breathable foam design helps to wick away heat and moisture
- Supportive through neck and shoulders
- Light enough to keep from heating up
- Designed to adapt to your body and neck for neck pain
- 100-Night Trial
- 3-Year Limited Warranty
- Free Returns
Price – $90 at Tuft & Needle
Before we continue without a list of best pillows for occipital neuralgia and neck pain, let’s take a look at occipital neuralgia, the symptoms, treatment options, and why investing in a good night’s sleep can make a big difference.
What is occipital neuralgia pain?
Occipital neuralgia is a condition that causes neck pain and pain in the back of the head. The pain is often described as piercing or throbbing and can be aggravated by movement.
Occipital neuralgia is caused by compression or irritation of the occipital nerves located at the back of the head.
Symptoms of occipital neuralgia:
- pain in the back of the head described as sharp, shooting, or electrical, headaches
- neck pain
Treatment for occipital neuralgia
- OTC pain relief medication
- natural pain relief medication
- physical therapy
- home exercises
- injections of steroids or local anesthetics for muscle tightness
- occipital nerve block
- surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerves
- topical pain relief creams for muscle soreness
- evaluation with a pain specialist
Why is an occipital pillow important?
Any medical professional will tell you that getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being. But what many people don’t realize is just how critical sleep is.
Sleep helps our bodies repair and regenerate and allows us to consolidate our memories from the day. Without enough sleep, we are more likely to get sick, we don’t heal as quickly, and we can have trouble concentrating.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems like obesity, heart disease, and depression.
Sleep is essential for occipital neuralgia because it helps to reduce inflammation and gives the body time to heal. Getting enough sleep also helps to prevent further irritation of the occipital nerves and help manage chronic pain. In addition, sleep can help to relieve stress and tension, which can often trigger headaches.
The right cervical traction neck pillow can help take the pressure off of neck muscles, keep the neck aligned, and help manage chronic pain. Other therapeutic benefits of cervical pillows, or an occipital neuralgia pillow, include:
- Getting a good night’s sleep.
- Reducing pain.
- Alleviating tension headaches.
- Providing maximum comfort for rest.
Now, let’s get into the Best Pillows for Occipital Neuralgia.
Best without contour – Saatva
If you are looking for a supportive neck pillow without a contour, the Saatva is the best pillow option. Saatva’s memory foam pillow is made with cooling organic cotton and advanced graphite technology to keep you cool all night. In addition, the contouring memory foam and shredded core provide optimal support and airflow. The Saatva pillow is supportive for neck pain without being too bulky.
- Graphite-infused memory foam pillow.
- contours to your head and neck without providing over-support
- shredded memory foam core offers responsive support for your head and neck
- advanced graphite technology helps to draw heat away from your body to keep you cool
- organic cotton pillow cover is machine washable and soft to the touch
Price – $165 at Saatva
Save $50 with our exclusive offer at Saatva
Best with memory foam- Massage Lab Deep Sleep
Massage Lab’s Deep Sleep memory foam pillow for occipital neuralgia is a pillow designed to alleviate neck pain and back pain. In addition, the pillow fill allows the neck to return to its natural curved position, allowing for proper spinal alignment. It is a firm pillow but with adequate cushion for comfort.
This pillow also eliminates shoulder pain by snuggling your shoulders while sleeping and promoting perfect alignment. Additionally, the pillow reduces sleep apnea and snoring by widening your windpipes and allowing uninterrupted airflow during slumber.
- Tencel is a sustainable fabric that is softer than silk, cooler than linen, and machine-washable for your convenience
- has a zipper closure and is designed to protect the pillow from wear and tear
- hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
- certified memory foam to regulate smell, moisture, temperature, and antibacterial protection
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
Price – $59.99 at Massage Lab
Best for side sleepers – AaronTop
The AaronTop Cervical Memory Foam Pillows For Side Sleepers
features two functional heights for different positions and is made from high-quality materials that are comfortable and durable. In addition, the pillowcase is washable, and the air mesh design is breathable, making it perfect for those who suffer from neck pain.
- offers precise neck support to help alleviate pain
- supportive for sleepers who have neck pain
- butterfly shape to fit the contours of your head and neck
Price – $89.90 at AaronTop
Best for cooling – Ghost Pillow
The GhostPillow for occipital neuralgia is a pillow designed to alleviate pain in the neck and head. It utilizes patented phase-change material that adjusts to your body heat, providing cooling relief. The pillow is also individually molded and aerated for continuous airflow, and the zippered cover is made with a cool-to-the-touch Ghost Ice Fabric. The GhostPillow is also a great option for side sleepers.
- gel memory foam core and Ghost Ice cover to stay cool all night long
- ergonomically designed to keep your spine aligned and your head supported
- pure gel memory foam core prevents the pillow from collapsing overnight.
- 101-night sleep trial
Price – $95 at GhostBed
Best for larger physique – Kanuda’s Allegra Pillow
The Allegro pillow by Kanuda is explicitly designed for larger frame physiques with taller sides for neck alignment while sleeping on your side. The pillow is built with extra density to sustain tension and support the head and neck. I
- designed to replicate physical therapy sessions at home by stimulating the pressure points of the oculomotor center and the fourth ventricle
- a Soft, contoured surface that evenly distributes pressure and prevents the formation of hot spots
- High-density foam that retains its shape and provides support for the head and neck
- It is covered with a removable, washable cover made of breathable, moisture-wicking fabric.
- available in two sizes: standard and extra-large
- can be used for both short-term and long-term relief of occipital neuralgia
Price – $249.00 at Kanuda
Best organic – The Futon Shop
The Futon Shop Organic Latex Contour Bed Pillow is GOLS certified organic Dunlop latex and is hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, anti-microbial, mold, and mildew resistant. It is soft, cradling, and supportive. It is also durable. This is an excellent option if you are looking for a pillow that will give you the support you need while being gentle on your head and neck.
- Breathable to allow for natural ventilation.
- Hypoallergenic is also perfect for those with allergies
- natural rubber latex pillows are made from rubber trees, a sustainable and renewable resource.
- free from chemicals
Price – $119.00 at The Futon Shop
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of pillow is best for occipital neuralgia?
One of the most effective treatments for occipital neuralgia is using a neck pillow. Neck pillows come in various shapes and sizes and can be filled with different materials. The type of pillow you use will depend on your individual needs.
For example, if you have neck pain, you might want to use a pillow to support the neck. If you have occipital neuralgia, you might want to use a pillow that offers more pressure relief.
Regardless of the type of pillow you choose, it is essential to ensure that it is comfortable and supportive. A good pillow can help to relieve pain and prevent further irritation of the occipital nerves.
What is the best way to sleep with occipital neuralgia?
You can do a few things to help ease occipital neuralgia pain and neck pain for sleeping.
- Try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees to help take the pressure off your lower back and spine. Back sleepers may do best with a contoured cervical pillow.
- Try sleeping with a pillow under your head to help keep your head and neck aligned.
- Avoid any positions that put pressure on the back of your head or neck.
- If you need to sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in alignment.
- Avoid caffeine for a few hours before bed. Caffeine can keep you awake and cause you to stay awake, which is counterproductive to restful sleep.
- Take a hot shower before bed. The warmth will calm down your nervous system and help promote restful sleep.
By following these tips, you can help to ease the pain of occipital neuralgia and get a good night’s sleep.
What causes occipital neuralgia to flare up?
Occipital neuralgia can cause various symptoms, including sharp or throbbing pain in the back of the head, neck pain, and sensitivity to light.
Several factors can trigger an occipital neuralgia flare-up, including neck injury, muscle tension, stress, and inflammation.
In some cases, the exact cause of occipital neuralgia is unknown. However, treatment can help to lessen the pain and improve the quality of life.
How do I calm my occipital nerve?
You can do a few things to calm your occipital nerve if you’re suffering from occipital neuralgia or neck pain.
- Take a break from any activities that may be causing or aggravating the pain. For example, if you work at a computer, try taking frequent breaks to give your neck a chance to rest.
- Apply ice or heat to the affected area. Ice can help reduce inflammation, while heat can help relax the muscles.
- Massage the area gently with your fingers.
- See a doctor if the pain is severe or persists for more than a few days. Several treatments available can help relieve occipital neuralgia, so don’t hesitate to seek medical help if you’re in pain.