Contour pillows or therapeutic pillows are designed to fit and support body contours, thus providing therapeutic (remedial) benefits for specific health issues. The terms contour pillow and therapeutic pillow are often used interchangeably. Contour pillows are specially shaped to conform to body contours, specifically the neck, lower back, and knees. Contour neck pillows are usually wave-shaped to provide an indentation for the head (the trough of the wave) and a raised edge (the crest of the wave) to fill the space under the neck. Contour neck pillows are meant to properly align the neck providing more support and relieving aching muscles while sleeping.
Lumbar (lower back) contour pillows are shaped to fill the space under the lower back. Many mattresses do not allow for the natural curve of the back and the lower back is flattened when it should have a slight arch. This may cause you severe back and neck problems in the future. Lumbar contour pillows fill and support the lower back arch, therefore providing ideal back, hip and spinal alignment. A lumbar contour pillow also has built-in "wings" to keep the back in place.
Knee support pillows are usually wedge shaped. When sleeping on the back, the pillow is placed under the knees, reducing pressure on the lower back. When sleeping on the side the pillow is placed between the knees to keep the spine in a neutral position. Without support between the legs the upper legs rotate downwards, tilting the pelvis, which misaligns the spine. Using a knee support relieves this pressure on the back and reduces pressure points between the knees and hips.
If you need a pillow, which will provide maximum support and comfort when sleeping you may want to consider contour or therapeutic pillows. These types of pillows will ensure you have the best possible sleep. They also help alleviate the pain that some individuals experience while sleeping and prevent the pain for individuals who have not yet experienced this while they sleep.