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Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
#1
Gross 
Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
I'm very prone to aerophagia.  I've learned some tricks from here that really help me.  One of the tricks that is very helpful for me is to elevate my head & shoulders higher than my esophegial tract(?).  BUT the way I've been doing that has been causing me neck pain.  So please help advise!

I'm a side-sleeper. What I've been doing is trying to jam all the contents of my pillow under my neck and head in order to support it in an elevated position.  But it cranks my neck into an uncomfortable position, and then my neck screams at me all day.

I have a mattress frame that lifts the head of the mattress such that there's a bend half-way down the mattress.  This succeeded in elevating my head and eliminating aerophagia; but it caused me lower back pain (where that bend in the mattress is).

I'm thinking of elevating the entire head of the bed with something (a brick?) to cause the head to be elevated, but without causing a bend in the mattress (and thus not bending my back).  

Or is there a pillow that can elevate me more than the usual pillows?
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#2
RE: Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
I've done head raising with my bed, I've also raised the leg area a bit and still left side sleep. Mine has electric tilt controls and a medical frame and air mattress. So maybe it'll help. I do have GERD.
Dave

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
RE: Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
Put a pillow under your shoulders and a small pillow under your head
Apnea (80-100%) 10 seconds, Hypopnea (50-80%) 10 seconds, Flow Limits (0-50%) not timed  Cervical Collar - Dealing w DME - Chart Organizing
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#4
RE: Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
I know a lot of people put blocks etc under the feet at the top of the bed. So that's definitely an option. There are also wedge pillows but I imagine they would cause the same issues with your lower back.


See my comparison of Viatom/Wellue and CMS50F oximeters here.

Not a doctor, definitely not your doctor, all advice is given as-is and represents simply my own understanding as a fellow patient and OSCAR user.
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#5
RE: Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
I elevate my adjustable bed at the head approximately 3-4 inches, which seems perfect for any Gerd issues.  

I also elevate the foot of the bed by a couple inches as your legs should never be lower than your waist. I suppose there is a slight dip in the center of mattress, but it's not enough to cause any back problems.  I sleep mostly on my side.  

I think if you raised the head and foot of the bed to the extreme, you could end up feeling like a taco.  Rolleyes
OpalRose
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.  ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA.  INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
RE: Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
I’ve been using wedge pillows for some time now and they work. The secret to avoiding lower back pain is to go for a wedge with a gentler slope rather than one that props you all the way up. All that is needed is for the head and shoulders to be higher than the stomach. It doesn’t need to be that much higher. If you prefer a higher elevation, then I would suggest slipping a baby pillow where the wedge meets the bed. That should give some support to the lower back. 

I am also a side sleeper. What I do is use a U-shaped neck pillow meant for air travel. When I am on my side, I need to support the distance between my head and my shoulder. But I’m already on the wedge, stuffing a full pillow between my ear and shoulder is uncomfortable. A neck pillow being narrow and curved can be adjusted every time I toss and turn. And the two ends of the U shape give separate depth of support to my neck and head. It’s been working for me. 

What with my CPAP mask, the hose running to the top of the bed, my wedge, my neck pillow, my chin strap (and a pillow between my legs to reduce the pull on the spine in a sideways position), I must scare the daylights out of any burglar unlucky enough to chance into my bedroom at night.
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#7
RE: Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
About side sleeping in my earlier post, I was referring to the distance between my ear and the wedge given that my shoulder and arm are resting directly on the wedge. Hope that makes it clearer.
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#8
RE: Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
(05-27-2021, 08:26 PM)Hydrangea Wrote: I'm very prone to aerophagia.  I've learned some tricks from here that really help me.  One of the tricks that is very helpful for me is to elevate my head & shoulders higher than my esophegial tract(?).  BUT the way I've been doing that has been causing me neck pain.  So please help advise!

I had similar aerophagia and GERD problems---with a further complication of foot edema from my feet being positioned too low after I elevated the head of my bed. 

I eventually found a permanent solution which has worked wonderfully. You could reproduce my solution with these sequential steps: 

(1) I gradually raising the head of my bed with concrete blocks and 2"x6" blocks under the two legs. It eventually reached 12 inches.

(2) I bought and cut two 3/4" plywood rectangles to serve as a "wedge platform" under my head-end of the mattress (between mattress and the "box frame".) It stops roughly at my pelvis, such that putting different sizes of 2x4 and 2x6 supports between the two plywood rectangles under my mattress created an inclined plane/wedge which raised my head another 5 inches or so. 

(3) Because of my foot edema from my feet being below my heart, I put an old couch cushion between the foot-end of my mattress and the "box" below it.  That puts my feet about even with my heart and leaves my knees slightly flexed and very comfortable.

The end result (aided by a plain pillow where necessary) is basically a /\_/ shape (but much flatter than that extreme, obviously) and it cost me very little money.  My back has been at its best in years, my GERD resolved [Don't need pantoprazole anymore], and the foot edema disappeared.   My AHI gradually drifted down.  

I'm nearly 6.5 feet tall so not everybody needs my 17 inch elevation but I started building this "bed system" after reading medical journal articles about reducing obstructive apnea via upper-body elevation. [And I couldn't imagine a way to do it safely with pillows alone.]   And I couldn't simply keep adding blocks under the legs at the head of my bed because the sheer lateral force from gravity was going to break the wooden posts. That is why I divided the "raise" between the blocks on the floor and the inclined-plain/wedge I built from plywood. 

 It is absolutely essential not to bend the back or neck unnaturally---so a rigid 3/4" plane with horizontal supports was necessary to preserve the back-line.)

For even more comfort, I added an 8inch thick memory foam "mattress topper".  When I have sleep studies, the expensive bed in that sleep lab is adjustable in multiple ways via motors but it is not necessarily as custom-fitted to my body as what I built. My bed is a simple twin of standard length but because I'm resting in a /\_/ shape, my long body fits quite well with the minor aid of a taller-than-standard chair at the foot of the bed holding a couch cushion topped with a pillow (for my feet which extend a bit beyond the bed.)  It probably sounds primitive but it feels wonderful. Rube Goldberg would be proud---especially upon seeing the "boom" from which my BIPAP air hose hangs down perfectly over my face.
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#9
RE: Help me elevate without cranking my neck!
If you see this, it's tilted too much.

[Image: KtW3Ll1.png]
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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