6 Best Pillows For Stroke Patients for Positioning and Comfort

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Suffering a stroke can make the affected side of your body feel numb. This lack of sensation makes you unaware of the body alignment, leading to discomfort and pain. Using pillows to position yourself properly after a stroke can get you in a better position for less pain.

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A stroke is when a section of the brain fails to get oxygen due to bleeding or blockage of the blood vessels. According to the Medical University of South Carolina, 75% of strokes occur in persons above 65 years, which portrays how the chances of having a stroke increase as you age.

The stroke causes the death of some brain cells, resulting in multiple problems such as paralysis of one leg and one arm muscle. Your vision and hearing ability on the affected side of the body is often reduced as well.

Here is how you can use pillows to position your elderly properly to alleviate the complications of a stroke.

Positioning Matters: Why Good Positioning For Stroke Patients Is Important

Proper positioning helps maintain muscle motion and prevent future pains by ensuring there is no more harm to the affected side of the body. According to a research study posted by Nursing Times, more than 51% of deaths during the first one month after stroke result from immobility. This goes to show how crucial proper care is after a stroke, especially for the elderly.

Proper positioning helps prevent this immobility by allowing the patient to sit up in bed or lie on different sides. Here are some benefits of good positioning for stroke patients:

  • Helps to maintain the proper skeletal alignment
  • Corrects, accommodates, and prevents skeletal deformity
  • Ensures a stable supporting base
  • Enhances tolerance of the proper positioning
  • Improves the stroke patient’s comfort
  • Stimulates the affected side of the body
  • Promotes the correct movement patterns
  • Helps to minimize fatigue
  • Enhances the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, including the respiratory, digestive, and cardiac system
  • Promotes the interaction of the stroke patient with the environment
  • Helps to manage pressure
  • Improves the spatial awareness
  • Reduces the abnormal movement of the limbs

6 Best Pillows For Stroke Patients

If you or an elderly person you love are having difficulty finding a pain-free position, here are six pillows you can use to find a better position – and help you stay there.

JmeiVyu Leg Positioner Pillow

The JmeiVyu leg positioner pillow is specifically designed to comfort the legs and while also acting as a turnover aid for stroke patients. The u-shaped groove is soft and fits the leg better, ensuring the leg is comfortable.

The bottom of this pillow is made of high-density foam, ensuring the grooves don’t get damaged under the legs’ weight. This pillow is straightforward to use as you only have to put the knee into the groove of the turning device. With two handles, this pillow can easily be pulled to help the elderly turn over.

The JmeiVyu Leg Positioner pillow helps to reduce the burden of taking care of stroke patients by enabling only one family member to operate and help the patient turnover. With this pillow, you don’t have to worry about the patient developing bed sores or how to turn the patient to allow cleaning.

You can use this pillow when changing the patient’s clothes and diapers, reducing the patient’s suffering. The 18.11 x 15.75 x 5.12 inches dimensions are compact enough to allow storage convenience when the patient is not using this pillow. With a weight of 1.1 pounds, this pillow is lightweight enough, ensuring convenience when moving it around the room.


PureComfort Adjustable Support And Elevation Pillow

The PureComfort adjustable support and elevation pillow design elevates your leg, joints, and knees to ensure proper blood circulation to facilitate recovery and healing. If you or a stroke patient is suffering from chronic knee pain, you can use this pillow to help alleviate that pain. This pillow helps to keep the leg elevated whether the patient is awake or asleep.

The custom channel design of this pillow can accommodate both the hot and cold packs, which you can use to alleviate the patient’s foot and knee pain. The custom channel design makes this pillow an excellent addition to the therapy routine of a stroke patient.

You can use the height inserts that come with this foot pillow to adjust the leg rest and the footrest to enhance the comfortability of the stroke patient. The form used in the construction of this pillow is high-quality and meets the CertiPUR-US standards for safety and allergy resistance.

The PureComfort Adjustable Support And Elevation Pillow does not contain any nasty chemicals like phthalates, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, retardants, TCEP, TDCPP, PBDEs, and other heavy metals. This pillow comes with a bamboo cover on the foot elevation area to prevent irritations and allergies.

The pillow is washable with a machine wash, and so you won’t have problems washing this pillow for your stroke patient. Although this pillow is heavier than the JmeiVyu leg petitioner pillow, the 4.13 lb weight cannot prevent you from conveniently moving this pillow around. You will love the 15.12 x 7.99 x 7.95 inches compact form factor when space is limited.


Bekweim Bed Wedge Pillow

If you want a pillow that is specifically designed to offer comfort to your elderly or stroke patient, then the Bekweim bed wedge pillow is the way to go. This pillow uses curved edges instead of the standard sharp corners, allowing your stroke patient to use it for different purposes.

For instance, you can place this pillow underneath the knees of the stroke patient to offer support and elevation. You can use this pillow to support the patient’s upper back when reading or eating while sitting.

This pillow comes in three varying sizes; extra-large, medium, and small-sized, allowing you to choose the most suitable size for your stroke patient. When the patient is sleeping, you can use this pillow to posture your head correctly to alleviate neck pain.

When the patient is awake, you can use this pillow to alleviate the patient’s muscle tension on the knees, hips, and feet. The premium memory foam used in the construction of this pillow is visco-elastic and dense. This pillow features a dual-layer construction of this foam, enhancing sturdiness and durability.

The white form is temperature sensitive and molds to the shape of your body according to the body heat. This molding ensures the pillow is not stiff, and you can easily change the positions of your patient while maintaining the same level of comfort.

RELATED: Best Weighted Blankets for Stroke Patients


Lunix LX5 Orthopedic Bed Wedge Pillow

Unlike other bed wedge pillows that might be uncomfortable due to firmness, the Lunix LX5 Orthopedic bed wedge pillow is specifically designed to relieve pain from stroke patients, making them relax and fall asleep.

The Lunix LX5 Orthopedic Bed Wedge pillow features 45D memory foam construction, which allows it to adapt and mold to the body’s height and shape. This size adaptation means you don’t have to worry about the size of your stroke patient when purchasing the pillow.

The thinned head helps to relieve pressure and pain from the neck. The raised knee rest facilitates relaxation and blood circulation in a stroke patient. The comfortable reclined position aligns your hips, lower back, and neck. The washable bamboo cover is easy to wash and non-allergic to the elderly. This pillow comes with two vacuum bags to facilitate storage when not in use.


Contour Legacy Leg And Knee Support Pillow

A person suffering from a stroke might not realize when there is improper body alignment. Sometimes the hip joint twists, and there is pressure on the back, which might be causing pain, but they cannot realign the body.

The contour legacy leg and knee support pillow prevents this by supporting the patient’s knees and legs to ensure proper sleeping alignment. Unlike the conventional memory foam pillows that absorb the body heat for them to compress, this pillow comes with ventilated air holes to facilitate air circulation for a more peaceful night’s sleep.

Considering the numbness in stroke patients, they might not realize when there is excess heat. This pillow solves this by featuring a temperature-regulating technology that removes excess heat from the patient’s body.

The precise tether of the pillow contours without the restricting straps allows your legs to fit naturally. This fitting allows the patient to sleep in any position without restriction.

RELATED: Best Positioning Pillows for Bedridden


Mkicesky Memory Foam Pillow

Is your stroke patient suffering from chronic shoulder pain? The Mkicesky memory foam pillow is ergonomically designed to relieve shoulder and neck pain by stimulating and relaxing the muscles. Thanks to the contoured shape, this pillow rejuvenates and aligns the patient’s body, relieving pain.

The foam used in the construction of this pillow is high-quality and responsive, meeting the CertiPUR requirements. This foam reshapes to perfectly cradle the patient’s body, relieving pressure and enhancing blood circulation.

This pillow supports varying sleeping postures such as back and side. You only need to measure the distance from the tip of the humerus bone of the patient to the base of the neck to ensure it can fit.


RELATED: Best Pillows for Seniors & the Elderly

What To Look For When Shopping For Pillows For Stroke Patients

There are some features and attributes you have to consider when shopping for pillows for a stroke patient. Here are some of the things you should consider:

  • Ensure that the pillow meets the toxic chemical certifications such as Certi-PUR-US designation
  • Ensure that the size, thickness, firmness, and shape of the pillow can support your patient
  • Consider buying pillows with washable materials
  • If your stroke patient has allergies or sensitive skin, look for pillows that feature non-allergic covers

Conclusion

There are high chances of the elderly suffering from a stroke. Stroke comes with multiple issues, including numbness and inability to move the arm and leg muscles of the affected side of the body.

This numbness makes the patient unaware of the proper body positioning and alignment, leading to blood circulation issues and chronic pains. Fortunately, the above pillows can help you and your loved ones eliminate these problems by helping to position the elderly patient properly.

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