Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea: does head posture play a role?

Makofsky HW.

State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA.

The aim of this article is to present scientific and clinical evidence to support the role of proper head and neck posture in the management of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Obstruction of the upper-airway during sleep is a serious medical condition often associated with severe daytime somnolence, morning headache, and a host of cardiopulmonary complications, including but not limited to systemic and pulmonary hypertension, nocturnal cardiac dysrhythmias, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Though anti-snoring pillows are occasionally mentioned in the literature, the role of proper head-neck support during sleep has been largely neglected. In this article the effect of head-neck position on upper-airway obstruction during sleep is discussed from the perspective of both causation and treatment. Based on the evidence presented by the author, it is recommended that the use of cervical-support pillows be considered as an adjunctive treatment modality in patients suffering from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Cranio. 1997 Jan;15(1):68-73.

PMID: 9586490 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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