Case of the missing pillows

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 16, 2010 - 11:41 PM

Hated bursting MyPillow creator Mike Lindell's bubble, but Percy Harvin never received the softest remedy imaginable for his migraines.

Lindell, inventor and president of MyPillow, a Carver company, told me that he left pillows at Winter Park's front desk for Harvin when the wide receiver missed a game because of migraines. Vikings staffers say fans have dropped off about 100 migraine remedies, many of them quacky, while some were apparently dismissed as wacky.

On Thursday, when I was in the Vikings lockerroom, the NFL offensive Rookie of the Year just happened to walk by. "I don't think so," Harvin told me when asked if he received the pillows that reportedly help migraine sufferers. Harvin also wasn't disclosing what he learned at the Mayo Clinic about what triggers his migraines. "Can't discuss injuries. Thank you, though," he said.

"He NEVER GOT THEM from that lady at the front desk?" said the astonished man behind MyPillowshop.com.

Word to the wise for anybody dropping off stuff for their favorite Viking.

"The lady PROMISED me they would get them to him, and so did the trainers. Somebody intercepted them," Lindell said. "I gave him our three levels of pillows that work the best for Harvin's problems. Maybe I can give them to you to give to him?"

Ah, no. These pillows help migraines so much, Lindell said. "Most pillows are air supported; the air goes out of them, and then your cervical nerves get bent. MyPillow [with its special filling that can be shifted around] keeps the neck straight and cool; they don't heat up those nerves while sleeping. I have testimonials from people who have chronic migraines."

Because Lindell is selling a product, I asked Twin Cities physical therapist Terry Buisman, an owner of OrthoRehab Specialists, if a pillow could actually benefit migraine sufferers. "Oh, yeah," Buisman said. Harvin has never been treated by Buisman, my longtime PT (rehabbing knees banged up by tennis and a neck injury caused by not using a phone headset and sitting at a computer).

"A professional football player has had a lot of trauma to the head," Buisman said. "So what will happen is that the vertebra in your neck oftentimes will be jammed into the base of the skull. Now you talk about this pillow, you use a pillow like that and oftentimes while you sleep, you can gap or open up that first vertebra in the skull so you do not have bone banging up against bone."

"Now, backing up a little bit, migraines are systemic. Athletic wear and tear, a mechanical situation -- i.e., compressing that first vertebra -- is a catalyst that sets off the migraine. By putting this pillow on their neck and doing their rehab, they can diminish the mechanical irritation that fuels or starts migraine headaches."

While I don't have migraines (I'm a giver) and won't deliver pillows, I will say that Lindell's neck bolster pillow has been terrific for my neck problems. Since buying a couple of pillows from Lindell, I haven't had any neck issues. As a matter of fact, I gave a neck bolster pillow to a friend -- along with copies of the neck exercises that Buisman expects me to do daily -- and it has kept my friend from needing to see a physical therapist! In fact, the only pain in her neck has been caused by her husband, who keeps stealing that pillow.

Time to get loud

Vikings fans probably won't require the emotional jolt Brian Robison has prepared for them.

The defensive end from Texas taped a, ah, cheer, for Sunday's playoff game against the Cowboys that encourages the crowd to "Get LOUD!" as you can hear for yourself at startribune.com/video.

After wrapping up his brief chant, Robinson turned around in the lockerroom and announced: "That's how we do it." That tone of voice probably would not be welcomed around the Robison household, though. "My wife kind of keeps me in check," he said. "We play around a lot, but I don't ever use it when I get serious."

Some players were in high spirits, feeling their inner "American Idol" when I was at Winter Park scouting for national broadcasters who came to town early for the big game.

If the Vikings make it to the Super Bowl and are allowed to do the Cupid Shuffle, or some modern-day homage to the Bear's 1985 Super Bowl Shuffle, I think this video identifies two Vikings who should audition. Tackle Chris Clark of the practice squad rapped while defensive back Benny Sapp sang. Sapp said that if he wasn't in the NFL, "I'd be a singer, professional."

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.

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