What Are The Symptoms Of Shoulder Pain From Sleeping On One Side
For most people, shoulder pain from sleeping on your side will cause a localised aching on tenderness in the affected shoulder. Sometimes this pain can worsen with movement, particularly when lifting your arm above your head.
Sometimes it may worsen with the application of pressure . In some cases, you may experience a weakness in the affected shoulder or arm.
Don’t Hesitate To Seek Medical Advice
As previously said, sleeping with shoulder pain is an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience. Hopefully, this article sheds some light on everything you need to know about shoulder pain. One fundamental thing, though, is to know when to see a doctor.
Gabe is the newest member of The Sleep Shop team. If you like the design of The Sleep Shop, give Gabe a thumbs up. Heâs a digital marketing and design guru and the brains behind the design and SEO of The Sleep Shop. He also wonât say no to testing a ton of mattresses either, and helps on almost every mattress review.
Side Sleeping Aligns The Spine
Side sleeping relieves neck and shoulder pain because it aligns the spine and hips and is gentle on the head and neck.
If youre dealing with shoulder pain, always lay on the side opposite of the achy shoulder. Not only is laying on the affected shoulder painful, but it also hinders blood flow, disrupting the healing process. Shoulder pain sufferers should also try hugging a pillow or tucking one under their impacted arm to open up their shoulders and reduce pain.
According to Dr. Nayantara Santhi, We all have our preferred sleeping positions. What position we sleep in can reduce or worsen shoulder and neck pain. Sleeping on your side with your knees slightly bent or on your back are the healthiest sleeping positions. This can reduce shoulder and neck pain and help you sleep better.
You May Like: Womens Knee Length Winter Coats
Can Sleeping Positions Cause Shoulder Pain
May 25, 2018
You toss and you turn and you find that the only comfortable way that you can sleep soundly is on your left side. Youve tried every position and the left side is the most comfortable way that you have found that you sleep all the way through the night. What if, however, your perfect sleeping position was what was causing the searing pain in your shoulder when you wake up each morning?
Considering that the average adult spends about 6-8 hours a night sleeping in a fairly routine position, thats quite a load to bear over time. Yes, your sleeping position could certainly be causing shoulder pain, and can even have long-term lasting effects on your joint if you arent careful. The constant pressure that you put in the same position, no less on your shoulder joint can cause it to become inflamed and lead to structural damage.
There doesnt need to be trauma for shoulder pain to be an issue, either. You might wake up in pain, thinking, What did I do to my shoulder yesterday? Well, the real reason could be happening while youre off in a dream somewhere. Make no mistake, sleeping on your side isnt always the best way, and can even cause tendonitis in your rotator cuff or impingement syndrome which means your cartilage starts to deteriorate.
How To Sleep With Shoulder Pain
Have you been spending sleepless nights due to shoulder pain or a frozen shoulder? Chronic shoulder pain is unfortunately common and according to a study, about 67% of people who sleep on their sides experience shoulder pain. Besides wrong sleeping positions, there are several other factors such as rotator cuff injury, excessive wear-and-tear, or shoulder bursitis that can cause or aggravate shoulder pain.
If you have shoulder pain on one side, try sleeping on your back or the other. Use a soft pillow between the shoulder blades and then sleep on your back if you have shoulder pain on both sides. For sleeping with shoulder and neck pain, use a certified cervical pillow. It is best to use a memory foam pillow and a medium-firm mattress to get relief from the symptoms of shoulder pain.
Shoulder pain from sleeping can be eased out when you sleep in a neutral position. It helps the shoulders to recover gradually. Try not to put pressure on your shoulders. It is also very crucial to use the right pillow and mattress combination for all sorts of joint pain. Thus, if you are suffering from shoulder or neck pain, here is what you got to do:
You May Like: Elbow Splint For Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Shoulder Pain Relief For Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleeping is the worst position for shoulder pain.
Unfortunately, the best thing that you can do about it is to change the way you sleep.
We know how difficult it can be to train your body and switch the sleeping position youve been used to all your life.
You can seek the help of a sleep expert to help you out.
In the meantime, you can apply the same tip weve mentioned above.
Place pillows strategically to prevent yourself from rolling over to your stomach while youre sleeping.
Tips For Reducing Shoulder Pain While Sleeping
Most people will do just about anything to reduce their shoulder pain to help them sleep better. Here are some simple tips that can help you find pain relief and get to sleep.
- Use pillows to support your body
- Avoid sleeping on the affected shoulder
- Take an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen before bed
- Ice your shoulder before bedtime
Recommended Reading: Women’s Over Knee Boots
Sleeping With Arms At Sides Supine Position
Sleeping with arms at side, or supine position means that youre lying horizontally on your back. This sleeping position has shown to put the least pressure on the joint areas in the shoulders, and the rest of the body. It allows a neutral arm, neck, shoulder and back position, which aligns with the spine perfectly.
Also known as the soldiers sleep position, the supine position allows the optimal neck and spine alignment, less muscle tension and generally allows the body to relax and release strain and tension.
It is important to point out that during the supine sleeping position you should not twist your body and face your head to one or the other side. To avoid shoulder pain, the head needs to face up, arms need to lay parallel to the body and the legs need to be straight.
Is Your Sleeping Position Harming Your Rotator Cuff
You get into a comfortable position and drift off to sleep, only to wake up with a sharp pain in your shoulder. So you change positions and go back to sleep, but wake up in the morning with a dull ache and stiffness in the same shoulder.
Whether its in the morning or not, an achy, stiff shoulder can signal a rotator cuff problem. Youd be wise to get it checked out, because if left untreated, rotator cuff issues can lead to weakness and loss of motion in the affected shoulder.
Don’t Miss: Recipe For Pork Shoulder Roast
Best Positions For Back Pain
Good posture isnt just important when youre standing or sitting, says Dr. Bang. Its also key when youre lying down.
Aligning your head, shoulders and hips puts your body in a neutral posture that eases stress. Your goal should be to find a position that maintains and supports the natural curves in your back and neck.
Sleeping on your side
The side sleeping position is the most popular and its loaded with opportunities to get your body out of line. Dr. Bang offers these tips to get it right.
- Switching sides can help reduce the chance of imbalances developing.
Sleeping on your back
If you sleep on your back, consider slipping a small pillow under your knees, says Dr. Bang. This little lift works well with your spines natural curve and helps take some pressure off of your back.
For your pillow, look for a height that keeps your head in a neutral position to reduce strain on your neck. A pillow thats too low will send your jaw pointing toward the ceiling too high, and your jaw aims toward your chest.
Avoid sleeping on your stomach
Lying face down on your bed can put you in an awkward position for long periods of time, putting pressure on your neck and lower back. If people come in with pain and they know its related to sleep, its usually stomach sleeping thats the culprit, says Dr. Bang.
How To Sleep After Shoulder Surgery With A Recliner Chair
Once youve reached a stage where you no longer need to wear a sling, you may still feel uncomfortable sleeping in your normal position. While you can try some of the advice in the sleeping position section, if you have a recliner chair you can use this to have a more comfortable sleep.
In your recliner chair, sleep upright and find a comfortable position where you can keep your arms at your side. This helps to reduce post-op pain and inflammation, and will give you a more comfortable sleep. If you normally have your recliner chair in a room with a TV, make sure to keep the TV off! Using screens late at night affects your chances of a good and restful sleep try to stay away from screens for at least an hour before bedtime.
Also Check: Shoulder Reduction Surgery Before And After
How Does Neck And Shoulder Pain From Sleeping Happen
Most neck and shoulder pain is due to injury of the soft tissue. This includes the muscles, tendons and ligaments, which can result in pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, and even headaches. Pain often occurs on one side of the neck, although you can have pain on both sides.
Holding your neck in an awkward position for long periods of time can lead to muscle spasms and strains in the neck and shoulder. Some of the most common postures that can provoke neck and shoulder pain include:
- Sleeping on a pillow that is too high or too flat
- Grinding or clenching your teeth through the night
- Sitting at a workstation that is set up incorrectly
- Looking down at a mobile phone
Nighttime Shoulder Pain Advice
The good news is that there are things you can do on your own to break the pain-sleep cycle. With changes to your lifestyle, and possibly the help of medication, you should be able to get back to a full nights rest.
Sleep position is key to managing night-time shoulder pain, if you normally lay on the side that is affected then this is going to aggravate your shoulder pain. Some patients try laying on the opposite shoulder but even this can cause the affected shoulder to flop forward or backward and exacerbate pain. Laying on your back can cause the affected shoulder to fall backwards as you fall asleep, and this can lead to irritation. Those who lay on their front often do so with their arms up and hands above their head, but this is a bad position for your shoulders to be in for a prolonged period especially if they are already painful.
Pillows can sometimes be the answer to improving your sleep position by supporting or offloading the affected shoulder. This helpful video shows the 4 worst positions to sleep in with a shoulder problem and how you can adjust those positions and use pillows to help support your shoulder and improve sleep:
Ultimately however the best way to solve sleep disturbance from shoulder pain is to treat the cause of the pain.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Arthritis In Knee
The Anatomy Of Shoulders
Before we get into the sleeping positions, it is important to know how shoulders work and why is it that we experience pain in this area.
For starters, shoulders are commonly described as the ball and socket joints. This means that the connection between the upper body and the arms happens via the upper arm bone, also known as the ball.
Your arm is, however, completely mobile thanks to the concave part of the shoulder blade, also known as the socket. The upper arm bone is kept secure in place thanks to the muscles, tendons and soft tissues, all known as the rotator cuff. This construction allows you to complete a range of motion in shoulders and arms.
How Often Should You Replace Memory Foam Pillows
Replacing pillows will depend on how often they are used and the person using them. A general rule would advise changing memory foam pillows every two to three years, and they should also be washed every two months.
Down and feather pillows tend to last between one and three years and should be cleaned every three to six months. Latex pillows might be expensive, but they should last between two and four years and be cleaned every two to three months.
Pillowcases should be replaced every one to two years and washed weekly.
Read Also: Elbow Wraps For Bench Press
Can Sleeping On Your Side Cause Shoulder Pain
Yes, sleeping on your side can cause shoulder pain, as your sleep posture plays an important role in the health of your body. Just as our posture while awake can cause or worsen joint pain or general discomfort, our sleep posture can also cause various aches and pains throughout the body.
Considering we sleep for approximately eight hours a night, certain sleeping positions may cause strain on our shoulders and body, resulting in stiffness and soreness over time. Some people may even develop shoulder impingement or tendinitis from their bone pressing against the sensitive tendons of the shoulder.
Sleep Hygiene And Lifestyle Changes
With a world so full of distractions, its no wonder that sleep hygiene has become such a big topic. Its easy to find yourself scrolling through your phone until late at night, and then struggling to doze off. Luckily, sleep hygiene is one of the easiest ways to get your sleep cycle back in order and make it easier to sleep with shoulder pain.
When it comes to sleep, our brains love routine. Your bodys internal clock regulates your sleep cycle by producing melatonin before you go to bed and cortisol when you wake up. If you find yourself out of sync with your normal routine, your body clock wont trigger your sleep cycle at the right time so its important that you get to bed and wake up at the same time each day .
You may also need some help to wind down before you go to sleep. Late-night working and bedtime phone use will leave your brain overstimulated and make it difficult to get to sleep. Put down your phone at least 30 minutes before bed and try to avoid doing any work late into the evening.
You can also take part in relaxing activities which get your brain in the right mood to sleep:
The better sleep you get, the less pain youll experience throughout the day and at night so sleep hygiene can really make a difference to your night-time shoulder pain.
You May Like: Off Shoulder Plus Size Jumpsuit
Training Yourself For Sleeping On Your Back
For some people, sleeping on your back is a mission impossible. Fortunately, you can train yourself to sleep on your back.
- First off, you need to get the right mattress that supports the pose of lying flat.
- Second, you need a good pillow in order to get adequate support for your neck.
- Third, you might want to add extra pillows under your knees and/or lower back.
- Fourth, if you have enough room, you could spread your arms and legs a bit.
- Bonus tip, you could even encircle yourself with pillows in order to create a physical barrier to prevent you from turning.
Sure, some may describe this as too much effort but those who woke up with shoulder pain this morning will be more than willing to accept this deal.
What Else Can I Do To Improve Sleep Quality
Some patients have reported that applying heat to the shoulder just before bed can help you drift off more easily, and even induce a deeper sleep. In other cases, a better nights sleep can be achieved by resting the shoulder throughout the day, helping to reduce inflammation.
Taking over-the-counter pain medication and anti-inflammatories can also be of use , helping you to sleep more deeply through the night. Others recommend some light stretching before bed to relax tight muscles. Staying active during the day is also important, because regular exercise helps promote blood flow and circulation, which can buttress the healing process.
Ultimately, it is an individual decision as to whatever method works best for you. The thing to avoid is rolling over onto the frozen shoulder in the middle of the night by accident and waking up in extreme pain.
Don’t Miss: Sudden Intense Knee Pain While Sleeping
Best Sleeping Position For Shoulder Pain
A painful shoulder is bad enough, but when it affects your ability to get a good nights sleep, it can be miserable.
Theres actually been a notable correlation between shoulder pain and poor sleep quality. Usually, a poor nights sleep will most certainly worsen your pain.
Certain sleeping positions have been found to help provide pain relief more than others.
So, what is the best sleeping position for shoulder pain and what other factors can contribute to nighttime shoulder pain?
Sleeping On Your Side With Leg Support
If you face lower back and neck pain constantly, you should try out sleeping on your side. More importantly: You should sleep on your side with leg support. In doing so, you can maintain your backs naturally curved position. Rest on your side, keep your knees bent, slightly, and keep your hips straight. By letting your top hip flop a little, youll prevent lumbar rotationand thus prevent nightly, and morning, pain.
Don’t Miss: How To Tell If You Broke Your Wrist