Sleeping Tips for Shoulder Pain Sufferers

Are you struggling with shoulder pain that interferes with your sleep? You’re not alone. Read this article to learn effective sleeping tips to help you manage your shoulder pain and get a good night’s sleep.

Quick facts: Sleeping Tips For Shoulder Pain

  • ✅ A soft, supportive mattress can improve sleep quality and lessen shoulder pain: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • ✅ Keeping the shoulder area slightly elevated can help reduce pain and improve sleep: American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)
  • ✅ Use a neck pillow to maintain a neutral position while sleeping: Mayo Clinic
  • ✅ Consider sleeping on your back instead of your side to reduce shoulder pain: Arthritis Foundation
  • ✅ Deep-tissue massage can reduce shoulder pain and improve sleep quality: American Journal of Pain Medicine
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    Understanding Shoulder Pain

    Shoulder pain can be a debilitating condition, affecting your ability to perform everyday activities. It is important for shoulder pain sufferers to understand the causes of the pain, how to manage it, and how to get a good night’s sleep.

    We will explore the different types of shoulder pain, what causes it, and how to get better sleep:

    Identify the source of the pain

    When it comes to shoulder pain, identifying the source of the pain is essential. Often shoulder pain can be the result of a pinched nerve or an inflamed rotator cuff tendon. Understanding the root cause of your shoulder pain is important for formulating an effective plan to relieve it.

    In general, if your shoulder pain is accompanied by a snapping feeling when you move your arm in certain positions, it’s likely caused by tendons that have become inflamed and irritated. On the other hand, if you notice your range of motion is limited due to stiffness or tightness in your shoulders, then you may have a pinched nerve instead.

    If at any point during diagnosis or treatment you feel extreme discomfort or sharp pains, seek medical attention immediately and consult with a physical therapist or orthopedic specialist for more tailored advice on how to address and manage your shoulder pain.

    Talk to your doctor about treatment options

    If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it is important to talk to your doctor about treatment options. There are several medical treatments which may be recommended, including anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), physical therapy, steroid injections and even, in extreme cases-surgery.

    Additionally, lifestyle changes can be made to reduce the risk of developing shoulder pain or exacerbating existing symptoms. These include:

    • Sleeping on your back with one pillow under your head and another pillowed between your arm and body.
    • Sleeping on an inclined bed that is adjusted to a 40 degree angle.
    • Avoiding placing heavy objects directly on the shoulder while sleeping.
    • Wearing a supportive sleeping shirt or harness while sleeping.
    • Doing regular stretches and exercises prescribed by a physical therapist.

    Your doctor can also recommend therapeutic products like heat/cold compression wraps and specialized pillows designed for shoulder comfort while sleeping.

    Adjusting Your Sleeping Position

    If you’re a shoulder pain sufferer, you may find that the way you sleep can have a huge impact on the amount of pain and discomfort you experience. Changing up your sleeping position can make all the difference in helping you to manage your pain.

    In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for adjusting your sleeping position to help relieve shoulder pain:

    Try sleeping on your back

    Sleeping on your back is one of the best sleeping positions for people who suffer from shoulder pain, as it eliminates direct pressure on the shoulders without constricting movement.

    To get into this sleeping position, lay flat on your back and place a pillow beneath your knees to reduce pressure on your lower back. This sleeping position can be beneficial as it keeps the spine aligned properly and reduces any extra strain on muscles in the shoulders and neck that could aggravate existing pain or discomfort. If necessary, also place a pillow between your knees to keep them slightly separated, allowing better hip alignment and helping relieve pain in the shoulders. This position can also assist with snoring and sleep apnea. However, those with acid reflux should not stay in this position for an extended period of time.

    Try sleeping on your side

    Sleeping on your side can be an effective way to reduce shoulder pain. The key is to make sure your sleeping position does not put pressure on the sore shoulder joint. Sleep with one arm placed over the mattress and one arm tucked under your pillow for cushioning.

    If you’re currently sleeping on your back, you can try switching positions throughout the night by placing a supportive pillow between your legs and chest, or above your hip to help keep you in position. Wearing a comfortable brace or support throughout the night can also provide relief from shoulder pain and allow for uninterrupted sleep.

    Additionally, if you are a side sleeper, consider placing a pillow between your knees to keep proper alignment in both hips which helps alleviate shoulder pressure.

    Try sleeping in a reclined position

    Sleeping in a reclined position can often help to relieve the pain of shoulder pain. This can be achieved by laying on your back and elevating your legs slightly above your head (i.e., placing a pillow or cushion under your feet). In this position, the body is in a reclined angle and the pressure of gravity helps to take some of the strain off of the shoulders.

    Furthermore, reclining can help to reduce nighttime snoring or sleep apnea episodes. If possible, consider using an adjustable bed that allows you to adjust the degree of incline or decline. Doing so may make it easier to find the most comfortable sleeping position for you while still providing some relief from shoulder pain during sleep hours.

    Pillows and Support

    Pillows and support are essential for shoulder pain sufferers who are sleeping. The right sleeping position is key to reducing or eliminating shoulder pain and discomfort. Pillows and support can help keep your shoulders in the correct position while you are sleeping.

    Let’s look at how to choose the right pillow and the various types of support available:

    Invest in a supportive pillow

    For relief from shoulder pain, investing in a supportive pillow can make a huge difference. A pillow that is too soft will not provide the support you need for your shoulders and neck to stay in proper alignment all night.

    To ensure that you get the most out of your pillow, take into consideration the width and length of your shoulders as well as your sleeping position. For example, if you are a side sleeper, a firmer pillow with more loft is generally recommended to provide adequate support while sleeping. On the other hand, if you are a back or stomach sleeper, a softer and less lofty pillow may be better suited to keep your head correctly aligned with your spine throughout the night.

    Furthermore, choosing hypoallergenic pillows such as natural down, memory foam or buckwheat hulls might also be beneficial for those struggling with allergies or sensitivities. With proper support from an optimal pillow and mattress combination, shoulder pain could become a thing of the past.

    Use a rolled up towel or neck pillow

    Rolled up towels and neck pillows are great tools to help relieve shoulder pain while sleeping.

    • To use a rolled-up towel, place the towel beneath your neck and gently lower your head onto the cloth. Make sure to adjust it as necessary for comfort. The aim is to ensure that your head and neck have enough support, but not too much that it causes discomfort or pain.
    • Additionally, one can purchase specially-made neck pillows designed for those suffering from shoulder pain in order to provide optimal support throughout the night. Neck pillows typically cradle the head and support the spine in order to promote sound sleep with better alignment which relieves shoulder pain.

    No matter which method you choose, make sure that your pillow does not cause or make existing shoulder pain worse.

    Other Tips

    In addition to being aware of the position of your neck, shoulders, and arms when sleeping, there are other tips for shoulder pain sufferers that can help with overall sleep quality.

    One way to avoid putting too much strain on your shoulders when sleeping is to use a contoured pillow that supports your head and neck. Furthermore, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed can help to minimize restlessness and improve overall quality of sleep.

    Let’s take a look at some other tips:

    Exercise regularly

    Exercising regularly is one of the best strategies for relieving shoulder pain. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, natural chemicals in the body that can help to reduce pain and create a feeling of wellbeing. Additionally, exercise can also strengthen muscles at the shoulder joint; providing increased support and stability, which can reduce shoulder pain.

    When it comes to exercising with shoulder pain, however, it’s important to focus on low-impact exercises that won’t put extra strain on the area. Exercises such as swimming, yoga or Pilates are ideal as they all work to increase mobility and flexibility in the joint while strengthening the surrounding muscles. Working with a physiotherapist or personal trainer may be beneficial too as a professional can provide personalised advice on exercises appropriate for your condition.

    Avoid activities that aggravate the pain

    If you suffer from shoulder pain, there are some activities that you should avoid in order to keep your shoulder pain in check. Avoid any movements or activities that cause you pain. This could include any activities that require reaching or stretching overhead, putting your arms behind your back, swinging a weighted object (such as a golf club), or even carrying a heavy bag or purse.

    You should also avoid sleeping on the affected side since this might further aggravate the injured muscles and tendons. Try taping a tennis ball to your pajama top so you don’t roll onto the affected side while sleeping. Additionally, make sure to adjust your pillow and bed so that it offers proper support for your neck and shoulders throughout the night. This might involve using a firmer pillow or an ergonomic one specifically designed for relieving shoulder pain.

    Get a massage to help relieve tension

    Getting a massage is an effective way to help relieve shoulder pain caused by tension in the muscles. Massages can help release the tightness in the neck and shoulder muscles, allowing for greater range of motion in those areas. Massage also releases endorphins, which can reduce inflammation and improve circulation, both of which can help reduce pain.

    Additionally, massage can help identify problem areas that may need to be addressed with other treatments such as stretching or strengthening exercises. Finally, massage can provide an overall feeling of relaxation that can help reduce stress and aid in getting a better night’s sleep.

    FAQs about: Sleeping Tips For Shoulder Pain

    Q: How can I sleep comfortably with shoulder pain?

    A: The best sleeping position for shoulder pain is on your back, with a pillow supporting the curve of your neck, a pillow underneath your shoulder, and another pillow supporting your arm. You may also find it helpful to sleep with your head slightly elevated.

    Q: What other tips can I follow to reduce shoulder pain?

    A: Be sure to stretch your shoulder and neck muscles regularly throughout the day, as this can help reduce tension and pain. If your shoulder is swollen, use a cold compress or an ice pack to reduce inflammation. You may also want to talk to your doctor about taking anti-inflammatory medications.

    Q: Are there any exercises I can do to help with shoulder pain?

    A: Yes, there are many exercises you can do to help reduce shoulder pain, such as shoulder stretches, shoulder blade squeezes, and spinal rotations. You may also want to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about other exercises that could help.

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