Home Remedies Worth A Try If Shoulder Pain Is Keeping You From Sleeping On Your Side
If youre frustrated shoulder pain is keeping you from sleeping on your side, youre not alone. Its a big problem for anyone who can only get quality sleep in this position.
There are many causes for shoulder pain and reasons why it gets worse at night. Whether youre sleeping on your side to prevent snoring or to keep your sleep apnea under control, theres a wide variety of home remedies that help with nagging shoulder pain.
Why Are My Shoulders Always Acting Up While Sleeping
If you notice that you are scrunching your shoulders while sleeping, or if you have tense shoulders while sleeping, you are not alone. Tight, stiff shoulders torment nearly all people today, because so many of us spend too much time slumped in front of a desk or behind a steering wheel.
Poor posture causes our chest to tighten, our thoracic spine to round forward, and our shoulders to compress, eventually resulting in shoulder tightness or even pain.
The effects of poor posture are far-reaching they can affect even your emotional well-being and cause sleepless nights. Taking time to determine whether poor sleeping position is affecting you is a necessary step to addressing these issues. By adjusting your sleep position, you can reduce stress on your shoulders and prevent them from tensing up.
Can Your Sleeping Position Cause Shoulder Pain
Certain positions, such as sleeping on your side, can put additional stress on your shoulder. This is because when you sleep on your side, your shoulder ends up bearing a lot of the weight of your torso.
One small study in people seeking care for shoulder pain evaluated the link between sleeping position and shoulder pain. It found that 67 percent of the study participants slept on the same side that they were experiencing shoulder pain.
While your sleeping position can contribute to shoulder pain, its not the only culprit. Several other conditions, like those below, can also cause pain when youre trying to sleep. With each of these conditions, sleeping on the affected shoulder can exacerbate the pain.
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Why Does Shoulder Pain Worse When Lying Down
It is common for shoulder pain to worsen at night. There are three conditions attributed to this.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa. If your shoulder develops this inflammation, swelling and pain become common until it is treated. When you lay on your side, the bursa on your shoulder can become compressed, increasing the pain.
Tendonitis, an inflammation caused by repetitive injury, can also cause pain when lying down. Tendonitis on the shoulder causes inflammation of the tendons that attach muscles to the bones. When you sleep, gravity causes the tendons to settle in a different position. This reduces the blood flow to the shoulder, ultimately increasing the pain.
Finally, a rotator cuff injury that occurs at the shoulder may become more painful when you sleep on that side. This is because putting more pressure on the inflammation irritates it further, increasing the pain.
How To Stop Shoulder Pain From Side
Many distractions can get in the way of you getting your recommended 8-10 hours of sleep per night, but one of the most disruptive is physical discomfort. From feeling too hot to too cold, not enough neck support to too much, its essential for both your body and mind to feel at ease when its time to hit the hay.
One of the most common issues struggling sleepers face is shoulder pain at night. If youve dealt with this uncomfortable phenomenon before, you might have found yourself up late and searching the web for solutions, how to stop shoulder pain when I sleep, or why do I have shoulder pain from sleep?
In this post, well be taking a closer look at some of the most common causes that may be contributing to your night time shoulder pain, and well also share some tips to help you ease symptoms and prevent pain. Use the links below to navigate to the section that best answers your query, or read through for a comprehensive overview of the topic.
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Dont Sleep On Your Arm
Speaking of arms, one of the favorite positions of many side sleepers is the classic arm under pillow position. It may feel so right, but its oh-so-wrong. Sleeping on your arm can cause pain and numbness in the arm and shoulder, plus it can misalign your head and neck from your spine resulting in further discomfort.
If you often sleep on your arm and suffer from your hands falling asleep or arm pain, the problem is probably your pillow. The truth is that your body wants to be aligned whether you know it or not. This is the healthiest way to sleep. If you have a flat pillow and your head sinks too far down, your natural reaction is to prop it up with your arm.
Unfortunately, your arm just doesnt do the trick. And, it can actually make things worse. If your arm hurts after sleeping, it might be time to get a new pillow. If your head is supported correctly, it will leave your arms free to show some love to your hugging pillow .
Sleeping On Your Stomach
If you sleep on your stomach you can be adding to your shoulder pain. But dont fret stomach sleepers, there is a solution. Place a pillow under your pelvis to help alleviate pain. If you find that your shoulders are falling forward as you sleep, creating poor posture, try propping your shoulders up with a small towel roll or cervical pillow. Shoulder problems can make it tough to find a comfortable sleep position but with a little creativity and adjustment, you can sleep comfortably.
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How To Sleep With Shoulder Pain
The amount and quality of sleep that you get at night greatly impacts on your general health. Knowing how to prevent shoulder pain while sleeping can help you feel less fatigued during the day and have more energy. So, its important to find the best sleeping position for shoulder pain.
Dr. William C. Shiel on MedicineNet says that people who are prone to being disturbed because of shoulder pain while sleeping should not sleep with their arm extended above their head. Also, the best sleeping position for shoulder pain includes avoiding sleeping on your stomach. This helps to put less strain on your upper back and shoulders.19
Because your bed can be a source of shoulder pain while sleeping, you should make sure that it is comfortable without being too soft. Studies have shown that a medium-firm mattress can help reduce clinically diagnosed shoulder pain.20
If you have rotator cuff injuries, you may find it easier to avoid the night-time shoulder pain when sleeping on your back or on the side that isnt affected.
Shoulder Pain At Night: 5 Causes You Need To Know
Night after night, your shoulder pain awakens you. The pain is hot and searing and getting worse. Why does your shoulder hurt at night? Why does your shoulder pain occur at night? What are the treatment options for shoulder pain at night? Are there non-surgical treatment options? Lets dig in.
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What Causes Shoulder Pain After You Wake Up
Shoulder pain from sleeping on the side is very common among people who suffer from chronic pain. As shoulder is one of the most sensitive joints in the body, it is very prone to injuries. As if the pain isnt enough, people with shoulder pain can have low energy, mood disorders and increased sensitivity to pain overall.
Shoulder pain can keep people awake at nights, and decrease sleep.
Having all these causes in mind, one cause is the most common one, and that is rotator cuff tendinitis. It happens when the shoulder tendons are irritated which then get inflamed and cause severe pain. It affects a lot of people and the pain increases at night, even though the shoulder doesnt hurt that much at daytime.
This leaves a lot of people confused they think they are getting better because the pain is low during the day, and the day after the wake-up, the pain is back in bigger volume. And this is because, during the daytime, the shoulder is in a vertical position, there is no pressure applied to it, contrary to sleeping when its pressed by your body weight.
When the shoulder is in a horizontal position and being pressured by the body, the tendons dont have a lot of space between them which limits the blood flow and the oxygen who should reduce the stiffness and the pain. Reduced blood flow leads to inflammation and lying on the shoulder even worsens it due to the pressure applied.
Switch Up Your Sleeping Position
Side-sleeper shoulder pain is quite common. As we mentioned, sleeping on the same side each night can cause irritation to your rotator cuff and result in discomfort while you sleep. One thing you can do to take pressure off of the affected shoulder is to swap sides. This will give your hurt shoulder a break to recover, while the opposite can take a turn supporting your body while you sleep.
Another sleeping position that can help is resting on your back to allow your body to distribute its weight more evenly, instead of letting one shoulder take on all the heat.
If youre a steadfast side-sleeper, check out our Shoulder Relief System. This supportive 3-component sleep system can help you find the perfect position to combat nighttime shoulder pain by providing a convenient pillow with an arm hole for reducing shoulder pressure. With a gradual incline and symmetrical design that eliminates pressure, you can continue to sleep on your side, without the disruption of a sore shoulder.
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Shoulder Pain From Sleeping: Causes Solutions And More
Shoulder pain when you are sleeping or that wakes you up at night can leave you feeling tired and frustrated in the morning. Shoulder pain from sleeping is often due to your sleeping position. If you have damaged tendons in your shoulder, sleeping on your side could cause intense night pain and discomfort. Arthritis can also result in stiffness and shoulder pain after sleeping. Other causes of waking up with shoulder pain include rotator cuff injuries, frozen shoulder as well as pregnancy.
Pain in your shoulder can often feel worse during night-time. Although your body is resting, pressure on the shoulder while sleeping can aggravate inflammation in the shoulder joint. Also, burning nerve pain in your shoulder can feel worse if your mattress or pillow doesnt support your body properly.
In this article, I will examine the many causes of shoulder pain from sleeping. If night pain in your upper back disrupts your sleep, you will also find helpful solutions to shoulder pain. At the end of the article, I will discuss the best sleeping position for shoulder pain.
Shoulder Pain While Sleeping During Pregnancy
During your third trimester, you may suffer from a sore shoulder while sleeping on one side. Some of the reasons for night-time shoulder pain during pregnancy could be that extra weight causes sore back muscles.
Try to change you sleeping position several times during the night to reduce pressure on the shoulder.
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Avoid Sleeping On Your Arm
Many side sleepers tend to put their arms under pillows or under their heads. Although you may feel you are getting more support by doing this and although you may feel more comfortable sleeping like this at first, eventually this will lead to numbness in your arm and shoulder and pain.
Besides this, it can misalign your neck, head and lead to even greater discomfort. So, avoid sleeping on your arm.
What Causes Rotator Cuff Injuries
A group of muscles and tendons stabilize the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder with a “cuff.” These muscles and tendons can be injured from acute causes or chronic causes .
Symptoms of tendinitis can start with mild pain and stiffness in the shoulder, which you may first notice when you lift your arm or put pressure on your shoulder. Rotator cuff pain is usually felt in the front of the shoulder and stops before the elbow.
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Take The Sting Out Of Your Sleep Position
The good news is that its relatively easy to prevent tendonitis from side-sleeping or to ease existing symptoms. In fact, it may be as simple as switching up your sleep position, such as alternating the side you sleep on throughout the night or sleeping on your back if you dont need to worry about snoring or breathing problems.
Another solution is to prop up your pillow higher to reduce the pressure on your shoulder. Also, you should avoid sleeping sideways with your arm in an upward position, such as wrapping the pillow around your head and securing it in place with your arm. This places stress on the downward-facing shoulder and compresses the nerves that pass into your arm. Besides aggravating their shoulders, people who sleep this way often wake up with numbness in their arms and hands.
Pillows provide needed support in other ways, as well. A second pillow may ease shoulder, neck, and upper back pain by keeping your head from tilting too far back. Meanwhile, embracing a pillow against your chest while you sleep almost as if youre spooning it provides support for your upper arm and prevents your shoulder from rolling forward.
Improve Your Posture During The Day
If you want to have better posture while sleeping, you should first work on improving your daytime posture since this contributes to pains and aches that forces you into a specific posture. But what does good posture feel like? Heres how you can tell. By leaning against a wall multiple times throughout the day, you can measure how well you are doing.
Place your back against the wall. If you have poor posture, then your shoulder blades may not reach the wall. Retract your shoulders down and back and stick your chest out, until you feel your shoulder blades touching the wall. Next, straighten your neck by touching the back of your head against the wall while tucking your chin in slightly.
Evenly distribute your weight between both legs. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and do not lean on one leg more than the other. Stand sideways in front of a mirror and mimic the wall pose. Keep your shoulders and neck upright, squeeze your abdominal muscles, and keep your shoulders down and pulled back.
See a physical therapist. It can be difficult to learn proper posture even with pictures, videos, and informative text. If you are struggling to fix your posture, then you should seek the help of a physical therapist, who can show you what good posture is as well as core strengthening exercises that will protect your body.
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Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Shoulder Impingement Or Bursitis
A common reason for experiencing throbbing shoulder pain when sleeping on one side is damage to your rotator cuff.
Doctors from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons say that rotator cuff injuries often cause a lot of shoulder pain. As the rotator cuff injury progresses, shoulder pain during the night becomes more common. There are 3 main conditions in the shoulder joint that can cause night pain:4
Rotator cuff tendonitis. Overuse injuries to your shoulder joint can cause rotator cuff tendons to become irritated and inflamed. Doctors from the Cleveland Clinic say that rotator cuff tendonitis can often make sleeping uncomfortable and can awaken you from sleep with aching in the shoulder.5
Shoulder impingement syndrome. Impingement in your shoulder joint can result in persistent pain that interferes with everyday activities. Typically, shoulder impingement causes pain in one or both shoulders that gets worse when you are sleeping.6
Bursitis. Each shoulder contains a small fluid-filled sac called a bursa that helps reduce friction. Shoulder bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed and swell because of repeated small traumas or injuries. An inflamed bursa can also cause shoulder pain that intensifies during the night.
Side Sleeping Best Practices
Whether youre a veteran side sleeper or are new to this position, its important to know the best practices. This way, you can get the most out of this sleeping position without waking up to pain and discomfort the next morning:
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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.