What To Do Before Going To Bed
Some of the things you’re supposed to do before retiring to bed are Taking pain medication such as ibuprofen as prescribed by your doctorDuring the day, consider using an ice pack on the affected shoulderTake natural supplements for muscle cramp and inflammation, e.g., magnesium and turmericAvoid subjecting your shoulder to strenuous movements, i.e., rest your shoulder as much as possible.
Avoid Sleeping On The Arm
Sleeping on the arm is probably the number one cause of shoulder pain. This position is common among side sleepers as they slide their arms under their pillows before lying down on it.
For most people, the arm-under-pillow position can feel heavenly at bedtime. However, the pain in the shoulders and arms can be unsettling by the time morning comes.
But why does sleeping on the arm cause shoulder pain? Firstly, that position can place excessive pressure on the arm and shoulders. Besides, it can inhibit the spine from naturally aligning with the rest of your body.
This may not only lead to arm and shoulder stiffness but other spinal injuries and inflammation as well.
But why do many of us instinctively sleep with our arms under the pillow? Well, this is usually caused by pillows that provide inadequate support. The lack of support can create the instinct to prop up the head by sliding your arms under the pillow.
Thus, if youre always sleeping on your arm, it is time to get a new pillow that provides ample support for the neck and spine. This can enable comfortable placement of the shoulders on the pillow instead of under it.
Heres a video explaining what happens when your arm is falling asleep:
How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress
Its possible to buy a mattress with a 20-year or 30-year warranty. The product may even hold up that long for you. Heres the issue, though: Your body can change a lot over a few decades, notes Dr. Bang.
What youre looking for in a mattress will probably change as you age, says Dr. Bang. Whats right for the 30-year-old you might not be the best choice for the 50-year-old or 60-year-old version of yourself.
Given that, its best to change mattresses about every eight to 10 years especially if youve experienced physical changes such as an injury or a significant weight gain or loss.
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Tips To Avoid Shoulder Pain From Sleeping Side
How do you sleep at night? If youre a side sleeper who sleeps on their left side, pain in left shoulder blade could be eased by sleeping on your opposite side. Remember to put a pillow behind your back to prevent you from rolling over to the affected shoulder in your sleep.
How to sleep on your side without hurting your shoulder:
- A quality pillow under your head will support the delicate neck area, preventing additional pain radiating to the shoulders
- Dont sleep on your stomach as this puts your shoulder out of alignment
- a pillow between your knees helps to align the hips
- Sleep on a soft and supportive mattress that provides pressure relief
Can A Mattress Cause Shoulder Pain
Yesabsolutely yes! While its important to understand the best sleep position for your health, having that knowledge means absolutely nothing if your mattress only worsens the symptoms of shoulder pain.
Naturally, sleeping on your shoulder places the body in a fetal position . In order to comfortably rest in this position, the body needs the right level of support and firmness to contour to the body.
Choose a mattress thats too firm, and the rigid surface will only apply even more pressure to the shoulder joints and tendons, resulting in pain. On the other hand, some studies show ultra-plush mattresses can displace the natural contour of the spine and neck, and when that happens, it causes nearby nerves to suffer. In extreme cases, unhealthy spine and neck alignment can cause nerve pain to extend as far as the shoulder and arms.
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Ditch Your Pillows For New Ones
If you’re still waking up with persistent shoulder pain even after following home care routines, the problem might be with your pillows. As much as you feel a sense of comfort due to attachment to your pillow, keeping it will do you more harm than good.
If your preferred sleeping position is on your side, you should get yourself a firm and thicker pillow. However, if you’re a stomach sleeper, get a thinner pillow, but ideally, you shouldn’t use any pillow since you risk developing back pains. Thinner pillows also go for back sleeping.
Sleeping On Your Side
Sleeping in this position relieves neck and shoulder pain by aligning the hips and the spine. For shoulder pain, consider laying on the opposite side of the aching shoulder. However, laying on the affected shoulder can cause inefficient blood flow and slow down the healing process. Also, the pressure applied on the shoulder might cause damage to the shoulder joint alongside the tendons.
Additionally, it’d be best to try tucking the pillow under your arm or hugging it this reduces the pain by opening up your shoulder. So, if you want to relieve both neck and shoulder pain, this is the ideal sleeping position.
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Sleep With A Body Pillow
A body pillow can also help provide you with support while you sleep. If you are a side sleeper, then a body pillow against your back can help keep you in place so that you stay sleeping on the shoulder that does not have adhesive capsulitis. That way, your frozen shoulder can stay elevated above your heart, and you avoid putting pressure on the joint while you sleep. If you prefer to sleep on your back, then you can use a body pillow along the side of your body with the frozen shoulder to help prevent you from rolling onto that side and help keep your shoulder and arm propped in a comfortable position.
Why Sleeping On Your Side Is Causing Your Shoulder Pain
There are several reasons why sleeping on your shoulder may cause shoulder pain.
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Getting A Good Nights Sleep
Health Benefits Of Sleeping Without A Pillow
1. Good for Spinal Health
Sleeping without a pillow allows the back to rest in its natural position, whereas sleeping on a thick pillow displaces a portion of the spine and results in back pain. Let the back rest in the natural curves of the body can be the best choice for helping the spinal health. Experiencing frequent back aches? Get rid of your pillow!
2. Help With Better Facial Features
Nestling your face in a pillow can actually attribute to wrinkle formation and other skin issues. Sleeping without a pillow largely reduces the squish of the face, which helps to prevent wrinkles and other unwanted facial features from forming.
3. Improve Sleep Quality
Often, people sleeping on not suitable pillows will end up waking up frequently and getting poor quality sleep. By getting rid of the pillow and letting the body rest naturally, sleep quality typically improves.
4. Prevent Neck Pain
While the most common treatments of neck and shoulder pain are stretches and heating pads, sleeping without a pillow is the best way to prevent pain in neck and shoulder from occurring.
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Avoid Sleep On The Side That Hurts
If you are a side sleeper, you may find yourself naturally rolling to your preferred sleeping side even if it causes pain.
The Arthritis Foundation suggests placing a thick pillow under the arm of your affected shoulder to keep it elevated while you sleep. It also recommends that back sleepers place pillows under each arm or sleep on a wedge that keeps their upper body at a 45-degree angle.
Choosing The Right Mattress
Whether you notice it or not, the mattress you sleep on directly affects your body and how you feel. So, choosing the right type of mattress is crucial for making you as comfortable as possible when you have shoulder pain.
Among the many types of mattresses out there, latex mattresses stand out when it comes to support. These mattresses are known for their ability to promote natural spinal alignment, giving you the support you need to ease your joints.
While latex mattresses may help ease shoulder pain, there are many other options that could be your perfect fit. Its important to find the perfect mattress that will provide you with the relief youre craving.
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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.
Choosing The Right Pillow
If you find yourself waking up stiff and sore and you suspect your pillow might be to blame, the first step is to determine whether youre using the right model for your sleep style. It may be the case that choosing another style of pillow is a better solution for you than going with no pillow at all. If your pillow is more than a few years old, replacing it with a newer model may bring back the support you need.
Side SleepersSide sleepers do best with a relatively firm, thick pillow that can fill the gap between the neck and shoulders. A pillow that is too thin may not keep the neck and head level with the spine, and a very thick pillow can be just as problematic if it tilts the head up at a very high angle. A second, thinner pillow between the knees may relieve back pain.
Some side sleepers prefer malleable pillows that can be folded in half for a higher loft. Adjustable pillows made from materials such as shredded memory foam or buckwheat are also suitable, as sleepers can remove or add fill according to their height preference.
Back SleepersFor back sleepers, a medium-high pillow helps keep the neck on the same plane as the spine. A pillow that is too thick can cause the neck to curve forward too much. Medium firm designs made from memory foam or latex are often a good fit, because they keep the head from dipping too low. Another option is to use a cervical pillow or place a rolled towel under the neck to fill in this larger gap.
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Side Sleeping With Arms Out
Side sleeping is the most commonly reported sleep position. Its the second-best position for spine health, but it can create some issues for your shoulders. Side sleepers often report pain in one or both shoulders.
If youre a side sleeper, here are a few tips to help lessen shoulder pain:
- Dont place your arms straight out in front of you. This position can put extra pressure on the nerves and restrict blood flow to your shoulders and arms, and you may wake up with a pins and needles sensation in one or both arms and shoulders.
- Find a pillow that keeps your ear, shoulder, and hips aligned. Many pillows can place your neck in an awkward position which puts strain on your muscles.
- Try rotating which side you sleep on each night. This might help alleviate the shoulder pain you feel when you wake up.
Is Sleeping Without A Pillow A Good Choice
Yes, it is. Not only will sleeping with no pillow save your money, but it will also lead to less neck, back, and shoulder pain, higher quality sleep, and even less wrinkles! When you were a child, you could fall asleep anywhere without a pillow. The body is resilient and adaptable when we’re young. Even as we age, our body, including heads and necks, is able to rest comfortably without the support of a pillow.
We constantly hear about the body aches and pains in modern society and a lack of resting support is often to blame, but today we have access to the most supportive bedding ever. We’ve been conditioned to think that we need a pillow in order to get a sound sleep at night, so when we still wake up sore, we head to the store to buy a more expensive pillow. However, research by Michael Tetley on natural sleeping postures found that nomadic people and forest dwellers sleeping with natural postures suffer from less muscular and skeletal problems compared to people in modern societies.
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Tips For Avoiding Neck Or Shoulder Pain While Sleeping
Understanding how you sleep is important in alleviating shoulder or neck pain. Combating neck and shoulder pain while you sleep is far-reachingyour sleeping position, the right pillow and mattress, practicing gentle stretches before bed, and practicing healthy posture habits during the day can all work to improve your sleeping experience.
Best For Neck & Shoulder Pain: Tempur
Solo snoozers who experience shoulder pain will benefit from the softer comfort level of this Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattress. Inside, advanced, open-cell memory foam creates a cloud-like relaxation while also increasing the breathability of the mattress for nights of sleep with premium cooling. Ultimately, we recommend this as our pick for the best mattress for neck and shoulder pain due to its unique combination of softness and support that gently cradles every curve of the body in a natural and healthy posture.
- CertiPUR-US certified foam
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How Do I Treat Neck And Shoulder Pain
Most neck and shoulder pain passes within a few days or weeks with the help of home remedies. Over-the-counter pain reliever, hot and cold compresses, pain-relief ointments, and self-massaging combat achiness. Having good posture, avoiding heavy lifting, and gentle stretching are other ways to ease your pain.