Do you wake from a long night’s sleep with shoulder pain? Consider that six to eight hours is a long time to be in one position even if it feels like it’s a comfortable one. If you are a side sleeper, the shoulder that contacts the bed has a lot of pressure on it. Additionally, the other shoulder is likely collapsed forward for hours at a time. Here are three ideas to help mitigate your shoulder pain.
- Check your mattress.
Having a mattress that doesn’t conform well to your body can translate to having a lot of pressure on a bony body part such as a shoulder. Try a memory foam mattress or topper, and memory foam is much more accommodating. If you like a firm mattress, then a topper could be your best option. Toppers are soft on top and firm underneath. If you are lucky enough to have an adjustable bed, you can raise the upper portion just slightly to take some of the weight off that shoulder joint.
- Change your sleep position.
If you can, sleeping on your back is the ideal position for many reasons. No more pressure on the shoulder joint, and no more rotating those shoulders towards the front of your body. Lying on your back allows your chest muscles to open and elongate through the night. This can help with shoulder pain and also the upper back pain that can go along with it. You could also get the added benefit of lengthening your hip flexors. This way, you can also mitigate any time you may have spent sitting during the day.
- Get a more supportive pillow.
If you MUST sleep on your side, having the right support is a necessity. Proper support of the neck and head can offload the weight being applied to the shoulder. Pillow science is a real thing. Once you have the right pillow for the shoulder on the bed, now find one for the shoulder in the air. Snuggling a pillow in the front can keep that upper shoulder from coming forward.
If you have shoulder pain from sleeping, you have options for mitigating that. If you are trying new positions for sleep, be patient. It may take time for your body to feel comfortable in a different position. Change rarely happens overnight.
Sweet dreams SP family.
As always, we hope this helps! For any questions and all suggestions, please email us at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com
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