Sleep Positions to Avoid if You Have Shoulder Pain

Sleep Positions to Avoid if You Have Shoulder Pain

If your shoulders are sore or stiff when you wake up in the morning, the culprit could be your sleeping position from the night before. 

Nearly 70% of people struggle with shoulder pain at some point in their lives. Shoulder pain can be caused by myriad things, including tendinitis, rotator cuff tears, bursitis, and arthritis. How you sleep at night could aggravate that pain. 

Ideally, your body should rest and recover while you sleep, but sleeping in certain positions might actually put extra strain on your body and cause you to feel achy when you wake up.

Our expert chiropractic team here at AllCare recommends the following guidelines to make sure you’re able to get restful sleep each and every night.

Tips for sleeping with shoulder pain

Here are some general rules of thumb if you’re trying to sleep with a sore shoulder:

Don’t sleep on your affected shoulder

Side sleeping is the most common sleep position; however, sleeping on your side can put a lot of stress on your shoulder — especially if you tend to sleep on the side with the shoulder that’s causing you pain. 

Sleep on your back

Research shows that the best sleep position for shoulder pain is on your back. You may find this is easier than switching which side you sleep on. Make sure your elbows are supported to minimize stress on your shoulders.

Make the most of your pillows

In addition to providing shoulder support, an extra pillow can come in handy if you’re worried about rolling over onto your sore shoulder while asleep. Place a pillow on that side to block your body from doing so.

Try some stretches

Before you turn in for the night and when you wake up in the morning, do some light shoulder stretches to boost blood flow and reduce pain and stiffness.

Practice good sleep hygiene

What you do before you sleep is often as important as how you sleep. 

Practice healthy sleep habits, such as going to bed at the same time each night and waking at the same time each morning, turning off your screens before you go to bed, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol right before you sleep.

Next steps

If you’re experiencing persistent or debilitating shoulder pain that’s costing you a good night’s sleep, contact the AllCare team so we can get to the bottom of what’s causing your pain. To set up an appointment, call one of our convenient locations or use our online scheduler today.

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