A man squeezing his shoulder.

Addressing Shoulder Pain

May 19, 2017

We spend roughly a third of our lives sleeping. Well, when all goes as planned, that is. There’s little more important than getting a good night’s rest, so it makes sense that there’s nothing as frustrating as tossing and turning, unable to get the sleep you need. Oftentimes this is linked to or can result in pain throughout the body. Based on how you sleep, your neck, shoulders, back, and hips are all at risk for wear and tear, for strain, and pain.

We’ve all heard the expression about “carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders,” but surely this shouldn’t extend to our nighttime rest. Nonetheless, shoulder pain continues to be a threat for many of us.

Shoulder pain at night is often because of an issue with your rotator cuff due to a process known as tendinosis. Early treatment may include sleeping in a reclining chair for a period, ice compression wraps, or even physical therapy.

Sleeping on the same side every night may put you at greater risk of an injured shoulder. Alternate the direction you face or consider sleeping on your back to avoid this. If you’re unable to fall asleep any other way, try using a pillow to reduce pressure on your shoulder.

General Tips

Let’s address the elephant in the room: Sleeping on your stomach is almost never a good decision. It flattens the natural curve of your spine and invites pain all over, including your shoulders. Your head is forced to awkwardly turn to either side, putting undue stress on your muscles. If you can’t seem to sleep any other way, consider sleeping without a pillow at all. Side and back sleep positions are much preferable, and varying your sleep position throughout the night may be the best solution.

One of the best ways to enhance your sleep and reduce the possibility of injury is practicing what is known as proper “sleep hygiene,” or good habits to ensure consistently high-quality sleep. Some of these habits include sticking to a nightly routine and sleep schedule (going to bed and waking up at the same time daily), reducing stimulants before bed, exercising regularly, avoiding abuse of sleeping medicine, keeping your sleep environment cool and dark, exposing yourself to natural light during the day, avoiding blue light emitted by some technology, stretching, and much more. The better you sleep at night, the less likely you are to experience pain. Quality sleep can help your muscles relax and heal, while sleep deprivation negatively impacts how we perceive pain.

Finally, poor sleep is even more likely on the wrong mattress and pillow. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to improve your sleep. Take our exclusive in-store Sleep Assessment to determine what’s keeping you up at night and find a properly fitted solution.

With any luck, you’ve found some small way to help you sleep better at night. If your issues persist, it may be time to see a doctor for a professional opinion. But if your issues can be fixed with a sleep solution, we’ve got you covered. Visit a conveniently located Sleep Outfitters near you today!

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