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Sleeping Strategies with Shoulder Pain

June 27, 2023

If you are experiencing shoulder pain often it affects many aspects of your life. It can make reaching for objects, getting dressed, or trying to lift anything a pain. Many people do not realize that their shoulder pain can also cause great issues with sleeping. Laying on your back or on your side can be very uncomfortable. If you are a stomach sleeper often you put your arms above your head, this position can also cause a lot of discomfort. So how can you find a way to get some sleep?

One option that many try is to sleep in a recliner. Sleeping in a recliner allows you to adjust your head height. This adjustment can take pressure off of your shoulder and help to keep the joint better aligned which will decrease your pain and stress. 

Another option is to try to sleep on your back with pillows under your shoulder blade to help support your shoulder complex. This is often another technique that can help decrease your shoulder pain with sleep.

The position of your shoulder that often offers the most space and thus the least pain is the 30 30 position. This position puts your shoulder into 30 degrees of flexion and 30 degrees of abduction and provides a way to avoid any excessive compression. Positioning your shoulder with pillow propping into this position while laying on your back or side can often provide some shoulder relief.

Overall there is no one right answer to decrease your shoulder pain to help you sleep, but helping your body to get rest is pivotal in working on improving your recovery and decreasing your pain.