Why Sleeping on Your Side Is Killing Your Shoulder

man in bed sleeping on side

Do you experience shoulder pain without a clear reason? The answer could lie in the way you sleep at night. Changing your sleeping position and trying some at-home remedies can help you relieve your stiffness and discomfort. Let’s talk about the connection between your sleeping position and shoulder pain, as well as when you should see a doctor.

Can Sleeping Wrong Cause Shoulder Blade Pain?

Our posture affects us during all hours of the day, including when we sleep. Certain sleeping positions can put extra strain on the shoulder muscles, resulting in soreness and stiffness. When you sleep in a position that adds pressure to your rotator cuff, the added stress can result in tearing. You can develop tendinitis or shoulder impingement syndrome from your bone pressing against your tendons.

Do I Have Neck and Shoulder Pain From Sleeping Wrong?

In most cases, you can determine the source of your shoulder pain with a doctor’s assistance. However, you can monitor your symptoms to see if they resemble the signs of tendonitis. Tendinitis can start as stiffness and pain that occurs when you have pressure on your shoulder or lift your arm. Rotator cuff pain may also come from arthritis, a tissue injury or nerve damage.

What Is the Best At-Home Treatment for Neck and Shoulder Pain?

When you have mild shoulder or neck pain, at-home solutions can often solve the problem. You can do simple stretches to keep your muscles flexible. Try squeezing your shoulder blades, rolling your shoulders down and backward or bringing your ear to your shoulder 10 times. Applying heat or ice reduces inflammation and relaxes the muscles. Over-the-counter painkillers can also help.

Best Sleeping Positions for Shoulder Impingement

You have a simple solution for shoulder pain that comes from an improper sleeping position. When you keep pressure off your shoulder, you promote healing and reduce your risk of further damage.

Two sleeping positions work best for an ailing shoulder: sleeping on the unaffected side and sleeping on your back. When you’re experiencing pain from sleeping on your side, keep your neck and back straight to reduce potential strain. Sleeping on your back lowers pressure on both shoulders and puts your spine in a neutral position.

How Can I Avoid Shoulder Pain Related to My Sleeping Position?

If you want to prevent shoulder pain from your sleeping posture, you can adjust your position. Sleeping on your stomach strains your neck, back and shoulders. Since you have to turn your head to the side, you put your neck and spine out of alignment. You may continue to sleep on your side if you keep your spine straight and you experience no pain.

When Should I See a Doctor for Shoulder Discomfort?

Shoulder pain that interferes with everyday activities or persists after a few weeks may need attention from a doctor. If you have persistent or severe shoulder pain, OrthoBethesda can help. Our staff specializes in a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders. Contact us today by booking an appointment online or calling our office at (301) 530-1010.