You don’t know how often you use a body part until it becomes injured. One area of your might you might never take for granted again when it gets hurt is your shoulder. Dealing with shoulder impingement can be extremely uncomfortable, especially when you’re trying to sleep at night.
Shoulder impingement is when your rotator cuff becomes inflamed, often as a result of repetitive activities like swimming. If you’re sleeping with rotator cuff injury, the best sleeping position for shoulder impingement is sleeping on your back, as it can relieve potential strain and keeps your neck and back aligned.
But this isn’t the only tip you should know when it comes to sleeping with shoulder impingement. To learn how to sleep with shoulder impingement, keep reading below. Or, if you’re looking for a specific answer to a question related to sleeping with rotator cuff injury or shoulder impingement, click one of the following links:
Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when the tendons in the rotator cuff of your shoulder become pinched between the top of your upper arm, called the humerus, and the tip of your shoulder, called the acromion1. Pain and swelling occur when the muscles connected on one end of your shoulder blade don’t slide smoothly with the muscles connected to your upper arm on the other side of your shoulder blade. This pain is typically felt when you lift your arm and your rotator cuff tendon rubs on your acromion.
Of all musculoskeletal complaints, shoulder pain is the third most common2, with 18 to 26 percent of adults experiencing some form of shoulder pain in their lifetime3, making shoulder impingement syndrome a relatively common injury. Shoulder impingement syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
If you have shoulder pain while sleeping and one of these causes relates to you, you may suffer from shoulder impingement syndrome. This injury can make sleeping difficult because when you apply pressure on the injured shoulder when sleeping on your side, it can result in pain that keeps you awake. A decrease in movement while you sleep can also cause pain from shoulder impingement to keep you up at night because fluid can build up, which may leave your shoulder feeling sore the next morning.
Shoulder impingement syndrome isn’t the only injury that can plague your rotator cuff and impact sleep. Other rotator cuff injuries that might result in pain during the night include:
To get an accurate diagnosis, it’s recommended to seek help from a health practitioner. However, if you received medical help and are wondering how to sleep with shoulder impingement or a rotator cuff injury, we have a few potential solutions, which we’ll dive into in a bit.
If you have a bruise, you most likely avoid applying pressure on it because it hurts. The same goes for shoulder impingement and rotator cuff injuries. While you may not be able to see a shoulder impingement or rotator cuff injury on the outside like a bruise, you can certainly feel pain on the inside.
Increased pressure on your shoulder can make the pain feel worse, which is why certain sleeping positions can cause extra strain on your shoulder and elevate the pain. Some sleeping positions to avoid if you have shoulder impingement or rotator cuff pain include:
Sleeping with rotator cuff injury or shoulder impingement is never ideal. Some may even wonder whether the act of sleeping in the wrong position can result in shoulder impingement or rotator cuff injury. In a Danish study, it was found that 67 percent of side sleepers experienced shoulder pain on the side they were sleeping on5. This means that if you’re a side sleeper, the side you sleep on can be more prone to shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff injuries, shoulder impingement, and tendinitis. Knowing the best sleeping positions for shoulder impingement and other shoulder-related injuries can help alleviate pain at night.
Sleeping with shoulder impingement or rotator cuff injury can result in sleepless nights and grogginess the next morning. To sleep comfortably with a shoulder injury, knowing the best sleeping positions can make a world of difference. Take a look at the best sleeping postures for shoulder impingement:
Sleeping on your back is one way to reduce pain from shoulder impingement while sleeping. Other tips for reducing shoulder pain at night include:
With these tips handy, you can be one step closer to treating your shoulder impingement or rotator cuff injury and getting a good night’s sleep.
Lying awake at night because the pain from your shoulder impingement is radiating through your body can be a living nightmare. While shoulder impingement or rotator cuff injury can be painful, especially when you sleep, there are ways you can alleviate this pain to get the rest you deserve. After all, sleep is essential for recovery, which means you need it if you want to heal faster. The best sleeping position for shoulder impingement is laying on your back, as it takes pressure off of your shoulder. However, with MedCline’s shoulder relief system, you can comfortably position your arm to reduce shoulder pain and sleep without added pressure. Paired with our tips for reducing shoulder pain while sleeping, you’ll be on your way to a healthy, pain-free shoulder that doesn’t keep you awake at night.