shoulder pain while sleeping

Many people, especially those who sleep on their side, wake up with uncomfortable pain in their shoulder.  This type of shoulder pain usually comes from sleeping on a pillow that is too flat.

A flat pillow won’t protect the shoulder from pushing into the mattress and this results in pain directly on the shoulder joint.  People who sleep on their stomach and backs tend to have fewer problems with pain in the shoulder.

Coping with Shoulder Pain while Sleeping

Shoulder pain while sleeping can be so severe that it results in problems waking up at night or pain on arising in the morning.  If you don’t move while sleeping at night, this can result in tenderness and soreness of the shoulder on the side of the body where the shoulder was pressed into the mattress. It can impact the mobility about the shoulder and can lead to pain that lasts all day long.

One way you can avoid shoulder pain is to sleep on your stomach or back.  You can also switch from one side of the body to the other during the night so one shoulder doesn’t bear the brunt of having too much pressure put upon it.

You can also put ice on the affected area when you wake up in the morning. A commercially prepared ice pack or even a bag of ice or a bag of frozen vegetables placed on the shoulder upon arising can relieve the pain after just about thirty minutes of ice application.

Heat can also help ease shoulder pain while sleeping.  Heat is applied after the shoulder muscles have gone into spasm from lying too long on one side of the shoulder.  Heat needs to be applied judiciously as too much heat can burn the skin and may make inflammation worse.

Selecting the Right Pillow for Shoulder Pain

You can get some great tips on choosing the right pillow for shoulder pain by viewing our 5 best pillows for shoulder pain, which offers a nice selection of pillows for people who suffer from pain while sleeping.  The pillow (if you choose a standard pillow) should be thick enough to keep the shoulder from grinding into the mattress.

They also make special pillows for people who suffer from shoulder pain.  They are not rectangular but are shaped to keep the shoulder well protected as you sleep.  Such pillows are not often available at regular stores but are plentiful if you look online for “shoulder pillows”.  Pillows with memory foam also cushion the shoulder and bounce back to their normal shape after sleeping on them.

If you are serious about preventing shoulder pain while sleeping, it is worthwhile to invest in a pillow that is especially designed for people with shoulder trouble.  People who have had shoulder injuries such as dislocations of the shoulder are good candidates for pillows directed at protecting the shoulder at night.  Some of them cost extra money because they are specially made but most are worth the investment if it means that you won’t have to wake up in the morning with intractable pain.