Tossing and turning at night trying to find a pain-free position is more than an inconvenience; it's a signal from your body that there’s a problem.
At Park North Physical Therapy, we believe that restorative sleep is not a luxury but a cornerstone of your health. If shoulder pain is keeping you from the peaceful slumber you deserve, it's time to address it head-on.
Let's explore how physical therapy can be your ally in overcoming shoulder pain caused by sleeping and help you greet each morning refreshed and pain-free.
Why Do I Have Shoulder Pain While Sleeping?
The shoulder is a marvel of engineering; a ball-and-socket joint that allows a remarkable range of motion. However, this flexibility comes with a price: vulnerability.
Shoulder pain at night could be the result of various factors—poor posture during the day, overuse injuries or even an improperly supported sleeping position. When you're asleep, sustained pressure on the shoulder can impinge nerves and stress the joint, leading to pain and stiffness.
Park North’s Approach to Shoulder Pain
At Park North Physical Therapy, we don't believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Our approach begins with a thorough hands-on assessment of your condition. By understanding the specific causes of your shoulder pain through range of motion tests and manual therapy, our physical therapists can tailor a treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. Whether it's an issue with your rotator cuff, SLAP tears, arthritis, bursitis or another condition, personalization is key.
Therapeutic Strategies for Shoulder Discomfort
Our therapeutic strategies are multifaceted and evidence-based. They may include:
- Manual Therapy: Gentle hands-on techniques can help reduce pain, decrease inflammation and improve range of motion.
- Strengthening Exercises: We'll guide you through targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder, enhancing support and reducing the burden on the joint itself.
- Flexibility Routines: Increasing the flexibility of your shoulder and surrounding muscles can prevent the stiffness that exacerbates pain at night.
- Postural Training: Aligning your body correctly can relieve pressure on the shoulder. We'll show you how to maintain good posture both during the day and as you sleep.
- Education: Understanding how to use your shoulder without straining it is crucial. We'll teach you ergonomic principles and sleeping strategies to minimize pain.
Tips to Avoid Shoulder Discomfort While Sleeping
A night of restful sleep is a gift that your body deserves. However, shoulder discomfort can frequently interrupt this natural healing process. At Park North Physical Therapy, we want to ensure your slumber is both restorative and pain-free. Here are several strategies to help you avoid shoulder discomfort while you sleep:
1. Mind Your Sleeping Position
Your sleeping posture plays a pivotal role in shoulder health. If you’re a side sleeper, try to avoid lying on the affected shoulder. Sleeping on your back may be the best position to prevent any undue pressure on your shoulder joint. For those who find comfort in sleeping on their side, switching sides periodically or using a body pillow for support can help distribute your weight more evenly.
2. Choose the Right Pillow to Support Your Arm
A pillow that adequately supports your neck and aligns your spine can alleviate stress on your shoulders. Consider a pillow that's adjustable or one specially designed to reduce shoulder pressure for side sleepers. The goal is to keep your neck and spine in a neutral position – not too high or too low. For some, placing a small pillow or folded towel under the armpit of the affected arm can provide relief. This can reduce tension in the shoulder muscles and tendons and help maintain a more neutral shoulder position.
3. Maintain Good Mattress Health
Your mattress should support your entire body without any sagging. If it's older or showing signs of wear, it may be time to replace it. A medium-firm mattress often provides the right balance of support and cushioning.
4. Stretch Before Bed
Gentle stretching can ease muscle tension and prepare your body for rest. Our physical therapists can provide you with a series of shoulder-specific stretches to incorporate into your nightly routine.
5. Strengthen During the Day
A proactive approach is sometimes the best remedy. Shoulder-strengthening exercises and stretches prescribed by your physical therapist can build resilience in your shoulder muscles, making them less susceptible to pain.
6. Adjust Your Daytime Posture
Poor daytime posture can contribute to nighttime discomfort. Focus on maintaining a straight spine and squared shoulders during the day to help reduce cumulative strain.
7. Manage Inflammation
If you’ve had a particularly strenuous day, managing inflammation can prevent pain from flaring up at night. Consider cold or heat therapy as recommended by your physical therapist to address inflammation. At Park North in New York City, we also use low level lasers to address inflammation so you can recover faster.
Restore Your Shoulder Health and Eliminate Sleeping Problems with Park North Physical Therapy in New York City
Overcoming shoulder pain from sleeping isn't just about alleviating discomfort; it's about restoring the quality of life that comes with uninterrupted sleep. At Park North Physical Therapy in Harlem and Morningside Heights, we're committed to guiding you through each step of recovery, combining clinical expertise with compassionate care. Don't let another night be marred by shoulder pain. Reach out to us today at 212-222-6525 or fill out the contact form here to get started.