It’s common to have trouble sleeping if you’ve got a rotator cuff injury. Fortunately, there are several tips to help you catch some z’s.
There are a few things you can do before going to bed that may help you sleep.
- Ice your injured shoulder for 15 to 20 minutes. This can help reduce pain and inflammation. Remember to wrap your ice pack in a towel to prevent ice burn.
- Take pain medication. Try to ease your pain by taking pain medication prescribed by your doctor or an anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal medication like ibuprofen.
Try taking your mind off your pain by reading for 20 minutes or so. In fact, you can read a book and ice your shoulder at the same time. Reading is also a good way to relax and get tired.
Alternative sleeping positions
People with rotator cuff injuries typically find that they need to adjust their sleeping position for a restful night’s sleep. If you’ve had rotator cuff surgery, some experts say it takes about 6 weeks after surgery until you can sleep comfortably in a horizontal position.
Give these positions a try:
- Sit in a reclined position. You may find sleeping in a reclined position more comfortable than lying flat on your back. There are a few ways to do this:
- You can make your own reclined position with the help of several pillows behind your back, while lying in bed or on your couch.
- You can sit in a comfortable, reclining chair with armrests, like a La-Z-Boy.
- You can use an adjustable bed, if you have one, to control the angle of your mattress.
- Lie flat on your back with your injured arm propped up with a pillow. Using a pillow may help reduce stress and pressure on your injured side.
- Lie on your uninjured side. If your right shoulder is injured, sleep on your left side.
There’s no standard approach when it comes to sleeping comfortably with a rotator cuff injury. Experiment and see what works best for you.