If you are suffering from shoulder pain, side sleeping can be difficult. It hurts to lay on your side. You may experience a constant deep ache or sharp pain. It is difficult to roll over, change positions, or find a comfortable way to fall asleep. Shoulder pain can lead to long, uncomfortable, sleepless nights.
The most common source of shoulder pain is an injury to the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff. You may be diagnosed with conditions such as bursitis, rotator cuff tendinitis, impingement, and tears.
The rotator cuff is a group of small muscles located around the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder. They are important for circular arm movements. This area is also a fragile area prone to overuse and injury. When these muscles are injured, it is often difficult to raise your arm over your head, reach behind your back, or even to get dressed on your own. It also makes sleeping difficult if you like to lay on your side.
There are a few simple things you can do to help relieve the pain and get some much needed rest. These include taking pain medicine such as aspirin or ibuprofen. You can also pile up pillows around the affected area to help shift some of your weight off of the injured shoulder.
However, you will receive the most benefit from a series of exercises that specifically target the shoulder and the rotator cuff in particular. There are a number of specially designed exercises, developed by physical therapists to aid in rotator cuff injuries. These include targeted exercises to help speed recovery, re-build strength, relieve pain, and prevent loss of range and mobility.
While it is always a good idea to consult with a physician first, there are many exercises that you can do on your own, in the comfort of your own home.
One easy exercise to begin with is a door press. This exercise will stretch out the muscles in your shoulders and upper chest. To begin, stand facing an open doorway. Place your hands and forearms on the door frame with your fingers pointing straight up towards the ceiling. Your upper arms should be level with your shoulders. Leaving your arms in place on the door frame, slowly press yourself through the doorway. You’ll feel tightness in both the front and back of your shoulders. Hold this position for several seconds then use your arms to slowly push yourself back out to your original position. Repeat this exercise several more times. But always remember to move slowly and stop before there is any pain.