Injury

Shoulder Pain Causing a Lack of Sleep

Shoulder injuries can make it very difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep at night. Depending on the injury, you may roll over and wake from pain when you accidently roll onto the sore shoulder and cause irritation. To avoid this pain at night, you may try to develop some nightly before bed rituals like these mentioned below, in order to relieve rotator cuff pain.

Elevated sleeping by propping yourself up at approximately forty-five degrees, you may relieve rotator cuff pain at night. Sleeping in a recliner can also work, if you are able to fall asleep in that way. Use an ice compression wrap and/or heat. Many people respond well to ice compression therapy to reduce pain. Icing the inflammation typically will give relief. Some people find that they prefer heat therapy, something like a hearing pad works well for them. Capsaicin cream seems to help some people with getting a feeling of heat or warmth deeper into the joint where pain persists.

Use a shoulder support pillow to elevate your arm. The elevation of the shoulder often helps people relieve pain at night. It relieves the tension on the tendon that is damaged. Medication (OTC) such as ibuprofen helps many people if they take it fifteen to twenty minutes before going to bed. Seeking some help from your doctor in obtaining physical therapy that helps to stretch and strengthen the shoulder. Many doctors will want to promote exercises that will allow blood to circulate into the joint because this will promote healing.

Cortisone injections are often a last resort. The reason why doctors don’t go to this extreme immediately is because there is risk in people feeling so good that they re-injure themselves. This injection is done directly into the joint with a large needle and it is not something that doctors will do unless there is good chance of getting relief for a patient to sleep better.

For some patients, surgery becomes the best option when nothing else has given relief. Newer types of surgery are being now that are not as invasive, when possible. For example, a patient whose chief complaint is related to rotator cuff tendinosis may be a candidate for a tendon patch. This procedure is done arthroscopically. Debris is cleaned from the area; the bursa fluid build-up is removed as well. Finally, a special patch is added to the tendon, where it connects to the bone. This will be where the tear is. The body begins to repair itself over the patch, stimulating total repair of the tear and returning the patient to a very close to normal condition after healing. A patient may be required to do some physical therapy in conjunction with after surgery healing.

A shoulder injury doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. See your doctor and pursue all treatment options. No one must live in chronic pain.

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