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Shoulder Pain After Sleep

Shoulder-pain-after-sleep

The human body requires sleep to get rid of the mental and physical fatigue it builds up during the day. However, imagine waking up after 8-hours of sleep with severe shoulder pain. Shoulder pain after sleep is different from usual pain as it refuses to go away easily and generally doesn’t get cured by massages or pain-relief sprays. If you are suffering from a similar issue, then you have arrived at just the right place. In this article, we will discuss the causes of shoulder pain, its remedies, and symptoms that you should watch out for.

Causes of Shoulder Pain After Sleep

Following are the most common reasons why people experience shoulder pain after sleep:

Incorrect Posture

A poor posture directly implies strain and abnormal stress on the muscles, bones, and ligaments. Many studies have revealed that people who have a forward head posture are more prone to shoulder pain. Prolonged and continuous use of smartphones also leads to forward head posture and, therefore, shoulder pain in many people.

Rotator Cuff Muscle Tear

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and tears in one of those cuffs becomes a primary cause for shoulder pain after sleep. Muscle tears are caused by sudden injuries such as sudden fall or jerk, and they can also happen due to repetitive motion. Negligence of such muscle tears can lead to severe shoulder pain after sleep.

Work-Related Injuries

Those people who are indulged in a physical profession, such as construction work, carpentry, sports, or driving, are more likely to get repetitive work injuries, which cause post-sleep shoulder pain. Repetitive work injuries shouldn’t be confused with work-related accidents, as the former happens due to something done repeatedly, such as using a manual saw or a hammer.

Overexertion

Most parts of the human body can get sore, and shoulder muscles are no exception. You might enjoy playing too much badminton with your neighbors, but overdoing it will only lead to overexertion of the ball and socket joint of your shoulder, and you will realize it after you wake up in the morning.

Aging

When we talk about shoulder pain, then we have to mention it as a symptom of aging. It is widely known that our body parts begin to wear out as we age. For some people, the process is slow, while some others aren’t that fortunate.

Osteoarthritis

It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down with time. It is prevalent in older people, but it is also prevalent amongst middle-aged ones moderately. Osteoarthritis leads to terrible shoulder pain which doesn’t go away till the osteoarthritis is treated.

Frozen Shoulder

The medical term for frozen shoulder is capsulitis and is characterized by the immobility of the shoulder joint. If your shoulder pain after sleep is getting worse with time, then a frozen shoulder can be a probable cause. It generally heals on its own after a few years, but it is better to get it treated through physiotherapy and medication.

Shoulder dislocation

Shouldering is a common injury that occurs when the upper arm bone gets pushed back inside the socket. It has been observed that those who have experienced this once might have to experience this again.

Tendonitis

Repetitive micro-traumas or constant motion leads to the inflammation of the shoulder’s rotator cuff. If you wake up with a clicking or a continuous pain after sleep, you should consider visiting a doctor.

How to Get Rid of After-Sleep Shoulder Pain

Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position has a lot to do with your shoulder pain after sleep. If it is severe, you might consider sleeping in a reclined position (either bed or a chair). However, it is not advised to do so regularly. If you had a shoulder injury and the pain gets severe after you wake up, you can find a suitable position which puts minimum stress on your shoulders.

Some of the options that you can try are:

  • Sleep on the opposite shoulder, i.e., the one which doesn’t have the pain. Doing so will take the strain of the area and will give you relief.
  • If the above doesn’t work out or worsens the pain, then you can also try the opposite, by sleeping on the shoulder that has pain. It is similar to applying pressure on the wound to decrease its painful sensation.
  • You can also sleep on your back, as it will distribute your weight. It is a good option if your shoulders are paining particularly on the front; otherwise, you better avoid it.

Sleeping Schedule

Sleep deprivation can also lead to shoulder pain after sleep. If you feel that you haven’t been getting the mandatory hours of sleep, which got followed by shoulder pain, then all you need to do to improve your sleep schedule is to go to bed and wake up the next morning at a fixed time. Make an effort to go to bed at the same time each night. It may help to do something relaxing right before bed like drink a cup of herbal tea or take a warm, muscle-relaxing bath.

Shoulder Stretch Exercises

Stretch exercises can cure muscle stiffness, and you can do them regularly to avoid such issues in the future. Some of the best shoulder stretch exercises are:

  • Chin retractions
  • Eagle arms
  • Cow-face pose
  • Standing wall stretch
  • Shoulder blade stretch
  • Half dragonfly
  • Triangle pose

Reclining Chair

A sleeping chair or a recliner is often advised to get rid of post-sleep shoulder pain. They provide ample support to your back and shoulders and are great for fatigue induced shoulder pain.

Ice Compression Pack

If you feel that your shoulder pain after sleep is temporary and you are sure that there’s nothing to worry about, so you can simply use an ice compression pack and go ahead with your regular chores.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

So far, we have discussed several triggers for post-sleep shoulder pain, but if you are getting one or more of the following symptoms, you need to take it more seriously.

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Difficulty in mobility
  • Fever/ Chills
  • Continuous pain for over a week
  • Night sweating
  • Unexplainable weight loss

Final Word

Shoulder pain after sleep is a common problem, especially for people above thirty-five years of age. The best way to keep it at bay is by following a fixed sleeping schedule, sleeping in a comfortable posture, and avoiding overexertion of muscles.

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