I’m just lying in the same spot I don’t understand…
The unlikely culprit
It’s so funny how we all think such similar thoughts that sometimes I’ll hear the same sentence from people who have similar situations all the time.
“How do you hurt yourself sleeping? C’mon?!”
“Musta been fighting somebody in my sleep because I woke up this morning and my shoulder…”
We used to think our injuries were caused by falling out of trees and off our bikes and the fun thing about age is we’ve lost the boldness to climb the tree and now we get hurt sleeping.
All jokes aside, hurting yourself by sleeping in the same position, is a real thing. There was a study done recently on rotator cuff injuries and it asked… “What is the primary factor in rotator cuff tears?” It listed age, male/female, activity, etc.… it was age.
While you might think… I don’t play in professional sports I shouldn’t have a rotator cuff injury… wear and tear, especially after 40, is the most common issue.
An even deeper factor within that is the common side sleeping position. The supraspinatus or the muscle that runs atop the shoulder and under the collar bone holds the shoulder and attaches to tendon and the top of the arm. Side sleeping applies such constant pressure on this muscle that the end of it begins to fray as it is held against the underlying bone. Whether it starts as inflammation, or you are at the point of having a true tear it’s a fixable situation.
Tips to save your shoulder:
- Softer mattresses are your friend. While a firm mattress can be ideal for a back sleeper, with proper under leg support and so forth, a softer mattress is ideal for the side sleeper to avoid hot spots of inflammation at the shoulder and hip.
- As a side sleeper, switching sides throughout the night is going to help avoid prolonged issue at the shoulder.
- If you’re a dedicated side sleeper and you’re already having shoulder issues, elevated support at the head is going to be helpful to take pressure off the shoulder. However, this is robbing Peter to pay Paul, because improper sleep posture at the neck will be an inevitable issue.
- Lay on your back! Saved the best answer for last! Truly the actual answer to this is for you to sleep on your back with great neck and under knee support. Sorry side sleepers this is the healthiest choice!
Whether you need some wedge pillows or cervical pillows or to get your shoulder fixed after the wear and tear we got your…shoulder 😄