Tips for Sleeping with Tendonitis Shoulder & Causes

Sleeping with tendonitis shoulder can be quite uncomfortable. Therefore, it is convenient to know what position to adopt and how to reduce pain. This time we share some recommendations.

Going to sleep when you have tendonitis shoulder can be very uncomfortable. This condition causes pain, inflammation and a feeling of weakness that reduces the ability to do everyday tasks. Right when going to bed, symptoms increase or interrupt rest.

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What to do about it? How to prevent discomfort from affecting the quality of sleep? There are some simple measures that can be put into practice to mitigate this ailment. In the next space we will do a brief review about its causes and how to improve symptoms when wanting to sleep.

What is Tendonitis in the Shoulder? What are Shoulder Tendonitis Causes?

Tendonitis in the shoulder is inflammation of the tendonitis  in this joint. Often, it has its origin in repetitive movements or an overexertion made with the muscles in this area. In addition, it is common in people who play sports such as tennis, baseball, and swimming, among others.

On the other hand, it can affect those who carry out jobs in which more power is applied with this joint, such as carpenters or painters. In general, there are two types of shoulder tendonitis:

  • Rotator cuff Tendonitis , which encompasses the supraspinatus , infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.
  • From the biceps brachii.

Its main symptom is a sensation of pain that increases with movement of the upper limb or when palpating the joint. There is also weakness of the arm, difficulties in lifting objects and discomfort at night.

sleeping with tendonitis shoulder
sleeping with tendonitis shoulder

How to Sleep Well in Case of Having Shoulder Tendonitis?

To avoid sleeping problems due to shoulder tendonitis, medical treatment is necessary . While there are general tips to help you get a sense of relief, it is wise to determine the severity of the injury and whether medication is necessary.

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Often times, the doctor suggest taking over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatories , such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. It is also advisable to work hand in hand with a physiotherapist to implement exercises and therapies to improve the strength of the muscles in this area.

If this is not enough to control symptoms, a corticosteroid injection or surgery may be suggested . In any case, while the injury improves, some specific bedtime tips can be applied. Keep them in mind!

Apply Ice Before Sleeping

Before going to bed, it is advisable to apply an ice pack or cold compress on the shoulder affected by tendinitis. As Dr. Edward R. Laskowski explains in a Mayo Clinic publication, cold soothes pain and causes blood vessels to constrict. In this way, inflammation decreases.

Cold therapy should last 15-20 minutes. It is essential to wrap the ice in a bag or towel, since applied directly it can be aggressive for the skin.

Shoulder Tendonitis Sleeping Position

The posture sleeping can affect for good or ill in case of shoulder tendinitis. However, there is no standard approach to lying down to mitigate the ailment. In these cases, it is recommended to try several positions and choose the most comfortable one.

  • Reclined position: to sleep in a reclined position there are several options. First of all, several pillows can be placed behind the back when lying on the bed. A comfortable reclining chair or adjustable bed can also be used. For added comfort, the pillow can be put under the injured arm.
  • On your back: Lying on your back with your injured arm on a pillow is another option. This support takes pressure off the shoulder, which relieves pain .
  • On the uninjured side:  Another position that favors rest is to lie on the unaffected side. That is, if the left shoulder is the injured one, it is advisable to sleep on the right side. Now, it is difficult for those who cannot maintain the same posture throughout the night.
Find an Alternative Sleeping Position while tendonitis shoulder

Practice Good Sleep Habits

To promote the recovery process in case of shoulder tendonitis, it is necessary to sleep well. Poor quality of sleep increases stress and makes rehabilitation difficult. Therefore, in addition to putting the above into practice, it is essential to apply other healthy sleep habits. In particular, the following is advised:

  • Maintain regular hours, that is, go to bed and wake up at the same time.
  • Avoid using mobile devices and televisions before sleeping.
  • Limit the consumption of stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, especially after 4 p.m.
  • Eat a healthy dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed.

Can’t Sleep Well Due to Shoulder Tendonitis?

The symptoms of shoulder tendonitis are not only disabling throughout the day, but they can reduce the quality of rest. Therefore, it is convenient to put these recommendations into practice. If the pain still does not improve, it is better to see a doctor.

As we have commented, in some cases the injury requires a pharmacological or surgical approach. Thus, if symptoms are severe and do not improve with self-care measures, seek timely and professional care.