Tips For Sleeping After Shoulder Surgery

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One of the most common problems people face after shoulder surgery is how to sleep correctly. Don’t worry; here are tips for sleeping after shoulder surgery in the article below.

If you recently went through shoulder surgery or shoulder arthroscopy, you must know the unusual pain that you feel during bedtime. Doctors believe there are many reasons for a person to experience pain after surgery while sleeping. 

The cause of this pain may be your poor sleeping posture. Most people sleep in the common posture of bending one or both hands under the pillow or sleeping over one hand

Tips For Sleeping After Shoulder Surgery

These bad positions only make your shoulder pain worse. Your doctor may recommend the best position to sleep after shoulder surgery or shoulder Arthroscopy.

Generally, the pain completely diminishes after a few weeks with proper rest and care.

You can’t avoid sleeping after shoulder surgery. However, some activities you should avoid may not seem harmful but can worsen your condition.

Follow your doctor’s guidelines after the surgery to minimize the risk of pain during sleep hours.

What Is a Shoulder Arthroscopy?

Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed by the surgeon using a tiny fiber-optic camera. The camera helps surgeons look into the shoulder muscles and repair the damaged shoulder cartilage, rotator cuffs, or ligaments. This tiny camera is also known as an arthroscope, so this surgery is called shoulder arthroscopy.

After the surgery, most people visit their doctor and ask them how they should sleep after the surgery. Doctors help their patients by giving useful advice on sleeping comfortably because many people suffer from pain during bedtime after shoulder arthroscopy. 

Sleeping is the most common activity you need to heal and develop daily, so doctors advise sleeping with a sling after shoulder surgery or shoulder arthroscopy. For example, watch the video below to understand how a sling helps your shoulder recover while sleeping.

How to Sleep Comfortably After Shoulder Surgery?

Use pain-relieving medication only if absolutely necessary.

Your doctor may prescribe sleeping medication that will help you sleep without the sensation of pain from surgery or injury. However, your doctor may also prescribe you pain-relieving medication to relieve the pain from the procedure. 

Sleeping pills and muscle relaxants are narcotic drugs that can cause addiction. That’s the reason why most doctors prescribe it only for a short duration to avoid this risk.

Tips For Sleeping After Shoulder Surgery

Focus on regaining your motion

According to experts, once the range of motion of your body improves, pain also improves greatly. Your doctor may direct you towards physiotherapy programs and recommend visiting them two or three times a week and exercising at home daily. 

With the help of these programs, you can easily and quickly regain your range of motion which will relax the shoulder muscle and joints.

Sleep in an upright posture

After rotator cuff surgery, you may find it difficult to sleep at night because of pain. Your doctor will tell you that the best position to sleep in after shoulder surgery in the rotator cuff is semi-upright. You can use a recliner to support your back while sleeping. You can also purchase a wedge pillow or reading pillow with arm support and use it to sleep in an upright position.

Use a shoulder sling to sleep

Sleeping with a sling after shoulder surgery is the best way to prevent any unconscious movement of your arms while resting. 

A sling helps the arm to keep in a stable position. You can buy an inexpensive sling on the internet to help you sleep comfortably and protect your arm.

Best Position To Sleep After Shoulder Surgery

Use a pillow under your arm to keep it propped up.

Doctors recommend maintaining a gap between your torso and the healing shoulder’s arm, by placing a pillow between them. The pillow helps avoid numbness and cramping caused by inadequate blood flow in your arm. Sit on a chair and place the pillow between your back to avoid contact of shoulder and chair.

Get proper rest to improve the movements of your healing shoulder.

Use an ice pack for the shoulder.

If you feel pain at night, the doctor advises you to apply an ice pack on the shoulder and where the pain originates before bed time. Wrap the ice pack inside a towel and apply it near the pain point for about half an hour. Make sure you sleep in a raised position as described above.

Take a walk

You can consider walking as a safe exercise that you can do after the surgery. Walking increases the blood flow, and with better blood circulation, your injury will heal faster. However, if your doctor recommends you to rest, you should avoid walking.

How To Recover From Shoulder Surgery Faster

Follow your doctor’s direction.

We need to follow our doctor’s direction when we encounter shoulder pain. You may feel moderate to mild pain in your shoulder joint. To relieve the pain, seek medical help from your doctor, take medicine as instructed, and exercise if required.

Get adequate rest after the treatments to prevent developing any pain.

What Should You Do If You’re Experiencing Shoulder Pain After Several Weeks?

You may experience the pain after several weeks. Doctors recommend people use a recliner for four to six weeks after surgery to sleep. If you don’t feel much pain or have a complete recovery, you will not need a recliner to sleep. 

However, if the pain doesn’t subside and cause trouble in the healing process, you can take physical therapy and start taking pain management medications. 

Take the pain management after your doctor prescribes you. You can also take the help of postoperative shoulder exercise but after consulting your doctor. 

Tips For Sleeping After Shoulder Surgery

A reclined position helps to get some sleep post shoulder surgery.

The best position to sleep after shoulder surgery would be to sleep in a reclined position. In this comfortable position, it reduces the tension in the shoulder joint and soft tissue around them. 

If you don’t have a recliner, you can sleep on the sofa or use pillows. If the after-surgery pain is unusual and doesn’t go away easily, try taking pain medication from a pharmacist. 

After a few weeks, you don’t have to worry about the pain, but you sleep in the right posture and control your range of motion to avoid developing any causality in the future.