23 May 2024
Learn how to relieve shoulder pain with different sleep positions. Discover the best positions to alleviate discomfort and wake up feeling refreshed.

Are you tired of waking up with shoulder pain every morning? If so, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from shoulder pain that is aggravated by their sleep positions. The good news is that there are simple changes you can make to alleviate this discomfort and wake up feeling refreshed. In this article, we will explore different sleep positions that can help relieve your shoulder pain, so you can finally enjoy a good night’s sleep.

How to Relieve Shoulder Pain with Different Sleep Positions

Understanding Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can be a frustrating and debilitating condition that affects many individuals. Whether caused by muscle strain, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tears, arthritis, or bursitis, finding relief from shoulder pain is crucial for regaining comfort and normal functionality. While there are various treatment options available, one aspect that is often overlooked is the impact of sleep positions on shoulder pain. By understanding how different sleep positions can affect your shoulder pain, you can make informed decisions to alleviate discomfort and promote a restful night’s sleep.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

Before delving into sleep positions, it is essential to understand the common causes of shoulder pain. Muscle strain, typically resulting from repetitive activities or overexertion, can lead to soreness and discomfort in the shoulder area. Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff tears, which occur when the tendons in the shoulder are damaged, can cause sharp or shooting pain. Arthritis, a degenerative joint disease, can also contribute to shoulder pain by causing inflammation and deterioration of the joint tissues. Additionally, bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the shoulder joint, can result in pain and swelling.

How to Relieve Shoulder Pain with Different Sleep Positions

Impact of Sleep Positions

The position in which you sleep can significantly impact your shoulder pain. Certain sleep positions can worsen the pain by putting pressure on the affected area, while others can help alleviate discomfort by providing support and proper alignment. By adopting the right sleep positions, you can optimize your chances of reducing shoulder pain and promoting healing.

Best Sleep Positions for Shoulder Pain Relief

Back Sleeping with Pillows

Sleeping on your back is often recommended for individuals experiencing shoulder pain. This position allows for even distribution of weight and minimizes pressure on the shoulders. To enhance comfort, it is crucial to use supportive pillows. Place a pillow under your head to keep it aligned with your spine, ensuring proper neck support. Additionally, consider placing a pillow under your knees to maintain a neutral spine position and alleviate any strain on the lower back.

Side Sleeping with Pillows

If you prefer side sleeping, there are techniques to help alleviate shoulder pain. Ensure you use a thick pillow to support your head and keep it aligned with your spine. A pillow with adequate loft can help prevent your shoulder from sinking into the mattress, reducing stress on the affected area. To further support your body and maintain spinal alignment, consider placing a pillow between your knees. This will help align your hips and pelvis, reducing strain on the lower back.

Fetal Position

For individuals who find comfort in curling up on their side, the fetal position can provide relief for shoulder pain. Start by lying on your side and gently bring your knees towards your chest. To further support your body and maintain proper spinal alignment, place a pillow between your knees. This will help reduce strain on the lower back and stabilize your position throughout the night.

Reclined Sleeping

Reclined sleeping is another viable option for managing shoulder pain. Investing in an adjustable bed or recliner can greatly enhance your comfort. By elevating your upper body, you can relieve pressure on your shoulders and promote proper alignment of the spine. It is crucial to ensure that the bed or recliner provides adequate support to avoid any additional discomfort.

Zero Gravity Position

The zero gravity position, commonly found with adjustable beds, is an ideal sleep position for shoulder pain relief. This position allows you to distribute your body weight evenly and minimize pressure on the shoulders. By elevating both your upper body and lower body slightly, you can find a position that promotes comfort and alignment. Consider investing in an adjustable bed with zero gravity functionality to reap the benefits of this sleep position.

How to Relieve Shoulder Pain with Different Sleep Positions


Shoulder pain can significantly impact your daily life, but finding relief can be within reach by incorporating suitable sleep positions into your routine. Whether you prefer back sleeping with pillows, side sleeping with pillows, the fetal position, reclined sleeping, or the zero gravity position, make sure to choose the technique that best supports your comfort and promotes proper spinal alignment. Remember to use supportive pillows and consider investing in an adjustable bed or recliner to enhance your sleep experience. By understanding the impact of sleep positions on shoulder pain and making mindful choices, you can optimize your chances of alleviating discomfort and enjoying restful nights.

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