• Gary Backlund

Painful Shoulder after Sleeping?


Has your shoulder pain been playing up recently?

Our poor work ergonomics, reduced activity and extra hours spent sleeping in bed is the perfect recipe for a flair up of shoulder pain and rotator cuff issues.

Trying to get it under control early could save you a lot of pain and downtime!

Try doing the following and if that doesn’t help come in to see us.

Don’t wait too long though. The longer it is left the harder it is to treat.

So what can you do?


  1. Don’t sleep on the painful shoulder! Sleeping on your side can place additional pressure on your shoulder joint, causing irritation or pain.  Use pillows to prevent yourself from rolling onto your shoulder.

  2. Don’t move your arm into painful positions, particularly above shoulder level. A good example is putting on your jacket and lifting your arm.

  3. Try using an icepack for 10 min a few times a day to try reduce any swelling.

  4. If it’s not improving try some ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory) tablets for a few days.

  5. Try these exercises and stretches; they may help settle the symptoms.



1 .Crossover arm stretch

  • Stand up straight and relax your shoulders. Take a few deep breaths if you need to relax.

  • Stretch the affected arm across your chest, but below your chin; reach as far as possible.

  • The healthy arm helps by holding the elbow area of the affected arm.

  • When performing this exercise, you should feel a stretch—not pain.

  • Repeat the exercise with the other arm.

Repeat 2 sets of 10 repetitions, twice a day.

2. Standing row

  • This exercise involves a stretch band, tied at the ends to make a three-foot loop.

  • Attach one end of the loop to a steady object like a doorknob and face it.

  • Hold the other end in one hand, and stand far back enough so there is little or no slack in the band.

  • With your arm bent at the elbow at a 90-degree angle and close to your body, pull the elbow back.

  • Repeat the exercise with the other arm.

Repeat 2 sets of 10 repetitions, twice a day.

3. Internal rotation


  • Like a standing row, this exercise involves a stretch band tied at the ends to make a three-foot loop.

  • Attach one end of the loop to a steady object like a doorknob; stand to the side and hold the band in the hand of your affected arm.

  • Bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle and keep it close to your body. Then, bring the forearm over the midsection of the body.

Repeat 2 sets of 10 repetitions, twice a day.

As a general rule, exercising should not be overly painful. If you experience pain stop and consult with your chiropractor before continuing.

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