Chiropractor Questions Chiropractor

Can sleeping on your side cause shoulder impingement?

I am a 17 year old female. I want to know if sleeping on your side can cause shoulder impingement?

5 Answers

A shoulder impingement is usually not caused by sleeping on your side. If you do repetitive overhead movements either by occupation or sports this may cause a tendonitis in the shoulder and may irritate the Bursa (a fluid sac in the joint) which would be uncomfortable and painful if you are laying on the involved side at night. If you cannot avoid laying on that side you might try putting a travel pillow between your arm and torso to reduce pressure on the joint.
That being said, you should have your shoulder pain evaluated by a professional to accurately diagnose you shoulder pain and discuss a regiment of stretching and strengthening to address your injury.
Possibly, that is not the most common way to develop shoulder impingement. Sleeping on your side is now considered a gold standard position to sleep in (it used to be sleeping on your back). So, if more frequent causes of shoulder impingement has been ruled out, it's something to consider.
Side sleeping can definitely aggravate a weak or previously injured shoulder. It may be possible but difficult for sleeping on ones side to actually cause the impingement. However, sleeping on your arm either directly or under a pillow could definitely cause shoulder/rotator cuff syndromes. Call your local chiropractor and try to sleep on your back with a small pillow.

Jesus loves you and so does Dr Jim !
I don't thing sleeping on your side would cause the impingement, however, sleeping on your side may aggravate a shoulder that is already impinged. This is very common in those who have forward rounded shoulders. If this is the case, then posture is usually the problem that needs fixing. Chest stretches, rotator cuff and back strengthening exercises will fix this.
I would suggest sleeping on your back if at all possible, but each person and their spine is different. Shoulder impingement can be caused by any number of things, the best thing to do would be to have a competent corrective care chiropractor see if there sis something wrong with the alignment of the shoulders or some part of the spine that may be related to the overall function of the shoulders.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Josh Barton