How To Sleep After Rotator Cuff Surgery

6 min read

Is the main reason for rotator cuff surgery repetitive movements at work? Or is it age-related and just part of general wear and tear on the human body?

It’s both. If you have a repetitive job like a paint sprayer, that could cause rotator cuff surgery. As we age, we may experience wear and tear on the rotator cuff, which will need to be surgically repaired. Sleeping upright in a recliner is the perfect solution for sleeping after rotator cuff surgery.

Getting a good night’s sleep after rotator cuff surgery can be difficult due to discomfort and the need to follow specific post-surgery instructions. Here are a few tips to help you sleep more comfortably:

  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions: Your provider will give you specific guidance on how to care for yourself after surgery, including recommendations for sleep. It’s important to follow these instructions closely to ensure a successful recovery.
  • Take your medications as directed: Painkillers and other medications may be prescribed after rotator cuff surgery to help manage discomfort. However, some medications can interfere with sleep. Be sure to talk to your provider about any concerns you have with your medications and their potential impact on your sleep.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment: A cool and dark room, a comfortable bed, and minimal noise can all help you get a better night’s sleep.
  • Engage in relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation may help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
  • Avoid screens before bed: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bed.
  • Consider talking to a healthcare provider: If you are having persistent difficulty sleeping after rotator cuff surgery, don’t hesitate to speak with your provider for further evaluation and guidance. They may be able to suggest additional strategies or make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

How should I sleep after a dislocated shoulder?

Sleep upright in a reclining chair or prop your mattress with pillows to elevate your torso.

Shoulder slings are designed to support the shoulder and prevent pain when moving. Sleeping with a shoulder sling will help relieve pain. In conjunction with painkillers, you should be able to get a restful night’s sleep.

It is a process of learning how to sleep after dislocated shoulders. The use of pillows as supports when sleeping on a mattress or in a recliner will be needed.

Sleeping on your back will be the easiest position to sleep well, but if you are a side sleeper, you can sleep on the opposite shoulder to the dislocation.

If you do sleep on your side, it’s important to align your neck with pillows and at the same time place a pillow under the arm into the armpit of the injured shoulder to off the injury support.

Use pillows for support and secure yourself in a position to prevent yourself from inadvertently rolling onto the injured shoulder.

Pillows provide a tactile reminder not to roll around in bed while sleeping. 

Should you sleep with a sling on after elbow surgery?

Yes, wearing a sling will help keep the elbow in place and prevent the elbow from flexing while sleeping.

After elbow surgery, you will undoubtedly be required to sleep on your back. Your elbow will be in a sling and elevated slightly above your heart while resting on pillows at your side.

Elevating your elbow, hand, and arm will help drain away some of the fluids causing the swelling.

If your hand is swelling, wiggle your fingers if not painful, this will help with circulation and push some fluids away from the hand.

Elbow surgery can be particularly painful, and finding a way of how to sleep after elbow surgery can be frustrating due to the limitations of movement and pain.

What is the best position to sleep in after labrum surgery?

Sleep inclined with your shoulder in a sling for protection and keep your shoulder immobilized while the healing process starts after surgery.

While sleeping inclined, you will need to place a pillow under the postoperative shoulder joint to prevent the humeral head from trying to slip out of place, which causes the muscles to tense to hold the joint in place and cause pain.

Wearing a sling is needed, and a surgical wedge under the arm will also help to keep your shoulder joint in the right adjustment while you sleep.

It’s not easy to find an easy way of sleeping after labrum surgery, so use as much support as you can find comfortable. In line with your medication for the pain, you should sleep relatively well. 

Can I sleep on my side after shoulder surgery?

Yes. With the surgical repair, you can sleep on the opposite shoulder to the shoulder. Sleeping on your side can be challenging, and you will need to sleep with your sling in place to support your shoulder joint.

You will need to place a pillow behind your back as a tactile reminder not to roll over when sleeping in this position.

You will also need to place a pillow under your arm close to your armpit to support the joint to prevent unnecessary pain.

What is the best position to sleep in after reverse shoulder replacement?

Sleeping in an upright position is the best and easiest way to get a restful night’s sleep after a reverse shoulder replacement.

After such major surgery, you would be excused for thinking it would be difficult to find a way of sleeping after reverse shoulder replacement surgery.

The truth is most shoulder surgeries require similar sleeping positions during the recovery period.

If you have a reclining chair, then use it! The reclining chair can offer an ideal solution for sleeping after reverse shoulder replacement surgery.

The recliner can keep you at an incline that works for you and the healing process of your shoulder.

You will need to sleep with your sling on to keep the joint in place.

Can I sleep on my side after reverse shoulder replacement?

Yes, if done carefully. Reverse shoulder replacement is a major surgery to correct a problem with an arthritic joint. You should do everything in your power to make the recovery process as fast as possible, including how you decide to sleep.

Sleeping on the opposite shoulder to the reverse shoulder replacement is permissible in most canvases but only when done with care.

Pack lots of pillows behind you as a reminder not to roll over while sleeping. Support the arm with a sling, and a pillow placed close to the armpit.

It’s important to sleep with adequate support for your neck and spine alignment to ensure your sleep soundly and wake refreshed.

What’s the best way to sleep after having rotator cuff surgery?

You will need to sleep in an inclined position for 6 weeks at a minimum. It is possible to lower the incline and lay almost flat as the pain subsides, but this will be weeks into the post-surgery recovery period.

Your choices will be limited when finding a way to sleep after rotator cuff surgery, so be prepared for the long haul.

If you can sleep in a reclining chair, this may provide the perfect solution for your initial resting period after rotator cuff surgery.

The reclining chair can provide the perfect position for your sleep and the recovery of your shoulder after surgery.

If you want to sleep in bed, then elevate the mattress by packing pillows under the mattress. Its best to raise the mattress rather than sleep on pillows that can move easily.

You will need to have your shoulder in a sling to prevent the shoulder from unduly moving to a position that will be detrimental to the surgery or cause you undue pain.

The use of prescribed medications for pain management should enable you to sleep well. After a few days, the pain will start to subside.

How to sleep after rotator cuff surgery video

Having any type of surgery is a big deal, and it takes a lot of getting used to the thought of going under the knife under a general anesthetic.

However, some great videos are out there regarding the information on rotator cuff surgery that should give you the confidence to proceed with minimal trepidation.

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In most cases, the surgery can be done as an outpatient, meaning you are in and out of the hospital the same day.

Postoperative videos will give you the absolute truth about recovery from rotator cuff surgery, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the speed of recovery.

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How do you sleep with a shoulder sling on after surgery?

The shoulder sling is an essential part of your initial recovery; the sling will prevent your shoulder from moving out of alignment and causing unnecessary pain.

Invariably you will need to sleep in an inclined position on your back for the first week and longer if you can manage sleeping in this position.

Everyone who has shoulder surgery needs to learn how to sleep after shoulder surgery, and it doesn’t always come easy.

If you are scheduled for shoulder surgery, it may be worth placing yourself in the sleeping position expected of you post-surgery.

You will know what to expect, and you can make adjustments to the incline of your mattress by adding or subtracting pillows.

When you arrive home after surgery, take your time and try to adjust to your new sleeping position. If you can sleep in this position for two weeks, you will be well on your way to recovery.

Does it hurt to sleep on a torn rotator cuff?

Yes. Your muscles and tendons are damaged, so of course, you will experience some pain when you sleep.

You will need to find a way of how to sleep with a rotator cuff injury if you are to get any rest. Try sleeping on your back with a slight elevation to the mattress, which will help reduce any swelling.

Support your arm with a pillow, tuck the pillow close to your shoulder to provide some relief from the pain.

Of course, use painkillers to reduce the pain but often over the counter meds are not strong enough to reduce the pain.

If sleeping remains a problem, see your doctor and get referred to a specialist who can help you.

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