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  1. #1
    Registered User rmani's Avatar
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    Can sleeping on your side injure your shoulder??

    I've been having a hell of a time with my left shoulder the past couple of months and after falling asleep for an hour nap this afternoon (on my left side) I went to the gym and had a pretty bad chest workout.

    I felt a lot of pain while doing barbell bench once the bar was in the lower 1/3 of the lift (closest to my chest). Although as the weight went up the pain went down but i still just felt weak. Furthermore I felt a lot of pain when doing very light dumbell flys but only when my left arm came close to parallel with the floor.

    Should I start forcing myself to sleep in a different position or could I have a more serious problem?
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  2. #2
    Registered User toobigmike's Avatar
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    There is such a thing as a "good pain" and a "bad pain". The good pain is the day after a bitchin' squat workout it hurts to sit down on the toilet. The pain you are describing is the bad kind. The big thing to do rest it up and ice it down, if the problem persists get it checked out, but don't force yourself to work through the pain, that is setting yourself up for major problems. You may have just pulled something in your shoulder while you were sleeping.
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  3. #3
    Registered User XXXL_Bryan's Avatar
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    you certainly can impinge vessels and nerves running through the spaces of the shoulder. probably temporary. if it worsens, see your doctor for a ortho consult. cortisone injections can be helpful.
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  4. #4
    Misc Armchair Counsellor MantisShrimp's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rmani View Post
    I've been having a hell of a time with my left shoulder the past couple of months and after falling asleep for an hour nap this afternoon (on my left side) I went to the gym and had a pretty bad chest workout.

    I felt a lot of pain while doing barbell bench once the bar was in the lower 1/3 of the lift (closest to my chest). Although as the weight went up the pain went down but i still just felt weak. Furthermore I felt a lot of pain when doing very light dumbell flys but only when my left arm came close to parallel with the floor.

    Should I start forcing myself to sleep in a different position or could I have a more serious problem?
    I suspect it could. I frequently sleep on my side, with one arm way out in front of me and under a pillow. This is because my shoulders are so incredibly huge that it is impossible to sleep otherwise. No, just kidding. Anyway, I think it has been putting extra stress on my rotator cuff, and I have been dealing with mild nuisance injuries, mostly from benching.

    Benching is damned dangerous to the shoulders but I can't make myself stop doing it because I love the lift.
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  5. #5
    Been there...Done that... CarpenterAnt's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with my right shoulder. I sleep on my right side with my arm under the pillow. I started having the same pains you described on chest day. Ice, rest, drop your poundage temporarily, and sleep on your other side are all good ideas. I also started using a topical roll-on called BIOFREEZE. I get it at my local health food store. It works good on all muscle pain. And if your pain gets worse, see a doctor. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
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  6. #6
    Registered User rmani's Avatar
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    thanks guys. being self-employed my health insurance is terrible which is why i haven't gone to see the doctor earlier. i'm doing everything i can to keep from sleeping on that side from now on.

    hopefully things will improve it sucks to be poor. =(
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  7. #7
    Registered User FitJeff0065's Avatar
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    Talking Same issue

    My right shoulder has been doing this for 7 weeks now. I think I did hurt it sleeping. I've tried icing it, haven't tried Biofreeze. I'm going to see my hot doctor next week and she if she might want to massage it for me.
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  8. #8
    ndn Al Swearengen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MantisShrimp View Post
    I suspect it could. I frequently sleep on my side, with one arm way out in front of me and under a pillow. This is because my shoulders are so incredibly huge that it is impossible to sleep otherwise. No, just kidding. Anyway, I think it has been putting extra stress on my rotator cuff, and I have been dealing with mild nuisance injuries, mostly from benching.

    Benching is damned dangerous to the shoulders but I can't make myself stop doing it because I love the lift.
    i got a supraspinatus tear from doing just that, i would suggest not sleeping that way.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Wildturkeycrb's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Me 2

    Man, I have had this exact same problem. When my girlfriend is over spending the night, I have to sleep on my side and I have seen the time I woke up and my shoulder was all but unresponsive!! Didnt want to move, sluggish, weak, not really much pain, some, but not crippling. Just felt like it was asleep almost. Your not alone man, I dont know what it is, maybe pulling something in an awkward movement or pose or pinching a nerve, but I have been making myself sleep on my back since. To hell with the spooning, shell have to get over it!! Haha, hope you heal up fast man, and if you find out what it is, please let us all know, as Im sure there are probably more out there with this problem.
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  10. #10
    Gettin My Swole On microrahsheen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wildturkeycrb View Post
    Man, I have had this exact same problem. When my girlfriend is over spending the night, I have to sleep on my side and I have seen the time I woke up and my shoulder was all but unresponsive!! Didnt want to move, sluggish, weak, not really much pain, some, but not crippling. Just felt like it was asleep almost. Your not alone man, I dont know what it is, maybe pulling something in an awkward movement or pose or pinching a nerve, but I have been making myself sleep on my back since. To hell with the spooning, shell have to get over it!! Haha, hope you heal up fast man, and if you find out what it is, please let us all know, as Im sure there are probably more out there with this problem.
    LOL, make her lay her head on your chest.

    Anyways, I also heard that laying on your side can stretch your back muscles and cause a posture imbalance, which can lead to shoulder injury because your shoulders end up being rolled forward...
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  11. #11
    BEAST MODE cuse88's Avatar
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    Ya, I had a shoulder pingement about a year ago and they specifically told me that it just adds unneeded pressure to your shoulder and could continue to cause me shoulder problems down the road and possibly cause another pingement. So I sleep on my back now.
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  12. #12
    Registered User rmani's Avatar
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    thanks guys. i'm going to do whatever i can to sleep on my back of face down. it's tough, however, when there's someone else sleeping with me ;-)

    if i'm not spooning her she lays her head right on my shoulder which also hurts it.
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