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Injuries Chronic & Acute

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Old 01-16-2006, 12:45 PM   #1
Neal Winkler
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I think I have hurt my shoulder by sleeping on it wrong. Especially when my girlfriend sleeps over, if I put my arm under her pillow at night this seems to really aggravate it.

I can also feel it when I do kipping pull-ups. When I first started doing kipping pull-ups there was no pain associated with them, now I will feel pain on both the forward and back swing.

So, does anyone know anything about the possibility of injuring the shoulder from sleeping on it improperly?

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Old 01-16-2006, 01:21 PM   #2
William Hunter
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Injuring the shoulder by sleeping on it may be too strong of a term, but you can certainly aggravate a shoulder with the position you sleep in.

I usually don't see that type of thing with healthy young buggers like yourself :-)

I would take a tip from Christian and start self-massage: A hunt for trigger points in the rotator cuff mm's as well as the other supportive musculature in the area. May want to palpate all around the actual socket itself as the shoulder capsule itself (especially the posterior section) can get pretty tight.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:08 PM   #3
Ben Kaminski
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One guy I knew made his thumb go numb for months from sleeping on his shoulder one night. He always slept on his shoulder before that, just one night was somehow different. I haven't talked to him in years and last time I saw him, his thumb was still numb.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:55 PM   #4
Michael Keller
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I seperated my AC joint several years ago and never got it fixed. Now, I cannot sleep on that shoulder or I will have pain the next day. Is it possible that you have a slight injury and this is aggravating it?
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:43 PM   #5
Neal Winkler
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I don't know, I can't really remember ever doing anything to hurt it.

I'm just going to try and sleep on my back, and if it heels then I guess that must of somehow been the problem. I'll also try the massage like William said.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:08 PM   #6
Lisa Sorbo
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I was having left shoulder pain last year. Couldn't do a bench press movement. Couldn't reach up to the top shelf to get a glass. Seemed to be aggravated if I slept on my stomach with arms up. Then I broke my ankle and had to sleep with an immobilizer boot on - and slept *on my back* with the foot on a pillow. My shoulder pain went away. Completely. And it wasn't just the pain meds from my surgery <g>. I might not have injured it sleeping, but I'm certain I was aggravating it/preventing healing. YMMV.

Since then, I've added rotator cuff exercises as a pre-hab as well. Even now, if I sleep on my stomach with left arm up - the pain can come back, but not as much.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:30 PM   #7
Brian Nesmith
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I'm like Michael above. I separated mine years ago and it used to pop into a bad place when I slept on it. The Warrior Wellness program helped me enormously and it's very rare that it pops out any more. Recommended for all kinds of recovery.
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:44 AM   #8
Steven Low
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Yeah, I've noticed that a lot of stress on my collar bone comes from when I sleep on my side and my shoulder is pushed in and it was starting to bend more than my other collar bone it seemed. Eh, I fixed it by either sleeping on my back or when I am sleeping on my side I will put my shoulder back (like with good posture) when I sleep on my side, and it feels much better now.

So yeah, you can definitely do bad stuff to your body if you sleep the wrong way. Try to find something that works (i.e. doesn't hurt) or figure out a way to make yourself sleep "normal" or whatnot. :happy:

(Message edited by braindx on January 18, 2006)
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Old 01-18-2006, 06:44 AM   #9
Butch White
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Yep, your sleeping position can aggravate your shoulders. I second Brian's suggestion on the Warrior Wellness program. It's definitely improved my (surgically repaired) right shoulder mobility and stability.

Warrior Wellness
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Old 01-19-2006, 05:59 AM   #10
Richard Paul Ham-Williams
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When I did my sports injury therapy, we looked at case studies of people killing nerves by "crushing" them in there sleep - in effect the nerve axon and its casing are starved of blood and can even die if left like it for long enough - if I remember correctly it is called axontmesis (or something to that effect) such extreme cases are very rare, by all accounts drunk people can get it when they fall asleep slump over a chair - Nick named - drunkards arm :-)

The most extreme way out there case I have heard of is limb amputation due to an entire limb being starved of blood for too long and dying! I guess its like docking a dog/sheep tale!

Under normal sleep circumstances your subconcious would "tell" you to roll over or move position before anything awfull happened.

In closing - yes you can damage things in your sleep!

Sorry for the long post
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