How to sleep after shoulder surgery?

How to sleep after shoulder surgery?

How to sleep after shoulder surgery?

How to sleep after shoulder surgery is a question that is regularly asked. Indeed, this type of pain is detrimental to sleep. But don't worry, in 10 minutes you'll know how to sleep with this pain.


How to sleep after shoulder surgery: Causes of pain

After shoulder surgery, sleep disturbances are common. And having trouble sleeping after shoulder surgery is very common. The body undergoes a metabolic and hormonal response to the trauma of the surgery called "surgical stress response". This response, along with other postoperative side effects such as pain, fever, painful incision, anesthesia, insomnia, and medications, can disrupt both the quality and quantity of sleep a person receives after shoulder surgery. .


The anatomy of the shoulder

The shoulder joint is made up of three main bones (the clavicle, scapula, and humerus); the shoulder bones work in tandem with muscles, ligaments and tendons to allow movement. 

Unfortunately, sometimes a strain, injury, or faulty movement can lead to pain, torn ligaments, or even dislocation. Although the first options are rest, physiotherapy, cortisone injections or pain medication, sometimes the injury is so severe thatsurgery is required.


Types of shoulder problems

There are a number of shoulder problems, each with their own probable cause and unique treatments. For example, bursitis or tendonitis often results from repetitive activities, such as painting, swimming, or weight lifting. 

Rotator cuff tears, whether partial or complete, can be the result of a fall or heavy lifting. In both cases, chronic inflammation is involved and sometimes spurs form. 

Fractures, including the collarbone or humerus, are other painful shoulder problems that can be treated with slings or surgery. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can also impact the shoulder joint, especially with age. Although medications and physiotherapy can help in these conditions, in some cases, shoulder replacement surgery is required.


How to sleep after shoulder surgery?


Types of shoulder surgery

Open surgery and arthroscopy are the two main types of surgical procedures used in the treatment of shoulder problems. The type of shoulder surgery your doctor recommends depends largely on the severity of your injury. Depending on the type of surgery you undergo, comfortable sleep after shoulder surgery will be more or less problematic.

  • Shoulder arthroscopy - With advances in technology and medicine, less invasive surgical procedures are being used to increase the frequency. One of them is arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Here, a small camera is used, and the surgeon makes a small incision around the area of ​​injury and inserts the camera. Shoulder arthroscopy is commonly used for rotator cuff tears, torn tendons, and shoulder injuries.
  • Open shoulder surgery - As you might expect, open shoulder surgery is more invasive than arthroscopic surgery. It is used to correct serious injuries or conditions, such as shoulder replacement surgery. Open surgery is also typically used to treat torn shoulder ligaments, Bankart's injury, or for people with recurrent shoulder dislocations. Rotator cuff surgery can be performed through open surgery.


Promote sleep with good habits

To sleep well after shoulder surgery, you can act during the day with 2 simple habits to put in place:

  • Relieve the shoulder with an ice pack or ice cubes for 30 to 60 minutes before sleeping to anesthetize the pain and allow easy falling asleep.
  • Wear a sling to support the operated shoulder: In order to avoid making him move and sore him even more.


How to sleep after shoulder surgery?


Sleep after shoulder surgery

It is quite common to have difficulty sleeping after shoulder surgery, especially during the first few days. Some people find it particularly difficult to “get comfortable” and are unable to lean on the arm that has had the operation. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to be more comfortable so you can get enough sleep for your shoulder to heal:

  • Raise your upper body with pillows, says the National Institute of Health; refrain from lying flat.
  • Sleep in an inclined position, says physical therapist Dan Baumstark. Over the days after your surgery, you can lower your body over time until you are finally level. But Baumstark says it can take six weeks or more, depending on your surgery.
  • Avoid sleeping on your side or on your stomach, explains the Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington (UW).
  • Support the elbow from behind using one or two pillows. You shouldn't let your elbow fall on the bed, says the UW.
  • Some rehab experts also recommend place a pillow under the elbow and hand to allow maximum blood flow to the shoulder tendons while you sleep.
  • Make sure you have a mattress that provides plenty of comfort and support. Natural latex mattresses are great options for this. They remove a lot of pressure from “hot spots” or trigger points.
  • If the pain is extremely bothersome and prevents you from sleeping, take painkillers as prescribed by your doctor.

The most important thing to realize for sleeping shoulder surgery is that everything will get better over time. 

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