Wenger Physical Therapy’s tips to help you sleep after a shoulder surgery
If there is one thing you can’t avoid after shoulder surgery, it’s sleeping. But an activity that we often take for granted, or at least don’t give much thought about before we head into surgery, is sure to be a point of contention for many shoulder surgery patients. Sleep is one of the most important parts of not only our daily routines, but also the healing process. Many of our patients mention the struggle they have with adjusting to how to sleep well post-surgery. So we put together some of our most common suggestions and tips for sleeping after shoulder surgery.
Sleeping Tip #1
If you can, sleep in a recliner, or reclined position up to a couple weeks after your surgery. If you don’t have a recliner, you can use pillows on the couch or in bed. You can even purchase a 45 degree wedge online or at your nearest medical supply store. Typically, shoulder patients have to sleep at an incline for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
Sleeping Tip #2
Use a cryocuff or “iceman” while you sleep. While these can be pricey, many patients say they’re worth it, because using one while you sleep will significantly decrease pain. Even though it’s most effective to change the water every hour or so, for sleeping purposes, you can fall asleep with the cuff on your shoulder and be just fine.
Sleeping Tip #3
Wear your sling while you sleep to keep tension off your shoulder. Doing so will also help you avoid accidentally moving into an uncomfortable or even damaging position unknowingly during sleep.
Sleeping Tip #4
Plan ahead and time out when you take medication. This is a very important thing to do if you are experiencing a lot of pain during the recovery process. If you can time it out so that you are taking your medication 30 minutes before going to sleep, that will allow maximum efficiency and pain relief while you get some rest.
We hope our tips for sleeping after shoulder surgery help bring some relief during your recovery!