How Do You Get Shoulder Blade Pain While Sleeping?

by Jason Berke יולי 01, 2024

pillows for shoulder pain

Whether you experience dull aches or sharp, shooting pains, shoulder discomfort can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Several factors, including your sleeping position and the type of pillow you use, can contribute to shoulder blade pain while sleeping. Using the best pillows for shoulder pain and adopting the correct sleeping positions can make a great difference.

In this article, let’s explore some practical tips and recommend the best shoulder relief pillows for side sleepers and other positions.

Can Your Sleeping Position Cause Shoulder Pain?

Absolutely, your sleeping position can significantly influence shoulder blade pain while sleeping. Certain positions can place undue stress on your shoulder joints and muscles, leading to discomfort and pain that can disrupt your rest. For instance, sleeping on your side without proper support can compress your shoulder, causing pain and stiffness.

On the other hand, sleeping on your stomach can misalign your spine and shoulders, leading to additional strain and discomfort. Even sleeping on your back, while generally better, can cause issues if your pillow doesn’t provide adequate support.

Identifying and modifying these positions is the first step towards better sleep and shoulder health. Using a shoulder pain pillow for side sleeping can help maintain proper alignment and reduce pressure on the shoulder, offering comfort and relief. Adjusting your sleeping position and using the best pillows for shoulder pain can make a great difference in reducing discomfort and improving sleep quality.

Potential Reasons for Shoulder Pain While Sleeping

Shoulder pain can stem from various conditions, each with its unique set of symptoms and causes. Understanding these can help you pinpoint the source of your pain and find the most effective treatment.

  • Osteoarthritis

    Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect any joint, including the shoulders. It occurs when the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones wears down over time, leading to pain and stiffness. Sleeping on an affected shoulder can exacerbate this pain, making it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.

  • Bursitis

    Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. In the shoulder, bursitis can cause significant pain, especially when lying on the affected side. Proper pillow support and positioning can help alleviate some of this discomfort.

  • Frozen Shoulder

    Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. This condition can severely restrict your range of motion, making certain sleeping positions painful. Finding a shoulder relief pillow with arm hole can help reduce the strain on your shoulder while you sleep.

  • Impingement Syndrome

    Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when the shoulder blade puts pressure on the underlying soft tissues when lifting the arm. This can cause pain and inflammation, particularly when lying on your side. Adjusting your sleeping position and using a pillow for shoulder pain relief can help mitigate this issue.

  • Shoulder Injury

    Previous shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears or fractures, can lead to chronic pain that is aggravated by certain sleeping positions. Using the right pillow and adopting a supportive sleep posture can help manage this pain effectively.

Best Sleeping Positions for Shoulder Pain

Your sleeping position can either exacerbate or relieve shoulder pain, making it essential to find the most supportive and comfortable position. Here are some of the best sleeping positions for shoulder pain:

  • Sleeping On Your Back

    Sleeping on your back is widely regarded as the best position for minimizing shoulder blade pain while sleeping. This position helps distribute your weight evenly and reduces pressure on your shoulders.

    To enhance this position, use a shoulder relief pillow with arm hole or a specially designed shoulder pain pillow. These pillows support proper spinal alignment and prevent unnecessary strain on your shoulders, making them some of the best pillows for shoulder pain relief while side sleeping.

  • Sleeping On Your Stomach

    While sleeping on your stomach is not typically recommended for shoulder pain, as it can cause neck and spine misalignment, some people find comfort in this position. If you prefer stomach sleeping, use a thin shoulder pillow to minimize strain on your neck and shoulders.

  • Sleeping On Your Side

    Many people are side sleepers, but this position can worsen shoulder pain if not managed correctly. To sleep comfortably on your side, use a pillow shoulder pain side sleeper designed to provide adequate support and cushioning.

    A shoulder pain pillow for side sleeping helps keep your shoulder in a neutral position, reducing pressure and pain. Look for a shoulder pillow for side sleepers or a shoulder relief pillow to improve your sleep quality and alleviate shoulder pain.

    By choosing the right sleeping position and investing in a high-quality shoulder pillow, you can significantly reduce shoulder pain and enjoy a more restful sleep.

More Sleeping Tips to Deal With Shoulder Pain

In addition to adjusting your sleeping position, consider these tips to further alleviate shoulder pain and improve your sleep quality. Incorporating these strategies can significantly enhance your comfort and reduce shoulder blade pain while sleeping.

  • Try a Shoulder Brace

    Wearing a shoulder brace at night can help stabilize your shoulder and reduce pain. It keeps your shoulder in the correct position, preventing movements that could aggravate your condition.

    A shoulder brace can be particularly beneficial if you suffer from shoulder injuries or conditions like bursitis or impingement syndrome, as it provides additional support and helps alleviate pressure on the shoulder joint.

  • Practice Relaxation Techniques

    Stress and tension can contribute to muscle pain, including shoulder pain. Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle stretching before bed can help ease tension and improve sleep quality.

    Incorporating relaxation techniques into your nightly routine can make a significant difference in reducing shoulder blade pain while sleeping, helping your muscles relax and reducing the likelihood of waking up with discomfort.

  • Invest in a High-Quality Mattress and Pillow

    A high-quality mattress and pillow are essential for proper spinal alignment and support, especially when dealing with shoulder pain. Look for a mattress that provides adequate support and comfort, and choose pillows for shoulder pain relief.

    A shoulder relief pillow with arm hole can be particularly beneficial for side sleepers, as it helps maintain proper alignment and reduces pressure on the shoulder. Investing in the best pillows for shoulder pain can significantly reduce discomfort and improve your sleep quality. A supportive mattress and a well-chosen shoulder pain pillow for side sleeping can transform your sleep experience and provide much-needed relief.

  • Ensure a Comfortable Sleep Environment

    Creating a comfortable sleep environment can significantly impact your sleep quality and reduce shoulder pain. Ensure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Use blackout curtains to block out light, and consider using a white noise machine to drown out any disruptive sounds.

    Keeping your sleep environment comfortable and free from distractions can enhance your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, minimizing shoulder blade pain while sleeping.

Which Type of Pillow is Best for Sleeping with Shoulder Pain?

When it comes to alleviating shoulder pain while sleeping, the right pillow can make all the difference. Here are some key features to look for in a shoulder relief pillow:

  • Support: A good pillow should provide adequate support to keep your head, neck, and shoulders in alignment. Memory foam pillows are often recommended because they contour to your body, providing customized support.
  • Comfort: Comfort is subjective, but it's essential to choose a pillow that feels comfortable to you. Some people prefer firmer pillows, while others may find softer options more comfortable.
  • Special Features: Pillows with special features, such as a shoulder relief pillow with an arm hole, can provide targeted support and alleviate pressure on the shoulder. These are particularly beneficial for side sleepers.
  • Adjustability: Some pillows offer adjustable filling, allowing you to customize the loft and firmness to your preference. This can be especially helpful if you have fluctuating needs or preferences.

Investing in the best pillows for shoulder pain can significantly reduce discomfort and improve your sleep quality. The Wife Pillow, with its adjustable features and ergonomic design, offers exceptional support and comfort, making it an ideal choice for shoulder pain relief and better sleep quality.


Here are some more frequently asked questions about managing shoulder blade pain during sleep:

A) When should I see a doctor for shoulder pain?

You should see a doctor for shoulder pain if it persists despite rest and over-the-counter treatments, is accompanied by swelling or redness, limits your range of motion, or follows an injury. Early medical intervention can prevent worsening conditions and promote proper healing.

B) How do you prevent shoulder pain while sleeping?

Sleeping on a supportive shoulder relief pillow and on your back or other pain-free side is usually the best way to relieve shoulder discomfort. Steer clear of sleeping on your sore or stomach side.

C) Can a bad pillow cause shoulder pain?

Yes, a bad pillow that lacks support or proper alignment can contribute to shoulder pain. It may strain muscles and joints, leading to discomfort and potentially exacerbating existing shoulder issues. Choosing a pillow that supports your neck and shoulders is crucial for preventing pain.

Get the Right Pillow for Shoulder Pain

Choosing a supportive pillow like the Wife Pillow can significantly alleviate discomfort by promoting proper spinal alignment and reducing strain on the shoulders. Its adjustable features and ergonomic design make it an excellent choice for enhancing sleep quality and overall comfort.

By addressing the root causes and investing in the right support, you can mitigate shoulder blade pain and wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free. Say goodbye to shoulder blade pain with the Wife Pillow—get yours now!

Jason Berke
Jason Berke