Lying On Your Painful Shoulder Can Make The Pain Worse – New Research Shows Why Chiropractors In Southampton At The Avenue Clinic Recommend You To Avoid It

Painful shoulder and side of sleeping.


Publication Information: Kempf B & Kongsted A. Association between the side of unilateral shoulder pain and preferred sleeping position: A cross sectional study of 83 Danish patients. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2012; 35: 407-412.


Summary: This cross-sectional study addressed a question that we

encounter frequently in practice – Can sleeping position affect

my shoulder pain? Although it is within reason that sleeping on

one side may predispose one to shoulder pain on that side, no

evidence exists to support, nor refute, this theory. The authors

evaluated adult patients seeking chiropractic care with unilateral

shoulder pain who were asked about sleeping position and, if

sleeping with a partner, which side of the bed they slept in. A

total of 83 participants were included from 10 chiropractic


side lyingResults: The side of shoulder pain was associated to the side patients slept on, with 67% of those sleeping on one side lying on thepainful shoulder. Further, patients were more likely to turn away from their partner at night, and 76% slept on the side opposite their partner.

Comments: This study shed some light onto a relationship that, until

this point, has been described with pure speculation or anecdote.

Even though the sample size wasn’t huge (83 subjects), the

results certainly reveal that clinicians should inquire about the

preferred side for sleeping in patients with generalized shoulder

pain. Although altering sleeping position may be difficult,

clinicians could recommend switching sides of the bed (even

temporarily to relieve pain) in those who sleep with a spouse/partner