How to Sleep on a Wedge Pillow After Shoulder Surgery?

October 16, 2022
3 min read

After having shoulder surgery, you should use a wedge pillow for at least 6 months to prevent pain and discomfort. Wedge pillows help reduce stress on the shoulders and neck muscles, which helps prevent muscle spasms and soreness. The best part about using a wedge pillow is that it helps keep your head from falling forward and putting pressure on your neck.

Select an angled wedge pillow, so your upper body is inclined evenly in the bed. You can use multiple pillows to create a similar effect. To keep your injured shoulder even, you can place another pillow below that as well. 

Best Position to Sleep After Shoulder Surgery

Sleeping young woman, healthy daytime sleep, on pillow with closed eyes

Sleeping positions after shoulder surgery depend on how much pain you feel. If you wake up frequently due to severe pain, then lying down on your side might help you sleep with less pain while asleep. However, sleeping on your back might be better if you don’t wake up at all.

Most importantly, do not sleep flat back. It is important that your shoulder should stay above and that the rest of the body goes downwards. The best option is to get a 45-degree angled wedge pillow. 

Can I Sleep on My Side After Shoulder Surgery?

Sleeping on your side after shoulder surgery is recommended for several reasons.

First, sleeping on your side helps prevent blood clots from forming in your lungs.

Second, it allows gravity to help drain fluid from your arm.

Third, it reduces stress on your shoulders and neck.

Fourth, it is easier to breathe while lying on your side.

Finally, sleeping on your side also provides better circulation to your injured shoulder.

Why Does Sleeping After Shoulder Surgery Hurt So Much?

When you sleep after shoulder surgery, you may feel pain in your arm due to nerve damage caused by the surgery. This pain usually occurs during the first week after surgery and then gradually decreases until it disappears completely.

Sleeping after shoulder surgery hurts because the muscles around the shoulder joint relax during sleep, which causes pain when they wake up. This happens because the muscle fibers contract while sleeping, causing them to tighten and become stiff. You can prevent this from happening by elevating the arm whenever possible without hurting. This will help relax the tightened tissues and fasten the recovery.

Best Wedge Pillows for Shoulder Pain

1. AllSett Health Adjustable Bed Wedge Pillow

Bed Wedge Pillow - Adjustable 9&12 Inch Folding Memory Foam Incline Cushion System for Legs and Back Support Pillow - Acid Reflux, Anti Snoring, Heartburn, Reading – Machine Washable

2. Milliard Bed Wedge Pillow with Memory Foam

Milliard Bed Wedge Pillow with Memory Foam Top -Helps with Acid Reflux and Gerds, Reduce Neck and Back Pain, Snoring, and Respiratory Problems- Breathable and Washable Cover – 7.5 in

3. AllSett Health Cooling Wedge Pillow – 10 Inch

Cooling Wedge Pillow - 10 Inch Bed Wedge Pillow - 24 Inch Wide Incline Support Cushion for Lower Back Pain, Pregnancy, Acid Reflux, GERD, Heartburn, Allergies, Anti Snore – Soft Removable Cover

4. Kӧlbs Memory Foam Adjustable Bed Wedge Pillow

Kӧlbs Memory Foam Adjustable Bed Wedge Pillow - 9 and 12 inch Height | Stylish Chic Jacquard Cover | Multi Use Wedge Pillow for Sleeping, Wedge Pillows for Acid Reflux, Heartburn, GERD, Snoring Pillow

5. InteVision Extra Large Foam Bed Wedge Pillow

InteVision Extra Large Foam Bed Wedge Pillow (33" x 30.5" x 7.5") and Headrest Pillow in ONE Package - 2" Memory Foam Top - Helps Relief for Acid Reflux, Post Surgery, Snoring, and Back Pain

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