Upper Arm Pain After Sleeping
Sleeping is supposed to make you feel good. But sometimes it can have the opposite effect — causing you pain and other problems. One common problem people experience during sleeping is upper arm pain. This type of pain usually occurs when someone sleeps on his or her side with one arm across the chest. The person’s elbow then rests against the body, which puts pressure on the inside of the shoulder (the acromioclavicular joint). This pressure irritates the tissues around your shoulder, especially your rotator cuff tendons, ligaments and bursa sacs. These structures are important for moving your arm as you turn it from front to back and vice versa. In addition, they help protect the joint between your neck and lower arm. When these structures become irritated by constant rubbing over time, inflammation develops. This leads to pain and stiffness in the morning.
There are many reasons why upper limb pain happens while you’re asleep. Most often, it has nothing to do with any sort of injury. Some people assume that tight muscles cause such discomfort because they don’t move while sleeping. However, tight muscles are more likely to be caused by poor posture. Poorly aligned shoulders, hips and feet also contribute to the development of tight muscles. Tight muscles force joints out of alignment and create tension throughout the entire body.
Some people get painful knots in their muscle tissue when they lie down at night. If you notice a knot forming under your skin, try stretching it before going to bed. You should stretch even if there isn’t a knot present. Stretching helps prevent knots from developing. Another reason some people develop soreness overnight is due to a lack of blood flow to the area. Blood vessels close up when you go to sleep so they won’t be exposed to harmful bacteria and viruses. As a result, the amount of blood flowing through those same areas decreases. If you didn’t give them enough attention during the day, they will most likely remain weak or numb at night. To avoid this issue, take care of your circulation by exercising regularly and eating foods rich in antioxidants. Your circulation improves each time you exercise, which means you’ll reduce the risk of getting sicker at night.
Sleepers should always use pillows designed for comfort. Pillow choice depends largely on personal preference, but experts recommend using pillows that provide support and cushioning underneath the head and spine. Many people find pillows more comfortable than expensive mattresses. For optimal health, choose natural fiber fillings rather than synthetic ones. Natural materials like wool, cotton and silk are better alternatives than latex and polyurethane foams. They breathe more easily, and they hold heat longer. Also, look for pillows that have been treated with chemicals or dyes. Chemicals used in dying processes include formaldehyde and benzene. Latex foam is another popular pillow material. Although it feels soft and plush, it tends to break down quickly without proper treatment.
To relieve upper arm pain, first try resting your arms on top of your thighs instead of holding them straight up next to your ears. Or, put a rolled towel beneath your elbows. If you still wake up with stiff limbs, elevate your legs above the level of your heart. This prevents fluid buildup in your extremities. Try placing ice packs on your armpits for five minutes, then removing them. Avoid putting anything directly on your armpit; doing so could increase irritation. Take ibuprofen or aspirin for relief. Drinking lots of water can also help decrease swelling. If the condition persists or worsens, consult a doctor.
If you sleep with your shoulders hunched forward, you might experience painful shoulders. Sleep apnea sufferers are particularly susceptible to this problem. People who snore loudly while sleeping may also suffer from this situation. While both conditions occur when breathing stops momentarily, they differ in severity and duration. With sleep apnea, episodes last longer and happen more frequently. If you think you may have sleep apnea, see a specialist immediately. He or she can determine whether you actually have it.
Shoulder Rotation During Sleep
When lying on your back, rotate your torso clockwise about 45 degrees. Then counter-clockwise about 90 degrees. Rotating your torso in this manner relieves pressure on your spinal cord. The best way to do this is to place a pillow under your knees.
Your sleeping position affects how much stress you put on your back. Back pain occurs most often when you sleep on your stomach. Instead, lie on your side with your torso slightly turned toward the center of the mattress. Place a pillow behind your back to keep your spine straight. A pillow propped up between your legs can also help correct your sleeping position.
Backward bending – Lie on your back and extend your left leg. Bend backward until your left knee points upward. Hold onto something firm with your right hand. Keep your left forearm flat on the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.
Lying on your side – Lay on your side with your left elbow placed on the mattress. Your bent right knee should point to the ceiling. Your right hip and shoulder should rest on the mattress. Your head should be supported by your left forearm.
Side-lying on the abdomen – Sit upright in a chair. Let your torso fall downward. Rest your right elbow on the edge of the seat. Lean your body weight on your right elbow. Support your head with your left forearm.
Lying on your back – Lay on your back. Extend your left leg. Allow your left thigh to bend naturally. Keep your left foot flat on the floor.
Curling your toes – Curl your toes towards your face. Relax your ankles and wrists.
Tips for Proper Sleeping Postures
Avoid sleeping on your back. Laying on your back puts excessive pressure on your intervertebral discs. Put a small pillow between your knees to raise yourself slightly higher off the floor.
Keep your head low. Don’t sleep with your head too high or too far back.
Don’t sleep with your mouth wide open. Breathe lightly through your nose.
Try to relax. Make sure you aren’t tensed up. Tense muscles lead to strain and fatigue.
Take long, deep breaths. Count backwards from 100. Concentrate on relaxing your body part by part, starting with your head. Focus on slow, rhythmic inhales and exhales.
Do regular stretches. Before you go to bed, practice yoga poses.
Remember that everyone is different. Try experimenting with various positions to find what works for you.
Stress Relief Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help alleviate upper arm pain. Here are two simple relaxation methods.
Use progressive relaxation. Start by tensing all your muscles. Then slowly release tension bit by bit. Go deeper into the muscle group until you reach the end of the muscle. Then start again at the beginning of the muscle group. Do this process once per muscle group.
Place 1 hand on your stomach just below your navel. Begin counting backward from 10. Once you’ve counted “10,” begin releasing tension from your stomach area. Lower your count to 8, then 7 and 6. Keep lowering your count by 2 numbers per muscle group until your muscle group becomes completely relaxed. Do this technique once per week.
Lie on your back with your eyes closed. Feel your feet touching the floor. Imagine that your feet are floating upwards. Continue imagining that your feet are floating upwards as you count up from 5 to 1. When you finish counting up from 5 to 1, imagine your feet coming back down to the floor. Now continue this pattern for 30 seconds. Do this technique 3 times per day.
Regular physical activity reduces body fat and strengthens muscles. Exercise increases oxygen levels in your bloodstream, which promotes healing. Your muscles need oxygen to function properly. Strength training exercises strengthen muscles, bones, nerves and organs. Yoga stimulates flexibility and balance, helping you maintain healthy posture. Walking, swimming, bicycling and aerobics improve cardiovascular fitness. Aerobic activities burn calories and promote weight control. Weight-bearing exercises build bone density and strength. Resistance training builds muscle mass and tone. All types of exercise work together to achieve overall well-being.
The benefits of regular aerobic exercise are widely known. What’s less appreciated is that moderate amounts of resistance training can actually boost the immune system. Simply lifting weights three days per week has been shown to reduce symptoms associated with fibromyalgia syndrome. And resistance training doesn’t just build muscle. Researchers believe that it also helps produce new cells. New cells can repair damaged tissue and rebuild worn-out parts. Building lean muscle burns fat, lowers cholesterol levels and enhances insulin sensitivity. It also boosts energy, leading to increased endurance and improved mood.
Movement is essential to life. Without movement, our bodies wouldn’t be able to function correctly. Unfortunately, we lose flexibility as we age. We can combat this loss of range of motion with stretching.
Stretches for Upper Limb Flexion
Stand erect with your feet parallel. Lift your arms overhead. Slowly bend your arms at the elbows until your fingers touch. Hold the position for 15 seconds.
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