Have you or a loved one come out of shoulder surgery recently? Sleep is probably what you’re craving most right now! But you’re likely experiencing some tenderness and pain. And unfortunately, sleeping is not the easiest thing for patients right after shoulder surgery.

While sleeping can’t be avoided (and shouldn’t), there are some important things to know so you can protect your shoulder and aid healing at the same time.

How long should you sleep in a recliner after shoulder surgery?

It’s in your best interest to avoid lying flat for a bit post-surgery, as it can worsen the pain on your shoulder. For most patients, 4-6 weeks is the recommended allotted time to sleep in a recliner after surgery.

An optimal, popular recliner is the Lazy Boy chair. But if you don’t have a recliner, you can use a wedge pillow (45-degree incline) or a few pillows piled up to prop up and support your lower back. You can also place another pillow underneath the back of your arm to relieve more tension off the affected shoulder.

3 tips to help your shoulder while sleeping

These three tips will help you sleep like a baby while you’re in post-surgery recovery:

  • 1. Wear a sling to bed.

    This will help keep your shoulder immobilized and in place throughout the night. You don’t want to wake up with your shoulder in a bad position!

  • 2. Apply ice before going to bed.

    Wrap some ice in a towel and apply it to the affected shoulder for around 15-30 minutes. This will help reduce inflammation and pain as you fall asleep.

  • 3. Take the medication prescribed by your doctor.

    Plan ahead to take it about 30 minutes before you go to bed to allow time for the medication to get into your system.

Always consult your doctor for accurate treatment and post-surgery recommendations. We wish you a speedy recovery and restful sleep!