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normal Shoulder Sore 5 weeks into mattress trial period?

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20 Mar 2017 11:52 - 20 Mar 2017 14:56 #1 by abbygrant

I've had a heck of a time finding a mattress that works for me. I'm a side sleeper and right now I am in trial period for BB BME in a medium firmness. The mattress felt great for about 4 weeks. I have no lower back pain and not much pressure on shoulders. Now I am into the 5th or 6th week and I am getting shoulder soreness. What I am wondering is why a mattress would feel great for 4 weeks or so, then all of the sudden I get shoulder soreness. The soreness goes way after I get up and move around. But it does wake me up about twice during the night. But when I am asleep I am sleeping soundly.

I am a side sleeper but I do use a body pillow. Should all side sleepers expect a bit of shoulder pressure with any mattress? In the past I tried a BME in the soft, but it was too soft and caused lower back pain. I've tried a lot of mattresses and some toppers, and nothing seems to work. The BME medium seems to be the best of all. I have a Nest Alexander medium that worked for several months, then I started waking up with lower back pain that would not go away. So I'm stuck with that purchase since the trial period has long since come and gone. When I got the BME about 6 weeks ago, the lower back pain ceased immediately.

I'm so frustrated. Maybe my expectations of no soreness is simply too much to ask. Maybe some shoulder pain is just going to happen to all side sleepers?

Last Edit: 20 Mar 2017 14:56 by abbygrant. Reason: typo

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20 Mar 2017 14:30 #2 by Phoenix

Hi abbygrant,

Welcome to the forum! :)

I've had a heck of a time finding a mattress that works for me. I'm a side sleeper and right now I am in trial period for BB BME in a medium firmness. The mattress felt great for about 4 weeks. I have no lower back pain and not much pressure on shoulders. Now I am into the 5th or 6th week and I am getting shoulder soreness. What I am wondering is why a mattress would feel great for 4 weeks or so, then all of the sudden I get shoulder soreness. The soreness goes way after I get up and move around. But it does wake me up about twice during the night. But when I am asleep I am sleeping soundly.

Unfortunately, there are too many individual variables, unknowns, and differences in strength and flexibility for me to provide very specific suggestions about your shoulder issues, but I can hopefully help with a bit of general information.

Shoulder and arm issues can come from many sources, such as a mattress that is too firm and puts direct pressure on the shoulders, the shoulder blades, or on the back muscles and can also cause soreness or numbness and tingling in the arms. It can often come from postural issues. If the mattress is too firm, then if you sleep on your side your shoulders may not sink in enough to relieve pressure and your upper body can "twist" away from the pressure so your upper body is "twisted" more forward while the lower body is still on its side. This spinal twisting or torsion can twist the spine in the upper body and lead to soreness in the area of the twist. There is some much more detailed information, including some sleeping postural tips, on shoulder and arm issues in posts #2 and #3 here .

Shoulder issues can also come from sleeping in the same position for a longer period of time than normal. If you are sleeping deeper/longer on your new mattress, you may be repositioning less often, and this could be causing your shoulder issues, as you may be staying in the same position longer than your body is used to. I can’t speak to why you’re suddenly experiencing a different sensation. Usually when that happens it points to something changing in your flexibility, strength or fatigue. A new mattress will soften slightly as it breaks in, but there wouldn’t be as much of this with latex as there would be with polyfoam, and you’ve stated that your alignment is still good (which sleep ergonomic research would prioritize over surface plushness).

I would also make sure that your pillow is the proper thickness to keep your neck in a more neutral alignment. Using a body pillow can be a good thing and resting your free arm upon that can be helpful. Placing a pillow behind you to slightly lean against can also take a bit of stress off of your shoulder joint area.

I am a side sleeper but I do use a body pillow. Should all side sleepers except a bit of shoulder pressure with any mattress?

You’re correct that you’ll always have some pressure on your shoulder joint, and repositioning approximately 20 times a night is normal.

As you’ve still only had your mattress for a short period of time, I would see if you adjust further and become more comfortable. It could be that you may wish to investigate a thin 1"-2” latex topper down the road if you desire just a bit more plushness, but I would hold off on that until you’ve had some more time on this mattress.

Phoenix


Researching for a mattress?... Be sure to read this post first.

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21 Mar 2017 05:42 #3 by abbygrant

Phoenix wrote:
Shoulder issues can also come from sleeping in the same position for a longer period of time than normal. If you are sleeping deeper/longer on your new mattress, you may be repositioning less often, and this could be causing your shoulder issues, as you may be staying in the same position longer than your body is used to. I can’t speak to why you’re suddenly experiencing a different sensation. Usually when that happens it points to something changing in your flexibility, strength or fatigue. A new mattress will soften slightly as it breaks in, but there wouldn’t be as much of this with latex as there would be with polyfoam, and you’ve stated that your alignment is still good (which sleep ergonomic research would prioritize over surface plushness).


This and the comment about side sleepers changing positions about 20 times per night pretty much answered my question. I'm a pretty heavy sleeper, and I don't change positions much. I guess I am lucky that I'm a good sleeper (my husband has trouble sleeping) but the side effect is probably my sore shoulders. I'll fall asleep at about 10:30 or 11PM and wake up at about 2:30 or 3AM and I haven't moved at all. Then I fall back asleep on my other side soon after a trip to the bathroom and I wake up again around 6AM, often without moving.

Thanks so much for the information,

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21 Mar 2017 10:22 #4 by Phoenix

Hi abbygrant,

I'm glad some of the information I provided was helpful. I hope you continue to adjust to your new mattress and your shoulder issues become less bothersome.

Phoenix


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