How to Sleep With a Medical Shoulder Sling On

Written by aubrey bailey
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How to Sleep With a Medical Shoulder Sling On
Slings are worn to protect an injured arm. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Slings are used to immobilise the shoulder after injury or surgery. They're typically used short-term; however, after major surgery (a rotator-cuff repair, for example), a sling may be required for several weeks. Initially, the sling is worn full-time, which includes nighttime. A semi-upright position is ideal for comfort and will prevent you from accidentally sleeping on the injured side. This position can be achieved by sleeping in a recliner or by arranging multiple pillows on your bed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Five or six pillows

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  1. 1

    Place several pillows at the head of your bed. Create a wedge-shaped support by placing two pillows on top of each other at the top and another pillow at the base of them. Use one or two pillows in a recliner to support your head and back.

  2. 2

    Place a pillow lengthwise on each side of the recliner or position them where your arms will rest on the bed.

  3. 3

    Position yourself in the chair or on the bed. Adjust the pillows behind your head and back until you're in a supported semi-upright position. Place a pillow under your knees to decrease pressure on your back. Put the recliner in its fully reclined position.

  4. 4

    Use your uninjured hand to gently lift the elbow of the injured arm and place it on the pillow next to your body.

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