No matter your sickness, good sleep quality is vital for proper healing. A broken humerus will hinder your movement and affect your normal activities. A good sleeping pattern with appropriate care and medication will speed up the healing process.
Avoid tight clothes and moving your hand when sleeping with a broken humerus. Sleeping while sitting up or lying on your back helps avoid misalignment. Also, maintain a clean sleeping environment.
The humerus is among the largest bones running from one's shoulder to the elbow. It is a potent bone with over thirteen other bones attaching to its surface. Additionally, it allows for movement of your shoulder and upper arm.
An excess force in an accident like a fall or car accident may result in a broken humerus. A fractured humerus is a severe injury that may take months to heal. Adults over forty years may be vulnerable to broken humerus due to the high chances of contracting bone-weakening conditions.
One has to undergo an x-ray to tell whether or not they have a fracture. The x-ray allows the doctors to tell whether the injury is distal or proximal. They can also check your arm and shoulder alignment together with the route of breakage.
What Are The Signs Of A Broken Humerus?
The symptoms of a broken humerus may vary depending on how one injured it. You may experience pain in your arm with occasional bleeding. Swelling may also occur, while some may notice a deformity or misalignment.
It may be difficult to move your shoulder. Some people may be able to move their shoulders but experience a grinding sensation when they do so. A broken humerus is uncomfortable, so we recommend visiting a health facility if you experience such symptoms.
What Is The Best Way To Sleep With A Broken Humerus?
Sleeping with a broken humerus is uncomfortable. You must adjust to sleeping in new awkward positions to avoid hurting your arm. While there is no way to prevent this uncomfortable healing process, there are ways you can make it more bearable.
Avoid Moving Your Hand
Disturbing your hand by moving it a lot will disrupt the healing process. A cast can immobilize your hand. A sling will hold the weight of your entire arm plus the cast. A splint may be an excellent option for those who can stay for long without movement.
Using a pillow may be an option in this case. However, it may be ineffective as it may cause movement around your shoulder, leading to misalignment. Avoid supporting your arm on a hard surface as it may cause sores, injuries, or even bleeding in the cast.
Sleep While Sitting Up
Sleeping on a chair will help you maintain a sitting position all night. Slightly lean back on the chair and allow your arm to hang, ensuring the sling supports your arm. An adjustable bed will also come in handy in this case. Use pillows to hold up your weight on a standard bed.
Avoid Tight Clothes
Going to sleep with loose, comfortable clothes makes it easier to protect your broken humerus. Wear oversize shirts and sweaters to fit your entire arm, cast, and sling without a struggle. This way, you will require less effort to take off your clothes hence fewer chances of further injury.
Get Enough Support
A broken humerus limits the functioning of your entire arm. You want to get enough pillows to support your weight to keep your arm in a neutral position. Do not support the sling since you may hurt the humor more.
Keep A Good Sleeping Environment
Before all else, your bedroom should be clean and comfortable. Sleeping in a dim-lit or dark room improves your sleep quality. Regulate the room temperature to be slightly cooler than the day to allow natural body relaxation.
In addition, avoid screen time two hours before bed since it kindles your brain. You also want to avoid taking caffeine in the hours preceding bedtime. Following a regular bedtime routine will also ensure discipline as you will easily fall asleep.
Sleep On The Side Opposite Your Broken Humerus
Do not practice side sleeping during the early days of your injury to avoid putting pressure on the arm. Somewhere down the healing process, you can try sleeping on the side opposite your broken humerus. We recommend consulting the doctor before trying this sleeping position.
Co-sleeping might be a bad idea if you have a broken humerus. The chances of hurting your arm are higher when co-sleeping. In addition, you may have to move the hand more frequently when co-sleeping, disrupting the healing process.
Take Your Medication
Sleeping with a painful broken humerus will affect your sleep quality. Taking the prescription from your doctor will help manage the pain and discomfort. Visit the doctor if the painkillers fail to work and the pain persists.
Keep Your Bed Clean
A clean sleeping environment is not only for hygiene but safety as well. You want to eliminate all the small dirt particles that could get into the cast. Also, avoid sleeping around heavy things that could pressure your arm.
How To Treat A Broken Humerus?
The severity of your wound will determine the kind of treatment you get. There might have to be surgery to correct the bones for misplacement and shifting. The surgery involves aligning the bones and keeping them intact using metal plates plus screws or pins.
Simple surgery may not work if you have a history of bone degeneration. Instead, the doctor may suggest a complete shoulder replacement as your shoulder may not be able to attach the pins. Note that this is very rare, and you can easily avoid it.
Those with less fatal wounds will require a simpler way of treatment. Here, the doctor uses a sling or brace to immobilize the arm and shoulder for some time. After some time, movement to your arm and shoulder will be gradually re-introduced.
In some cases, doctors may use a cast to ensure no movement for faster arm healing. It is suitable for younger children and super-active people who may find it challenging to keep their arms immobile.
Choosing the best cast, sling, brace, or splint for you will depend on the location and fatality of the break. Arm positioning is also a factor that health specialists consider when choosing the mode of treatment.
What Is The Best Sleeping Position For A Broken Humerus?
Lying on your back is best if you have a broken humerus. Using pillows to fit under your knees and neck will improve comfort while lying on your back. Note that we discourage sleeping on either side during the beginning stages of treatment.
How Long Does It Take For A Broken Humerus To Heal?
The amount of time it takes to heal a broken humerus depends on the fatality of the break. According to research, eighty percent of the healing occurs at twelve weeks. However, the humerus will take a full year to recover, no matter the mode of treatment fully.
Those that require no surgery will stabilize at around four weeks after starting treatment. You will undergo follow-up x-rays every week or so to monitor your healing process. After a while, the doctor will introduce physiotherapy to recover movement.
You will undoubtedly have to re-adjust your sleeping habits if you get a broken humerus. Sleeping upright or on your back is the best option for the early days of treatment. You can later go back to sleeping on the side once the doctor gives you a thumbs-up.
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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