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Effects of Sleeping Positions on the Rotator Cuff Pathology

Haluk Cabuk, Semih Ayanoglu, Murat Cakar, Mehmet Kursad Bayraktar, Cem Dincay Buyukkurt, Cem Zeki Esenyel, Yasin Guler.


The rotator cuff tear aetiology is still unclear. Especially for atraumatic ruptures, degenerative processes come into prominence. This study aims to correlate between four most commonly-seen sleeping positions and patients with rotator cuff pathology. 87 patients who applied to the institute for suffering from shoulder pain for more than 6 months without a trauma and 93 voluntary people (as control group) above the age of 50 who applied to the institution for reasons other than shoulder pain included in the study. Rotator cuff ruptures and acromion types of the patients are diagnosed via magnetic resonance imaging. In face-to-face interviews, all the patients are asked to show their favourite sleeping positions on the visual cards and also questioned about their smoking habits and overhead activities. There is not any statistically substantive parameters between the patients and the control group in terms of age and sex. 83.9% of the patients with rotator cuff rupture have stated prefering lateral decubitus position while this rate is %61.3 among the control group (p=0.003). Atraumatic rotator cuff tears are increase with age. The increase pressure in the subacromial space can lead distribution in microvascular circulation of rotator cuff. Decrease in the microvascular circulation also affect the regeneration potential of rotator cuff. Laboratory studies demonstrated that lateral decubitus position has the most prominent increase in the subacromial pressure over all sleeping positions. We consider that sleeping in the lateral decubitus position causes long-term high subacromial pressure, leading to a microcirculatory disorder in the rotator cuff, which is a risk factor for the rotator cuff aetiology.

Key words: Rotator cuff, sleeping position, lateral decubitis, shoulder pain, subacromail pressure

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