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Thread: Shoulder Pain

  1. #1
    New Member SimpleRabbit's Avatar
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    Shoulder Pain

    Hallo everyone. About a month ago I sold my bed to my housemate and I've been sleeping in my DIY hammock and underquilt ever since. Lately I've been getting a pretty sore shoulder every morning, which goes away by afternoon, but repeats the next night. It's one of the little muscles toward the front of my shoulder, and I think it's because my hammock is pushing my shoulder into me and upward.

    It's been my left [outside] shoulder, but just to see, I switched directions I slept on and sure enough, when I sleep with my upper body to the left and feet to the right, I woke up and my right shoulder was hurting this time.

    I started in a 25 degree hang, and I've lowered down to about 35 degrees with no change in comfort. First couple weeks I used a folded-to-center gather, now I'm using a rolled-to-center gather, and noticed no difference. My hammock's about 60x120" and I'm 5'10".

    Any ideas on how to keep your hammock from rolling your shoulders in? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shnick's Avatar
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    You mentioned your hammock was DIY, what shape is it? asymmetrical?

    Have you tried not laying diagonal?
    Shnick
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    Click on these numbers to read previous threads on this subject. You are not alone with the dreaded "shoulder squeeze" problem. The good news is you can almost certainly eliminate it with one of the many solutions offered below. I sleep on my side mostly and I'm a girl (narrower in the shoulders), so not a problem for me personally, but I could see how it could happen. Read on and best of luck to you!!! Thread #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6
    "Pips"
    Mountains have a dreamy way
    Of folding up a noisy day
    In quiet covers, cool and gray.

    ---Leigh Buckner Hanes

    Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.

    Surely, God never did.

  4. #4
    New Member SimpleRabbit's Avatar
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    Shnick - if I lay parallel with the hammock, my legs hyperextend pretty badly. If I lay at a diagonal, my feet and upper body sit nicely in little pockets and my back and knees are cradled nicely. The hammock is made symmetrically - there are no tieouts and the fabric is a rectangle.

    Pips - thanks for all the links! Unfortunately, none of the suggestion I read about helped. The one thing I read in them that I haven't tried is a WBBB style gather because I'm not excited about sewing channels into my hammock.

    So just now I tried:
    - four styles of whipping [rolled, folded, gathered with pulled ends, gathered W]. They all felt the same except the W pushed up into my back uncomfortably.
    - laying at different angles or closer or further from the foot end
    - different tensions from about 15 degrees tight to 40 degrees loose
    - I added a ridgeline and tried lengths from 90-110"

    In every case, I could feel the hammock hugging my shoulders

    The most common advice I've heard is "loosen your suspension" but that does the opposite for me. The looser I let my hammock hang, the more the hammock fabric changes from horizontal "wings" beneath me to vertical "walls" that I'm lying between, and the more both my shoulders are hugged. I understand how loosening it can help you lay more flat from head to toe. I'm totally comfortable lengthwise in almost all variations I've tried. But I'm curious how loosening helps keep the hammock from hugging you side-to-side, which is where my discomfort comes from?

    Am I missing something fundamental here? Is there anyone in Seattle who hangs who'd meet up and show me how their comfortable hammock looks and feels?

  5. #5
    DivaB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsissewa View Post
    Click on these numbers to read previous threads on this subject. You are not alone with the dreaded "shoulder squeeze" problem. The good news is you can almost certainly eliminate it with one of the many solutions offered below. I sleep on my side mostly and I'm a girl (narrower in the shoulders), so not a problem for me personally, but I could see how it could happen. Read on and best of luck to you!!! Thread #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6
    Excellent information Pipsissewa

    Is your hammock wide enough?....oops I see the measurements now, which should be fine. I'm not sure how to help you except for changing over hammocks, which I'm sure you don't want to do. This is a fairly common complaint though and it seems you've tried darn near everything except knotty's technique which would be sewing a channel, gathering, and then lashing below that channel. I'm not sure at this point if that would even help.
    Last edited by DivaB; 04-25-2012 at 07:31.

  6. #6
    Herder of Cats OutandBack's Avatar
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    I would try an 11' hammock to get your shoulders farther away from the gathered end.
    I am 5'9" and really noticed a difference after switching to an 11 footer.
    hth
    O&B
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  7. #7
    New Member SimpleRabbit's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions DivaB and OutandBack. I'll try making a longer hammock with knotty's channel gather, give one of my two hammocks to a friend, and update on how it works out

    I think I'll actually try a 12' just in case and I can always cut off a foot and make it 11' if I need.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    +1 Going to 11' or more will very likely remedy your situation. I have a Wilderness Logics Night Owl and it is way more comfortable than my shorter hammocks.


    Quote Originally Posted by OutandBack View Post
    I would try an 11' hammock to get your shoulders farther away from the gathered end.
    I am 5'9" and really noticed a difference after switching to an 11 footer.
    hth

  9. #9
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleRabbit View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions DivaB and OutandBack. I'll try making a longer hammock with knotty's channel gather, give one of my two hammocks to a friend, and update on how it works out

    I think I'll actually try a 12' just in case and I can always cut off a foot and make it 11' if I need.
    You could also try laying on the opposite diagonal that you usually lay on and see if that helps the problem with your one shoulder.

    Cheers

    Brian
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  10. #10
    New Member SimpleRabbit's Avatar
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    Problem solved! Thanks for everyone's help.

    I made a 12' with WBBB/knotty channel gathered ends and it made all the difference. It's flatter lengthwise, to where I can sleep on my stomach. But most importantly, it's easy to find a position with no shoulder squeeze.

    Brian - I switched a week ago and then my other shoulder started hurting I'm glad about the upgrade, however, that two extra feet make my hammock look HUGE! I have another 4 yards of ripstop, I think I'll try an 11' and sell/gift whichever two I'm less keen on.

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