Shoulder Pain While Sleeping Explained

Shoulder Pain While Sleeping Explained

Shoulder pain keeps many people awake at night and makes it difficult for them to sleep. Common causes of shoulder pain at night are-

  • Poor posture
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Tendinitis
  • Subacromial bursitis
  • Overexertion or overtired shoulder due to repetitive use.
  • Arthritis of shoulder joint.
  • Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis.

Shoulder pain at night occurs along with the stiffness and restrictions in shoulder range of motions.


  • Avoid sleeping with arms in an overhead position and with arms across your body. Also, try not to sleep on the affected side. You can sleep on your back or the unaffected side.
  • Simple stretches of the shoulder before sleeping can help ease the shoulder pain. Stretches like wall stretches of the shoulder, child pose of yoga, stretching the posterior capsule of the shoulder, forward and backward shoulder rolls, squeezing your shoulder blades are the few stretches that can be performed before going to sleep.
  • Strengthening exercises of the shoulder complex using resistance bands play a crucial role in stabilizing the shoulder complex.
  • Pain relieving modalities like TENS, postural correction exercises, manual therapy techniques, stretching, and strengthening exercises of the shoulder help in relieving shoulder pain in the majority of the cases.
  • Unbearable shoulder pain, increasing shoulder stiffness, and any swelling in the shoulder; must be reported to your health care provider for further assessment and treatment.
  • Chronic cases may require corticosteroid injections or surgery, depending on the cause and symptoms.


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