Shoulder Pain At Night: 4 Shocking Reasons

Shoulder pain at night
Shoulder pain at night

Shoulder pain at night is a very well-known condition and can happen if one lies on the painful shoulder on the inverse side or their back.
Patients get restless and tend to switch positions while sleeping as the pain doesn’t allow them to rest. Shoulder pain at night is a very common symptom in patients with chronic pain and other shoulder conditions.
Shoulder solidness and irritation can cause conditions like Tendonitis, Bursitis, Tendinosis, Impingement, Rotator Sleeve Tears, and Capsulitis.
The explanation that shoulders hurt around nighttime isn’t completely perceived. Causes include :
1) Irritation is caused when the joint is in a delayed static position.
2) Because of the internal position of the arm while still.
When the arm is facing the body, the bloodstream to the rotator cuff ligament and the bursa gets limited. This position may represent pain. We cannot deny that shoulder pain at night is a warning that something isn’t right.

Sleep Positions And Shoulder Pain At Night

Shoulder pain at night
proper position while sleeping is necessary

Certain positions like dozing off on your side can put extra weight on your shoulder and shoulder blades. It is because when you rest on your side, your shoulder bears the weight of your torso.
One little investigation for shoulder pain at night assessed the connection between sleeping positions and pain. It tracked down that 67 of the investigation members dozed on the same side they encountered shoulder pain.
While your resting position can add to the pain, it’s by all accounts, not the only guilty party.
A few different conditions can likewise cause nighttime shoulder pain when you’re sleeping.
With every one of these conditions, sleeping on the affected shoulder can worsen the pain.

Causes Of Shoulder Pain at Night

There can be end number of causes for shoulder pain at night, but we have enlisted the common causes of shoulder pain at night : 

1) Rotator Cuff Injury

Shoulder pain at night
Rotator Cuff Injury

Your rotator cuff is an assortment of ligaments encompassing your shoulder joint. It joins the end of your upper arm that helps out the shoulder bone, assisting with lifting the arm.
Rotator cuff tears happen when the rotator cuff ligaments become inflamed (known as tendinitis) or even torn.

This Can Happen Due to:

a) Shoulder injury, such as falling with an outstretched arm or lifting something large.
b) Taking part in sports that often use the shoulder joint, like baseball, tennis, or paddling.
c) Performing exercises that need lifting or overhead use of your arms.

Symptoms Can Include:

  • A dull throb or torment somewhere down in your shoulder.
  • Pain that deteriorates when you perform activities like – lifting, tossing, etc.
  • Stiffness or loss of scope of movement.
  • Disturbed sleep if you roll onto the influenced shoulder.
Beginning treatment might be moderate, which will incorporate resting and what tops off an already good thing.

You Can Erase The Pain with :

  • Over-the-counter (OTC)
  • Anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofeN
Your PCP may likewise suggest that you work with an actual specialist. A Physiotherapist will assist you with doing activities to improve the strength and scope of movement in your shoulder.
You’ll also likely need to do everyday activities at home to help ease your shoulder pain and improve your scope of movement.
Sometimes, your PCP may give you a corticosteroid infusion to assist with pain.
Injuries that are serious or that don’t react to moderate treatment may need a medical procedure.

2) Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder pain at night
Stretching can help relieve Shoulder pain at night

Bursae are little, liquid-filled sacs that help pad the tissues around your joints. They’re tracked down everywhere on your body. Bursitis happens when a bursa gets aggravated. The shoulder is the most recognized area for bursitis.
A common reason for shoulder bursitis is a physical issue that influences the shoulder, which could be from dull activities that can exhaust the shoulder joint. Now and again, be that as it may, the reason might be obscure.

The Indications Can Include:

a) Confined hurting or delicacy in the influenced shoulder.
b) Pain that deteriorates with the development of the influenced shoulder.
c) When while applying pressure to the joint, for example, when you’re resting.
d) Stiffness in the influenced shoulder.
e) Swelling and redness

Treatment Will Include:

From the start, treatment is a traditionalist.
  • Resting the shoulder.
  • Taking OTC or anti-inflammatories for pain and aggravation.
  • Doing non-intrusive treatment works out.
  • Corticosteroid infusions directed can likewise bear the cost of alleviation.
If reasonable measures are insufficient, you may need a medical procedure. Medical procedures involve emptying or removing the bursa.

3) Shoulder Impingement Disorder

Shoulder pain at night
X-rays help detect abnormalities in joint

Shoulder impingement disorder happens when the tissues around your rotator cuff rub on adjacent tissue or bone as you move your arm. The scouring of the delicate tissue can result from some reasons.

The Reasons Can Include:

  • Inflammation of the encompassing ligaments (tendinitis).
  • Aggravation of the encompassing bursa (bursitis).
  • The presence of osteophytes, which can create as you age.
  • Acromion, known as a bone in the shoulder joint, bends as opposed to being level. 

The Indications Can Include:

a) Pain situated on the top or outer part of your shoulder.
b) Pain that turns out to be more regrettable while lifting your arm, especially if you’re lifting it over your head.
c) Pain that may turn out to be terrible around evening time and influence rest.
d) A sensation of shortcoming in the influenced shoulder or arm

Treatment Will Include:

Beginning treatment will include rest, relief from discomfort with OTC, anti-inflammatory medication, and delicate shoulder exercises.
Corticosteroid infusions provide relief from pain and aggravation. Medical procedure to broaden the region around the rotator sleeve or cuff might be important now and again.

4) Osteoarthritis of The Shoulder

Shoulder pain at night
Osteoarthritis can be an underlying cause of shoulder pain at night

Osteoarthritis happens when the ligament, which gives padding between your bones, starts to separate. It can influence different joints all through the body, including your shoulder.
Shoulder osteoarthritis can happen as you age. It can occur because of past wounds that influenced the shoulder joint, like a rotator cuff tear or shoulder dislocation.

The Indications Can Include:

  • Pain, which is at first more terrible when you move your shoulder yet can, at last, happen while very still or while resting.
  • Stiffness or loss of scope of movement.
  • Crushing or clicking sounds occur when you move your shoulder.

Treatment Will Include:

  • Treatment can incorporate utilizing oral or skin pain relievers.
  • Physical Therapy can also help improve the condition.
  • Corticosteroid infusions can likewise assist with irritation.
  • Medical procedures work when nonsurgical therapies don’t help diminish your shoulder pain.

5) Frozen Shoulder

Shoulder pain at night
Frozen shoulder can be a very painful condition

Frozen shoulder arises when the connective tissue in your shoulder joint thickens, which leads to loss of movement and range of motion of the joint.
What prompts frozen shoulder is obscure, but it is clear that the cause is due to constant immobilization of the shoulder. Fundamental conditions like diabetes may likewise build the danger of this condition.
The side effects of frozen shoulder happen in three phases:
1) Freezing: This is pain with movement and less scope of movement.
2) Frozen: Pain diminishes, yet your shoulder turns out to be stiff and loss of movement.
3) Defrosting: Your scope of movement starts to improve.
When you experience torment from a frozen shoulder, it could be dreadful at night, which can disturb your sleep schedule.

Treatment Will Include:

  • Treatment for frozen shoulder involves diminishing pain and advancing the scope of movement.
  • Treatment is also possible with OTC pain relievers and Physical therapy. 
  • More steady cases may need corticosteroid injections or minimally invasive medical procedures.

Treatment Options For Shoulder Pain At Night

Shoulder pain at night
Check with your doctor in case of chronic pain

Start the activities at a moderate level. You ought to expect some degree of “stretch pain.”

The more you stand firm on the stretch, the better it is for you. Sometimes, the shoulder will hurt for a couple of moments after the activity, but it can decrease with time.

You should see progress in ROM (Range of Motion) following a 1 to multi-week of doing these activities.

As the ROM improves, shoulder pain at night should begin to lessen. If you don’t see improvement following 2-3 weeks, you should meet with a doctor. You will most likely need an X-ray and an MRI.

Prevention of Shoulder Pain at Night

Shoulder pain at night
Follow preventive measures to keep shoulder pain at night away

Here are some precautions you can take to keep shoulder pain at night at bay.
  • Keep away from redundant movements, if conceivable. Activities like – lifting and tossing can put a strain on your shoulder joint.
  • Take regular breaks while performing excessive movements as an aspect of your responsibilities or a game.
  • Exercise by keeping the muscles around a joint healthy can help secure the joint and forestall injury. Make certain to warm up and stretch first.
  • Use a cart or handcart for heavy items as it can diminish the strain on your shoulders from lifting or conveying heavy items.
Kindly adhere to the directions and repeat stretches to improve shoulder pain at night.
For more such articles, click here.


While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here