Why Is Shoulder Pain Worse At Night

Shoulder pain and injuries tend to be very uncomfortable and unpleasant, but did you know that they are prone to aggravate at night which is why you should see a shoulder surgeon when you experience pain. Here are all the reasons why your shoulder pain is worse at night.

Your Rotator Cuff Is Injured

One of the main reasons why your shoulder pain becomes unbearable at night time may be because your rotator cuff is injured. The rotator cuff is responsible for maneuvering your shoulders and making your arms and shoulders rotate as you please.

There are many injuries which are associated with the rotator cuff and it can be quite painful especially during the night. The rotator cuff pain is infamously known as night pains as well, since the severity of the pain is more at night.

Sometimes, your shoulders can become locked and it can cause a lot of tension to build up in your sore bones and muscles, which is why you feel excruciating pain in the shoulder and arm. Rotator cuff pains also radiate from the top of your shoulder to your arm and in worse cases, it can cause tingling and numbing in your arm as well. This is not a good sign at all, because the pain allows you to lose sleep too, which is not a good routine at all. This is why you should immediately check in with a doctor and see where the injury is, so that it can be treated in adequate time.

Your Sleeping Position Is Not Suitable

If your shoulder is already injured, you can make it worse by sleeping in a position which can compromise the shoulder a lot and cause even more pain. Your shoulder needs to be in a good position where it is not weighed down and it is free to move around. It’s not a good idea to sleep on your bad shoulder side, because this is asking for more pain and restless nights with no sleep. Try to sleep straight if you can, otherwise support your shoulder with a pillow to help it absorb any unwanted impact during sleep.

The Temperature Worsens The Pain

Yes, you heard it right. During the night, the temperature can drop drastically, even during the summers and this can cause a lot of shoulder pain, if you are not taking necessary precautions. You should wrap up your shoulders nicely if you are sensitive to temperature and you know your shoulder will hurt if it gets too cold. You can also try to bring the thermostat up in your room and take some extra blankets to keep your injured shoulder warm.

The thing that happens during the night when the temperature drops and causes a lot of pain in the shoulder is that the cold temperature contracts your muscles and it causes a lot of tension to build up in your muscles, which is why you feel a lot of pain at night.

You Are Neglecting Your Pain At Night

If you are seeing a regular pattern in your pain, which increases steadily at night time and you are still neglecting it, well you need to do something about it before the pain gets too much and you end up losing sleep because of this very reason. Try to take pain medication if needs be and wear something warm over your shoulder to help keep the shoulders relaxed.

How To Alleviate The Pain Before Seeing A Doctor?

If the pain is getting too much for you and you can’t see a doctor right away, then here are some things you can try to alleviate the pain till you get your hands on a doctor’s appointment. Try anti-inflammatory pain medication as this helps to alleviate the pain fast and give you instant relief. If you want to, you can wear a shoulder compress, this will help to keep your shoulders warm and it will keep the shoulder in place and snug so there is no chance of the shoulder getting dislocated or injured.


There you have it! Now you know why shoulder pain is worse and unbearable at night time. It has to do with your position, the night time temperature and more. Visit an orthopedic surgeon McLean to get quick treatment.