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Are You Losing Sleep Over Shoulder Pain? Los Angeles, CA
A man awaken by shoulder pain.

Is your shoulder pain keeping you awake at night? What could be the source of the problem? Is there any detrimental long-term effect from this? Do you have any control over the situation?

These are only a few of the questions that require prompt responses. After all, you should change your sleeping habits as soon as possible if there are any long-term negative impacts. This is a significant problem that can drastically lower your quality of life.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

Several underlying physiological factors contribute to this condition. The most frequent are:

  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Osteoarthritis of the shoulder

While it is true that any of the conditions mentioned above can occur regardless of how you sleep, sleeping in the wrong position exacerbates the problem. The solution is the same every time. First, visit your preferred doctor, then we can work on improving your sleeping patterns.

Why Does Sleeping in the Wrong Position Cause Shoulder Pain?

Since your shoulder bears most of the weight of your torso while you sleep on your side, you might experience shoulder pain. In addition, scientific evidence supports the idea that your sleeping posture impacts the severity of your shoulder pain. Therefore, adopting a better sleeping posture would answer this issue.

Optimal Sleeping Position

The soreness in your shoulders can be alleviated by changing positions as you sleep. To sleep on your back, you only need a little pillow that you can tuck between your shoulder blades.
The best sleeping position for frozen shoulder or shoulder bursitis is also the best sleeping posture for shoulder impingement. Therefore, it is an all-encompassing remedy for shoulder pain (as long as sleeping is the primary issue).

Risk Factors

Many different diseases and conditions could contribute to worsening your pain. For example, diabetes, stroke, thyroid issues, shoulder injuries, Parkinson’s disease and even cancer can result in frozen shoulders.

Age, gender and family history of illnesses like osteoarthritis are other risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing shoulder pain. In addition, shoulder inflammation and muscle imbalance can exacerbate the problem.

Long-Term Effects

If you do not take precautions, sleeping incorrectly could permanently harm your joints. In addition, it would eventually result in structural damage from the constant pressure. The worst part is that it would happen so gradually that you wouldn’t even know anything was wrong until it was too late.

When Should You Get Medical Attention for Shoulder Pain?

Many people who sleep on their side do not suffer from shoulder pain. Most shoulder pains subside within a few hours after waking up, but some people report pain lasting for days or weeks despite home exercises, heat, ice, anti-inflammatory drugs and sleep changes.

Visiting a shoulder specialist is the best way to determine why you are experiencing shoulder pain from sleeping. Contact an orthopedic surgeon if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Persistent pain
  • Swelling or warmth at the shoulder
  • Popping, locking, catching, dislocations
  • Prior shoulder conditions worsening at night

If your shoulder hurts from sleeping on your side at night, contact us at Robotic Hip and Knee Replacement LA to schedule an examination for diagnosis or to discuss possible treatment options.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Farzin Kabaei, MD

8436 West 3rd Street Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Phone: (310) 792-9300


Mon - Fri 8AM - 5PM

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