The shoulder is one of the most flexible joints of the body, allowing movement in all directions. Because of this, it can be more susceptible to injury. Painful conditions may also arise from overuse due to a specific activity or shoulder motion that you make repetitively.
Although many shoulder disorders can cause pain, the most common cause of shoulder pain at night is due to irritation of the shoulder tendons leading to inflammation and pain. This pain can also be caused by poor posture, overexertion, repetitive work injuries and aging.
Some of the other causes of shoulder pain at night are: osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder and shoulder dislocation.
- During the day, the shoulder is being actively used while you are in a vertical position. The tendons engage and are pulled downward by gravity, which allows space to be made in the muscle groups in the shoulder. This additional space allows for an increase in blood flow and oxygen that alleviates the stiffness and pain that would be present otherwise.
- When you lay down to rest or sleep at night, you are generally in a horizontal position. This removes the effect of gravity and allows the shoulder muscles to relax. The lack of movement and the relaxation of the muscles allows the fluids in your joints to settle and decreases the flow of blood, allowing the joint to become inflamed. People also tend to lie on their shoulder while sleeping, which can compress the joint even further, and thereby worsening the inflammation.
How can I relieve my shoulder pain at night?
1.Find a better sleeping position. For instance if your right shoulder is hurting avoid lying on it as this would aggravate the pain.
2.Perform stretches for shoulder pain at night. Including:
This exercise helps increase flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder joint and the surrounding muscles. When doing this exercise, lower your arm if you feel any pain in your shoulder.
Bring your right arm across your chest.
Place it in the crease of your left elbow or use your left hand to support your arm.
Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Do each side 3–5 times.
This exercise promotes flexibility and range of motion in your shoulders.
While standing, hold an exercise band, strap, or towel behind your back with both hands.
Broaden across your chest as your move your shoulder blades toward each other.
Lift your chin and look up toward the ceiling.
Hold for up to 30 seconds.
Repeat 3–5 times.
Doorway shoulder stretch
This stretch opens your chest and strengthens your shoulders.
Stand in a doorway with your elbows and arms forming a 90-degree angle.
Step your right foot forward as you press your palms into the sides of the door frame.
Lean forward and engage your core. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
Repeat the stretch with your left foot forward.
Do each side 2–3 times
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre