Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why does my shoulder hurt at night?

    Related Topic
    I have had some trouble lately with shoulder pain waking me up through the night, what could be causing this?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1




    Dr Mark Ridhalgh

    Orthopaedic Surgeon

    This can be for many reasons when people have injuries they can commonly have pain that hurts in the shoulder which hurts them at night. The pain can be felt down the arm towards the elbow and can be associated with tingling. In general a younger patient will tend to have problems with instability. i.e the shoulder pain occurs after the shoulder come out of joint or nearly come out of joint. As we mature it is more likely that the pain at night is due to a tear in the tendons around the shoulder joint such as the rotator cuff. Finally pain in the shoulder at night when we are older is generally related to arthritis of the shoulder. These conditions are sometimes easily treatment with therapy or injection but at other times may need more extensive treatment

  • 24


    David Smith

    Bowen Therapist, Kinesiologist

    Over the past 17 years we have developed skills in an aim to access all aspects of our being, to provide complete integration of body, … View Profile

    Having pain in the shoulder at night whilst can be due to many factors, in my experience over 17 years working with people, the muscles under the scapula called the subscapularis  are compromised and create a reactive muscle pattern that can cause pain, tingling in the arm, numbness down the arm and and general discomfort across the neck and shoulders also.  This is triggered by lying on the side of the symptomatic shoulder whilst sleeping.

    Unwinding the reactive muscle patterns in the shoulder, which also needs cranial(skull), neck and back also muscle/skeletal patterns harmonise will bring relief to this type off night time issue.

  • 4


    Dr Marcus Chia

    Orthopaedic Surgeon

    Dr Marcus Chia is an Orthopaedic Surgeon in Sydney, Australia. As a Fellowship trained Shoulder and Elbow surgeon, he employs the most current arthroscopic and … View Profile

    Patients with shoulder issues frequently complain of pain waking them or keeping them awake at night. Commonly shoulder pain that gets worse at night is caused by bursitis or rotator cuff problems.

    Using the shoulder during the day may cause a build up of inflammation and hence worse pain at night. Also, during the day gravity helps to increase the space available for the bursa and rotator cuff tendons which is not the case when lying flat and in fact compressed when lying on the shoulder.

    Analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications; heat or ice; and sleeping propped up on pillows or even in a recliner chair may help. You should also seek appropriate treatment for the underlying cause of the pain.

answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

You may also like these related questions

Ask a health question

Empowering Australians to make better health choices