physiotherapy North York

Woke Up With Shoulder Pain. 6 Reasons For Shoulder Pain in The Morning.

Shoulder pain can seem to appear out of nowhere, leaving you hunched over in pain. Even the smallest wrong movement can trigger shoulder pain, often leaving sufferers wondering, how did it happen? Here are some helpful tips to make identifying shoulder pain easier so you can begin getting the right treatment and relief.

chiropractic can help when you wake up with shoulder pain

Why Do I Have Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can seemingly appear out of nowhere. Other times it can be the result of an injury such as lifting something heavy or playing sports. For some people, it can be rooted in how they sleep. People who predominantly sleep on a particular side, either the right side or left side, can experience shoulder pain when the shoulder bursae or tendons are pinched.

severe shoulder pain after sleeping

Inflammation can also cause shoulder pain either through injury or health issues. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as stabbing pain, numbness, or tingling in the arm. These are the first indicators that there is something wrong with your shoulder. If your shoulder pain persists for more than a couple of days or becomes worse, it is recommended to speak to your doctor or physiotherapist.

Pain In The Left Arm And Shoulder

Though most shoulder pain is caused by sleeping or injury, if you are experiencing pain in the left side of your arm and shoulder, it may be the symptoms of a heart attack. Heart attack pain may start as a dull pain that mimics injury or discomfort. If the pain grows in intensity or you have trouble breathing, this is a sign that it is more than just traditional shoulder pain.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call an ambulance immediately.

  • Chest Pain
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Nausea

Remember the symptoms of a heart attack are not the same for men and women. If you experience any unusual pain beyond shoulder pain, call emergency services right away.

Woke Up WIth Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain after sleeping is a common experience for people who tend to sleep on one side. It can be difficult to break this habit as people often self-adjust in the middle of the night. Here are some tips on how you can avoid shoulder pain after sleeping.

quarter turn sleep position can help with shoulder pain from sleeping

Quarter Turn Position

Shoulder pain after sleeping is a common experience for people who tend to sleep on one side. It can be difficult to break this To avoid shoulder pain, try to position yourself in what is called the Quarter Turn position. People who sleep directly on the upper arm can cause compression of the humerus and glenoid which can cause pain and pinching. The quarter-turn position releases some of the compression on your arm and shoulder allowing for better blood flow and ease of movement on nerves and tendons.

elbow below shoulder position relieves stress on rotator cuff tendons

Elbow Below Shoulder Position

It is important to try and keep as little pressure on your shoulder when you sleep. If you sleep with your arms above your head, such as the starfish position you may be causing stress on your rotator cuff tendons and pinching of the muscles and nerves. Keep your elbows below your shoulders or close to your sides to relieve this stress.

Severe Shoulder Pain After Sleeping

If you are still experiencing severe shoulder pain after sleeping, the reason may be more serious than sleep position. Shoulder pain from sleeping is usually the result of lying in the wrong direction. If you sleep in a ‘normal position’ and are still getting shoulder pain in the morning, it is time to consult with your physiotherapist.

These are some of the most common reasons for shoulder pain in the morning:

Knead Wellness specialist is helping a patient with shoulder pain after sleeping

1. Scapular Dyskinesis

Scapular dyskinesis or SICK occurs where there is a deviation in the normal position of the scapular during movement. People with this condition may have more pronounced shoulder blades. Most people will experience relief after seeing a physiotherapist who can work the trigger points and help build strength in the muscles around the shoulder.

shoulder pain in the morning after heavy physical activity

2. Frozen Shoulder

Usually the result of heavy physical activity, frozen shoulders can be a frustrating and annoying health issue. It is important to keep an eye out for signs of stroke. If you are unable to move your arm at all, contact emergency services right away. Most people will experience relief from frozen shoulders with some range of motion exercises to help improve strength and endurance.

collarbone pain from sleeping

3. Collarbone Pain From Sleeping

When you sleep on your side, you cause your shoulder to move up closer to your ear, compressing your collarbone. This can result in discomfort or pinching of the nerves in your neck. Try to sleep on a pillow that best suits your sleeping patterns to put as much space between your shoulder and your ear as possible. Lying on your back or switching sides may also help relieve pain.

Sitting in front of the computer for a long time can be a reason for shoulder pain in the morning

4. Thoracic Spine Stiffness

If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen or do repetitive work, you may notice pain in your mid-back. This pain can move up to our shoulders as we try to compensate for how we move and carry objects. Your physiotherapist can help relieve lower back pain, reducing the stress on the shoulders and neck, as much space between your shoulder and your ear as possible. Lying on your back or switching sides may also help relieve pain.

Chiropractic is helping a patient with shoulder pain from sleeping

5. Tendinosis and Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

As we age, we experience a breakdown of the tendons in the rotator cuff tendons. People who do a lot of heavy lifting or play sports may also experience pain associated with tendonitis. To prevent this painful and potentially debilitating pain, make sure to take a break from repetitive stress such as stretching or moving in a different way. Gentle movement exercises and stretches performed by your physiotherapist can also help relieve the pain of tendonitis quickly.

Neck pain can be a reason for morning shoulder pain

6. Neck Pain

Did you know that shoulder pain can be the result of neck pain? This is called referred pain, where one type of pain triggers another. Your physiotherapist can do a complete assessment of your pain to determine the source and provide the right treatment solutions. Take the time to pay attention to how your body moves and responds to the things you do. This can help better identify triggers and source the cause of your shoulder pain.

If you are ready to give shoulder pain to the cold shoulder, contact the professional and friendly team at Knead Wellness. Their skilled team of pain specialists can help you get the relief you need to get moving.