You can’t sleep, you haven’t slept well in a long time, you feel groggy and you feel like you have a short fuse all because of that annoying shoulder pain at night. Perfect description of you right? Okay, maybe not entirely, but we understand and appreciate the many problems that creep into your life because of that nagging pain that doesn’t let you sleep well. Here are a few tips that could help… These are by no means a replacement for medical treatments or medical advice. We highly recommend you to visit your clinician to investigate the causes of your shoulder pain.
shoulder pain at night

1 – Sleep on your opposite shoulder [1]

This may seem obvious and easier than it sounds and you may have tried this already. Nevertheless a relaxed shoulder is more often than not a pain free shoulder. So if you are not sleeping on your opposite shoulder then give this a go. If you are not a side sleeper then try placing a pillow under your painful shoulder and arm. The idea is to lift your shoulder up off of the bed to help it relax more. If your shoulder pain is coupled with neck pain then place a pillow underneathe both of your arms. The aim of this position is relax your upper back, neck and your shoulders.

2 – Exercise your shoulder and strengthen your muscles

We have heard time and time again from patients that exercising their shoulder has not only completely removed pain they feel at night, but has also removed pain from simple activities of daily living. They don’t feel pain carrying dishes anymore, or reaching for that top shelf. So which exercises do you need to do? This depends entirely on the cause of your nightly shoulder pains. However, from our experience and research, the following short general exercise plan works well.

1 – MUJO internal and external rotation

We recommend performing internal and external rotations on our devices to help strengthen and free up the glenohumeral joint. Many patients benefit from performing these simple exercises. You can get access to the MUJO devices at our Aldgate clinic and you can book yourself in for a free 30 minute session here. If you do not have access to MUJO, then you can perform these exercises with a theraband. However we highly recommend you to speak to a clinician before performing any exercise.  

2 – MUJO proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation

Yes it is that complicated term again. We like to call it PNF. Much easier to pronounce. The purpose of the PNF exercise is to help restore motor control at the shoulder. Good motor control means good shoulder health. This in turn leads to a pain-free shoulder. This exercise can only be performed on the MUJO and no where else. You probably will want to book yourself in for a free 30 minute session with us and give this a go.

3 – Do not overwork your shoulders

If your day-to-day work requires you to lift things over head or keep your hands above your head for long periods of time, you are at risk of experiencing chronic shoulder pain. You will want to ensure you have the best posture when performing your job and give your shoulders plenty of breaks and rest in between your work.


These tips should work on most people who suffer from shoulder pain at night. However we recommend that you see your doctor or clinician prior to trying these tips. If these changes do not help, it could be that you have an underlying problem that needs greater attention. You can visit one of our physiotherapists at our clinic in Aldgate to get a full shoulder and upper body assessment to help pin-point the problem and create a solution that is catered to you as an individual. You can book a free session or contact us to book a full assessment.

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