Is Shoulder Pain Affecting Your Sleep?

Has your shoulder problem gone from a niggle to a painful concern? Is your shoulder pain waking you at night because sleeping on that side now makes the pain worse? Have you begun experiencing pain in the shoulder and sometimes the upper arm with regular everyday tasks like: combing your hair, doing up a bra strap or reaching your arms above your head? If this sounds like you then you might be suffering from tendonitis in one of the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder called the Supraspinatus muscle.

Supraspinatus Tendonitis can be a painful and very annoying condition. It often starts gradually and gets worse over time. For many people it is caused by a combination of shoulder instability, poor posture and repetitive shoulder movements over time. These factors can injure the Supraspinatus tendon causing it to become painful and inflamed ultimately resulting in shoulder pain. 

So why is the pain worse when you sleep? When you sleep on your shoulder the extra pressure and weight on the shoulder compresses and irritates an already inflamed and painful Supraspinatus tendon resulting in more pain which then wakes you and forces you to change sides. 


If you think you might be suffering from Supraspinatus Tendonitis shoulder pain, here are three things you can do today to help relieve the pain and aid in your recovery. 

  1. Make a conscious effort to sleep on your back or the unaffected shoulder. 
  2. Switch up your routine. Start using your other arm for repetitive things like computer work, hanging out laundry, carrying grandkids or gardening.  
  3. Seek professional help. If your shoulder pain is just not getting better it might be time to seek some help from a healthcare professional that has experience with Supraspinatus Tendonitis. 

Enquire today to find out how we can help or to arrange a Free 15 Minute Shoulder Assessment

Ryan Samuels
Acupuncturist and Herbalist



Dutton, Mark, Dutton’s Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation and Intervention (McGraw-Hill Companies, 3rd ed, 2012)

McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised edition). © Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd, 2017:


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