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waking up with sore shoulders

Why do I keep waking up with sore shoulders?

Having a sore shoulder is bad enough, but waking up with one is a downright difficult way to start the day. Think of all the motions your shoulder is responsible for: driving, doing dishes, holding the dog’s leash, etc. Your morning activities are suffering before you’re even out the door for the day. 

If you’ve been waking up with sore shoulders consistently, you may need to consider your sleeping position. While there are several medical conditions that can cause chronic pain and stiffness in the shoulders, the most common cause if your pain is just in the morning is simply poor sleeping posture and/or an unsupportive mattress. 

Sleeping in the wrong position can cause nerve compression in your shoulder blade or joint, which can lead to stiffness and pain in the morning. Next time you experience this, see if some simple shoulder stretches help to reduce your pain. If so, a new mattress or different sleeping position may be your answer. However, if you do not find lasting relief from stretches, you may need to schedule an appointment for physical therapy to determine the cause of your pain.

Medical conditions that cause shoulder pain

If your shoulder pain is chronic and lasts throughout the day — not just the morning — then you may want to check with your doctor about the following conditions:

  • Frozen shoulder
  • Pinched nerve
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder arthritis
  • Bicep tendon tear

Fortunately, these conditions can typically be treated with a series of physical therapy appointments designed to reduce stress on the damaged shoulder joint. By targeting the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, physical therapy can help to reduce nerve pain and improve mobility — even in the mornings.

At SOL Physical Therapy + Performance, we offer shoulder pain treatment designed to help you find relief from chronic stiffness and immobility. Contact our team today to learn more.

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.