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Shoulder Pain at Night?

Lately, I have been having shoulder pain on my right side when I’m lying down at night. The pain is not major, I could still sleep especially when I was tired. But I could felt a subtle discomfort on my right shoulder. It was weird because I could still workout and I hardly felt something wrong in my shoulders when I was exercising, though I avoid lifting too heavy when I’m doing upper body. I also had a rotator cuff injury like four years ago on my right side that prevented me from any upper-body work for 3 months, then I slowly went back up, to like half a year to get my upper body lift to my last PRs.

I’m putting an ice pack on it two times a day and just decreasing my workout frequency. Any suggestion to eliminate the discomfort? Do you think I should still workout at all? Thank you

I think its possible you injured it further and you should get evaluated by a good sports medicine ortho doc.

Where is your arm when you are lying down? What position are your shoulder and arm in?

I lied on my right side or just up facing the ceiling, it gets more discomfort if I lie on my right side

When your elbow gets out away from your body, like when you lay on it sleeping, it puts your shoulder into internal rotation. A lot of guys have issues with internal rotation causing shoulder pain, like near the top of lateral raises or the bottom of bench presses.

If you’re sleeping on your arm and your shoulders is crammed into an “extreme” internally rotated position you’re not capable of moving into, then you lay on it all night it could totally cause shoulder pain.

If any of that sounds like it might be applicable, find a little dumb move to practice internal shoulder rotation and build up the ROM and stability of your shoulder.

Maybe try the sleeper stretch

As far as working out, I would avoid anything painful to your shoulder for awhile.


agreed with @FlatsFarmer

Other strategies to improve shoulder internal rotation are light to moderate suitcase carries with an exaggerated arm swing, dips with your ribs “tucked down” instead of flared up and an inhale at the bottom, and single arm dumbbell rows where you actively protract your support shoulder, keep ribs tucked and inhale at the top of the row


When you’re exaggerating the arm swing on the suitcase walk, are you twisting or rotating your arm/wrist as you swing? Or is the swing alone enough?

thanks I did that stretch and felt a bit better… I also reckon I had some infrasupinatus tear on my right side, I noticed that my traps have been really tight recently which was weird because I never hit them directly as they are also strong body parts of mine… I heard when your infrasupinatus are weak/injured, the traps take over in many lifts and get really tight… this can be possible because my range motion is totally fine… when I had rotator cuff injury I couldnt extend my hands all the way up or do overhead movements with full range of motion but now I have no problem with that

Dips with rips tucked down? Insteresting, will try that because almost in all chest exercises I flared out my ribs wide to get better contraction

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It’s actually the loaded side that will improve its IR. The exagerrated arm swing promotes/creates increased trunk rotation. It’s this rotation of the trunk around the loaded arm that creates a posterior ribcage compression and anterior ribcage expansion. Anterior expansion = increased extension, adduction and internal rotation (a la PRI)

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get into position by:

  • Setting up at the top of the dip (feet floating)
  • breathing all your air out until you feel your abs
  • giving yourself a slight tuck of the hip