Shoulder Pain At Night
There is nothing more disgusting and disturbing as having a bad night sleep due to shoulder pain.
The shoulder has an enormous range of mobility which is used repeatedly in daily life. So as to achieve efficient mobility, the shoulder has to give up stability and strength.
In other words, instead of being a snug joint held together by strong ligaments, the shoulder depends more on well-developed muscles and tendons for mobility than for strength and stability.
To make matters worse, the shoulder joint is not one but 4 which must move smoothly to perform even the simplest motion. To fully appreciate shoulder pain generally,we need to understand what constitutes the normal shoulder.
Shoulder Pain At Night & Shoulder Muscles Explained:
The Normal shoulder consists of 3 bones, a bursal sac (an envelope having a serous membrane which secretes fluid for joint lubrication and nourishment), about 30 muscles and their tendons (sheets of tissue that joins muscles to bones).
This explains why shoulder pain is so common and complex!
The normal shoulder consists of 3 bones~the humerus(upper arm),the clavicle (collar bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade). A ball-and-socket joint arrangement connects the humerus and the scapula.
Under this arrangement, there is profound mobility instead of stability since the ball(humerus) is big and the socket ( the glenoid cavity of the scapula), shallow.
With reduced stability therefore,the glenohumeral joint (linking the humerus and the glenoid cavity of the scapula) is the most frequently dislocated joint in the body. Hence the fragility of the shoulder.
Although there is a joint capsule which offers protection to this joint, however,the capsule is lax and flexible to allow mobility.
As the humerus moves in the socket,it initiates movement in the 3 smaller joints~ acromioclavicular joint(junction of the collar bone and scapula), sternoclavicular joint(junction of the breastbone and the clavicle) and the scapulothoracic joint(junction of the shoulder blade and chest wall).
Movement of the shoulder is controlled by shoulder muscles, each of which is anchored to the bone by a tendon.
The deepest muscles are the 4 muscles of the Rotator cuff which confers stability to the shoulder.
The other muscle groups are close to the surface but are not less important for motion. A bursal sac filled with fluid lies between the deepest muscles and those closer to the surface.
Now...Shoulder Pain at Night.
Shoulder pain in broad terms can originate in any structure found in this complex apparatus.
For example, from the neck as in herniated cervical discs and pinched nerves, from the hand(carpal tunnel syndrom), abdomen (irritated diaphragm) or even the chest(angina or heart attack). But in most cases, the shoulder itself is to blame and simple clues can confirm the problem.
For example, a pain that is worse at night like when lying on shoulder. This suggests a Rotatory Cuff problem, a pain triggered by overhead activities point to the Impingement Syndrome while general stiffness and immobility suggests a frozen shoulder.
Finally, Shoulder Pain at Night can be caused by many other problems but majorly, by Rotatory Cuff problem.
As a way of knowing its actual cause, the onset of the symptoms is important. Noting if certain activities like swimming aggravate the pain is suggestive.
An X-ray can help greatly if you have an injury producing dislocation or fracture whereas muscle and tendons injuries call for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), where images of tissues are needed.
Usually a primary health care doctor can recommend an NSAID like aspirin or naproxen to relieve the pains and reduce inflammation, however it is best to reduce activities done by the shoulder and see a physiotherapist who will recommend some exercises.
Shoulder Pain at Night requires a lot of responsibilities, please do not shrugg it off!
Treat yourself even if it is mild, before it becomes a serious pain that will snatch your sleep.