Why Did I Wake Up With Shoulder Pain Radiating Down My Arm?

October 30, 2023

Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep only to find your arm locked in place? No matter how much you try to move it, the pain keeps you from trying. While this might seem alarming, it is not something to worry about. So, if you also woke up with shoulder pain today that keeps radiating down your arm, chances are something might be wrong with it. To find out what causes the pain, make sure to keep on reading this blog.

Causes of Shoulder Pain Radiating Down The Arm

Waking up with persistent shoulder pain that radiates down your arm can cause alarm bells to go off in your head. However, not every pain is rooted in an underlying condition. It’s only if the pain doesn’t go away or you repeatedly face the same problem every time you wake up that it can be a cause for concern. Take a look below to see some of the most common reasons why people experience sharp shoulder pain.

  1. Frozen Shoulder
    If your shoulder feels like it is frozen and you cannot move it at all, it might be because of a frozen shoulder. This leads to a lot of pain and restrictions in the affected area.
  2. Rotator Cuff Injury
    Your shoulder muscles and rotator cuff muscles are all interlinked with the bone via certain tendons. However, if these tendons become inflamed or damaged, it can give way to sharp, stinging pain. This typically happens from physical overexertion, wear and tear, as well as poor posture.
  3. Shoulder Impingement
    While it is not common, the structure of your shoulder can sometimes get misaligned and inflamed. This puts a lot of pressure on the bundle of nerves in your shoulder, which then further forces your arm from moving abruptly.
  4. Poor Sleeping Pattern
    Sometimes, the only thing wrong with your shoulder is a small strain. It can easily get triggered if you slept in an awkward position the night before, arm curled up around your head, or bent at an unnatural angle.
  5. Bursitis
    Every shoulder has small sacs of fluid inside of them that help maintain movement and flow, known as the bursae. These sacs also keep your tissues and tendons from rubbing against the shoulder bone, causing friction. However, when bursae get inflamed, they can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort radiating down your entire arm.

Treatment Options

When it comes to treating an aching shoulder, the best way to handle it is by getting a professional evaluation. Visit an orthopedic surgeon to get a close look at the depth of your injury. Leaving a pulled muscle, fracture, or any other injury as it tends to make things worse. Depending on the intensity of the pain, the surgeon will offer a diagnosis before creating a custom treatment plan just for you.

Final Takeaway

All in all, if you woke up one day with shoulder pain radiating down your arm, it might not be a big deal. However, if the problem persists and carries throughout the rest of your day, it could be triggered by rotator cuff injury, frozen shoulder, poor sleeping habits, and the like. However, to ensure there is nothing wrong with your shoulder, it is best to consult a medical professional. Contact Dr. Mufaddal Gombera, MD, at (713) 794-3457 to learn more.

Dr Gombera Cover

Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.



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