About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very “social” patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles — all geared to improve your quality of life.
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10 comments on “Rotator Cuff Tears and Shoulder Pain at Night [Updated]

  1. Hi, Thankyou for the informative site! It’s great!r Not getting to sleep is right! The pain/dull constant ache always seems worse at night! My left arm has a stabbing feeling on top of shoulder, with ache down the front, and side. It feels weak. It was diagnosed by ultrasound and X-ray with tendonitis, bursitis and spur, yet ROM is pretty good! (Cortisone did nothing to help, and I sit up most nights as it hurts to lie in bed, though doesn’t usually wake me once I get to sleep!
    I have been told it needs an op. However, not until my first right arm improves..I’m actually 10 months post op for rotator cuff surgery (due to a car accident) for full thickness tear, bicep tenodesis, subacromial decompression and AC joint excision, CA ligament removed, bursar removed, etc. and have had severe inflammation ever since. A cortisone injection a month ago has made no difference. I can only raise my right arm forward to around shoulder height without pain/soreness..and sideways is not too great.. is this normal at this stage? I have a numb hand and elbow pain on inner and outer elbow, which has only been since the op..but was told it is probably not related to the surgery.For now I am told to give it time..around 18 months to heal..is this as good as it gets or how long until you know if the surgery actually failed? Many thanks!

  2. Excellent Post very informative Dr. Luks. Having a torn rotator cuff brings some serious pain to the shoulder and surrounding areas. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory pills can really help even temporarily. However, what we have found with our patients who try our newly designed rapid release pro 2; also have seen significant reduction of pain in their shoulders. All while treating their pain naturally, without any pills or medications.

  3. Excellent Post .I experienced the same pain and so the post helpful me very much. It is very informative and explain the causes neatly and also mention the treatments its also good. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  4. That whole article was written as if you were in my head, explaining my exact case. I prop pillows under both of my shoulders at night, after wrapping a blanket around them. The only comfort I have found besides doing this is sleeping with both arms above my head. The lack of sleep has been detrimental to my way of life and I have found myself feeling overwhelmed with every normal day activities simply because I do not have the energy to do them. I am sleepy throughout most of my days and I need a resolution, ASAP! I had my rotator cuff checked years ago and was told that I had hyperlaxity. Well, many years later I still have pain and it only seems to be getting worse. I LOVE that I found your page and that someone else knows how I feel. I am a Tricare Prime customer and am hoping that changing to a different Primary Care Physician will help resolve my issues!

  5. Thank you for this information. I had surgery in October of 2015 Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression / Distal Clavicle Resection. And a bicep moved. I have popping when push my self up away from a table or when get up out of the recliner. I have a great amount of pain and discomfort during the day and especially at night. I have had Cortizone shots and I sleep in different positions. Nothing is help me. I’m just wondering if my Doctor is not see that I may a Rotator Cuff Tendinosis? I’m a Electrician and I always have tools above my head. What would you recommend that I do or say to my currant doctor?

    Thank you

  6. The pain I wake up with at 5 AM is like a knife being twisted in both of my deltoids between the mussels. Very Very sore this morning.

    1. Shoulder pain at night really can be awful….
      Have a shoulder doc check out your shoulder. Various non-surgical treatments can work well at alleviating night pain.

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