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Is Your Shoulder Hurting While You Sleep?

Are You Wondering if You Need to See an Orthopedic Doctor in San Francisco?

Shoulder pain during and after sleeping is one of the most common symptoms for patients with shoulder conditions such as; 1) shoulder impingement, 2) bursitis, 3) tendinitis, 4) rotator cuff tears, and 5) arthritis. Pain that is severe should motivate you to seek out a shoulder surgeon in San Francisco. Here are some conditions that can cause pain and help you decide if you should consult a doctor.


Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement is when there is a reduced space in the shoulder between the rotator cuff tendons and a bone above these tendons. This bone is called the acromion and is part of the scapula or shoulder blade.

Most commonly, it is due to an altered shape of the acromion or a spur forming under the acromion. This extra bone reduces the space for the tendons to move and can cause direct injury to the tendons.


The bursa is a normal structure within the shoulder that helps lubricate the joint and buffers the tendon from damage from the overlying bone.

Once irritated the bursa becomes inflamed. Inflammation causes the bursa to over react and develop cells that incite pain, communicating that something is wrong.

Rotator Cuff Tears

Rotator cuff tendons that surround the shoulder joint help stabilize the joint and gives it the ability to move and have power. Their integrity and form is vital to maintain movement, strength and power.

The most common cause of tendon damage is repeated microtrauma to the rotator cuff tendons rather than a specific one of trauma. Rotator cuff surgery and recovery may be required to alleviate pain and get back a full range of motion. If you think you have a rotator cuff tear, it is important for you to contact an orthopedic doctor San Francisco.


Shoulder tendonitis (or tendinitis) is an inflammation injury to the tendons. Once this progresses, the tendon will fail and cause a tear.

Shoulder arthritis

Wear and tear of the shoulder that affects the cartilage lining of the shoulder joint is called arthritis. It can be a result of years of activities that involve heavy use of the shoulder.  Arthritis from this area presents with pain on top of the shoulder.

When should you seek treatment for shoulder pain from an orthopedic doctor in San Francisco?

If your shoulder pain persists for a period of a few weeks or worsens with weakness, loss of movement or instability, it is recommended to seek consultation and treatment from a shoulder injury specialist in San Francisco.

X-rays are useful to check for arthritis, spurs or other bone issues. Soft tissues are assessed with ultrasounds or MRI scans.

If your symptoms persist despite non-surgical interventions, or if they worsen, it is advised you consult with an orthopedic doctor San Francisco for further treatment options.

Surgical options to help alleviate the pain and improve your shoulder function depend on the diagnosis. Most of this surgery can be performed using keyhole or arthroscopic methods. However, if your pain is due to severe arthritis, a shoulder replacement might be a good option to treat your pain and improve your shoulder range of motion and power.

Is your shoulder hurting while you sleep? Contact Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht for a consultation.

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