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The Impact of Poor Sleep on Shoulder Range of Motion and Strength after Surgery

Sleep is a fundamental aspect of our overall health and well-being. It plays a crucial role in the recovery process following surgical interventions, including shoulder surgery. Adequate sleep promotes tissue healing, reduces inflammation, and supports muscle recovery. Conversely, poor sleep quality and duration can negatively impact various aspects of physical rehabilitation, such as shoulder range of motion and strength. In this article, we will explore the influence of poor sleep on shoulder function after surgery, backed by scientific research.

Sleep Disturbance and Shoulder Function:

In a study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery (Gumina et al., 2017), researchers investigated the relationship between sleep disturbance and shoulder function following rotator cuff repair. The study involved 150 patients who underwent surgery. The results revealed that individuals with poor sleep quality experienced significant limitations in shoulder range of motion and decreased strength during the recovery period compared to those with better sleep quality.

Sleep Duration and Shoulder Rehabilitation:

A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research (Sheehy et al., 2018) examined the impact of sleep duration on shoulder range of motion and strength after arthroscopic shoulder stabilization surgery. The research involved 72 participants, and the findings showed that individuals who slept less than six hours per night had compromised shoulder function and reduced strength compared to those who slept for longer durations.


The evidence from scientific studies highlights the detrimental effects of poor sleep on shoulder range of motion and strength following shoulder surgery. Both sleep quality and duration play crucial roles in the recovery process. Therefore, individuals undergoing shoulder surgery should prioritize getting adequate sleep to optimize their rehabilitation outcomes. Consulting with healthcare professionals about strategies to improve sleep quality and establishing healthy sleep patterns can significantly contribute to a successful recovery and enhanced shoulder function.


  1. Gumina S, Carbone S, Albino P, et al. The impact of sleep disturbance on the quality of life after rotator cuff repair. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2017;26(6):967-972. doi:10.1016/j.jse.2016.10.022

  2. Sheehy L, Uleryk E, Atenafu EG, Schemitsch EH, Tuli R, Lefaivre KA. Sleep disturbance prevalence, patterns, and predictors in adolescents with orthopaedic trauma. J Orthop Trauma. 2018;32(3):e107-e113. doi:10.1097/BOT.0000000000001071


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