Shoulder Pain

Are you experiencing aching, sharp, radiating, or burning, shoulder pain? The type of shoulder pain you feel depends on various factors, such as your unique anatomy, posture, habits, and lifestyle.

Do you have shoulder pain when you move your arms overhead or behind your back? This is known as a "frozen shoulder."

If you suspect a tear or have just come out of shoulder surgery, wait to do rehab movements until your doctor clears it.

For the rest of you, here's what to do if you are experiencing frozen shoulder pain.

  • Don't stop moving altogether.
  • What we want to do is move SLOWLY and CONSCIENTIOUSLY.

Moving too fast through exercise can cause many injuries. Trying to whip out as many chin-ups or push-ups as possible, straining your body, and not paying attention to form can hurt. Doing a slow and conscientious chin-up or push-up can help you strengthen and heal. But you don't have to do chin-ups or push-ups if you don't want to!

First, let's focus on scapular engagement. Lack of scapular engagement is the third reason people end up with shoulder pain. (The first reason is not moving it at all, and the second is moving too roughly.)


To engage your scapulae, stand up, bring your hands by your side, palms facing forward. Now picture that you're pinching your shoulder blades together behind your back. As if you're squeezing the juice out of an orange between your shoulder blades. Keeping this sensation, slowly bring your arms up with your breath staying nice and slow. Try to breathe easily. 

When you feel a slight stiffness through your arms or shoulders, pause the movement, keep breathing, readjust your shoulder blades, and continue. 

About halfway up, you'll notice that you'll be unable to continue pinching your shoulder blades together. Now, what we do is focus on is keeping your shoulders away from your ears. 

Come back down the same way you went up. Do this eight times per day. 

Modifications: if you can't move your arms up without pain, stop where you feel the pain start, and breathe there. Then come back down and repeat.  

More Tips and Tricks!