Treat Yourself: Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can refer to the neck, middle back, elbow, arm and hand. Some of the pain comes from muscular trigger points which can easily be treated by physical therapists. Numbness, tingling or burning may not always signal nerve irritation—please see a physical therapist to assess your symptoms.

Whether it is acute or chronic, shoulder pain can significantly impact your daily life, turning the simplest tasks into big challenges as your arm mobility is reduced. At TruMove, we are here to help alleviate shoulder pain and hopefully prevent future injury through movement-based exercises.


While sources of shoulder pain vary, there are causes that seem to be more prevalent than others. Among these are poor posture, repetitive activities (lifting, reaching, typing, overhead movements), overuse causing movement impairments, sudden trauma (falls or sports injuries), and poor rotator cuff or shoulder blade strength.


Those who are most likely to be affected by shoulder pain are athletes who use overhead movements, manual labor professionals, and those who sit at a desk or in a vehicle for prolonged periods of time. Symptoms may include restricted shoulder motion overhead, behind the body, or reaching to the side. Pain may occur while sleeping on the affected side, throwing, or reaching overhead.


Maintaining proper strength in the shoulder and shoulder blade muscles is key in preventing injury. It is also of great importance to maintain proper posture and shoulder alignment when reaching and throwing. Avoid forward-head and rounded-shoulder postures when working at a computer, texting, or driving for prolonged periods. Keep your muscles flexible by regularly stretching the shoulders, neck, and middle back. Keep moving—physical activity will improve your fitness level and emotional state of mind, keeping you healthier and happier.