Shoulder Pain

The painful shoulder is one of the most frequent medical consultations, and affects 25% of the population at some point in life. It is more common in people who are elderly or who do heavy work or repetitive movements.


The shoulder is the most mobile of all the joints in the body and, therefore, the most prone to problems. The most important function of the shoulder is to bring the hand to the position in which it should be working. The shoulder is not made up of a single joint, but of several, along with a significant number of muscles and tendons. All of these structures can be injured and cause pain.

Despite being a very common pathology, the causes that produce shoulder pain are not always well known. This pain may be due to injuries to the joint, muscles, or tendons and their component ligaments (intrinsic). Sometimes injuries more distant to the joint also cause pain in that area (extrinsic).

Of the intrinsic causes of shoulder pain, 90% of cases are due to problems located around the joint: in the ligaments, muscles, tendons or in the serous bags (periarticular), and only in 10% the pain is presents within the joint (intra-articular).


The pain appears with the movements of the shoulder, in the superior and external face of the joint. Generally, it limits mobility little, although sometimes it prevents certain movements. This pain is usually more intense at night, especially when sleeping on the arm, and improves after gentle movement. In other cases, the pain is very severe and sharp, and pain can be felt in the cervical area, forearm, and hand. There may even be an almost complete loss of mobility.

Once the causes, which are multiple, have been analyzed, I am going to give you some tips to treat shoulder pain and strengthen this muscle group and thus avoid future injuries.


When we have shoulder pain that persists over time, more than 4 days we must consult with our doctor to rule out any cause external to the joint and its referred muscles.

It is more common to find this anomaly in women over 40 years of age, beginning or in the menopausal phase, people with diabetes or hyperthyroidism. If the pain is in the left arm or shoulder, any heart abnormalities should be ruled out. The visit to our doctor will be the most prudent.

If our pain is recent and we have reduced mobility due to the pain and discomfort it causes, the first thing we should do is rest and try to lower the inflammation to achieve a greater range of mobility and thus be able to start the rehabilitation itself. .


When the pain is recent, the first thing to do is apply ice to the area, 3 or 4 times a day for a period of 10 to 15 minutes, no more.

When our inflammation and pain are reduced in intensity we will begin with exercises to increase the internal space of the shoulder. These exercises should be done without pain, although we may notice some discomfort, it must be mild.

Pendulum exercise.

With the help of a chair, we support the hand of the unaffected side on the backrest and lean our body forward. We drop the arm from the affected shoulder without any tension and make gravitational movements in circles in both directions.

This exercise stretches the joint capsule of the shoulder joint to prevent it from becoming stiff. Avoid this exercise if you have back pain.

Shoulder blade retraction.

Placing the arms at 90 degrees on our sides, we will push the elbows back and pull out the chest, making it easier for our shoulder blades to meet in the center of the back and thus stretch the muscles involved.

The shoulder blade retraction with no tubing exercise stretches the muscles that hold your shoulder blade (scapula).

Wall stretch.

We place the affected arm in the position seen in the photo. With the fingers we try to walk upwards causing the shoulder to stretch slowly. We repeat several times.

Wall stretches are exercises that help make your injured shoulder joint more flexible.

Wall push-up

We put our hands on the wall as seen in the photo and we are doing push-ups with the arms facilitating the movement of the shoulder. If it is easy for us and we do not feel pain, we will separate more from the wall to make the flexion longer and with a greater weight load. Always without pain.

Wall push-ups are exercises that stretch the muscles and joint capsule of your shoulder joint.

Arm reach.

Lying on the floor or on a surface where we have a firm back, we stretch our arm upwards and try to bring the tips of the fingers as high as possible. Repetitive several times, always without pain.

The arm reach is an exercise that strengthens the muscles that hold your shoulder blade (scapula).


These exercises will also help us reduce pain and have a stronger and more flexible shoulder. As always, we will do them without pain and adjusting the tension and weight load as we improve.

External, Internal rotation with band and Shoulder blade retraction

With the help of an exercise rubber (there are several colors depending on the tension), we will do exercises of internal rotation and external rotation as we see in the photographs and retraction of the shoulder blade. Always with great care not to cause pain and gradually increase as we feel stronger.

We can do 2 or 3 sets of 10 reps.

Shoulder stretches.

These exercises will allow us to maintain the elasticity of our shoulder and improve its range of motion.

We can see in the first two images how to stretch the front or front of the shoulder.

In the third, the exercise allows us to extend the back of the injured shoulder joint.

Remember that all exercises should be done without pain, although we may feel some slight discomfort.

All these exercises should help you improve the condition of the sore shoulder along with the massage treatments that you can request on our services page. It is convenient that we advise you on how to do the exercises the first time and be able to evaluate your pain. Ask us for information without obligation.

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