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Shoulder Joint Pain – Cause and Treatments

Shoulder joint pain is commonly caused by any of the muscles that insert into the shoulder.


Whatever your sport, or your job, the odds are great that you repetitively strain the muscles of your shoulder joint.

It’s impossible to do something as simple as brushing your hair or driving your car without using multiple muscles that move your shoulder and upper arm.

And if you add weight to the movement or holding the same position for extended periods of time, you are definitely straining the muscles.

Your shoulder is the most complex joint in your body, which is the reason it is able to move in every direction.

A list of common muscles involved in the movement of the shoulder and arm:


  • Arm out to the side involves the lateral deltoid muscles of the outside of your shoulder cap.

  • Arm and/or shoulder straight up toward the ceiling is caused by many different muscles depending on whether your bring your arm out to the side or straight in front of you and then up to the ceiling.

  • Shoulder up (like you are shrugging) is caused by your levator scapulae muscle.  Cyclists hold this muscle taut for hours during a long ride as arms rest on the handle bars.

  • Arm forward is caused by the pectoralis major, a chest muscle and the anterior deltoid shoulder cap muscle.

  • Shoulder forward is primarily caused by the pectoralis minor, another chest muscle.

  • Arm back (to take a golf or tennis swing) is caused by your infraspinatus muscle.  This is also a major problem muscle for swimmers because of the movement and the resistance of the water as you slice your arm down to complete the stroke.

  • Arm brought forcefully down (as in pulling down a weight at the gym) is caused by latissimus dorsi muscle in the back.


And this is only a few of the muscles that rotate your shoulder and arm in the immeasurable movements you perform every day.


How Muscles Cause Shoulder Joint Pain:


A spasm or contraction in any of these muscles causes shoulder joint pain.

As you look at the muscles of your shoulder, consider what happens if one muscle is shortened (in spasm / contains muscle fiber knots) by repetitive strain.  The spasms are like knots in the fibers, making the fibers shorter.  Yet the fibers are still attached to a bone at both ends of the muscle – causing a strain (or pain) on the insertion point on the bone.

The insertion points are always at a joint, causing the joint to move toward the origination point of the muscle.  When you try to move in the opposite direction, the muscle fiber isn’t able to lengthen enough because of the muscle spasm.  As you try to force the movement, the muscle pulls harder on the insertion point causing shoulder joint pain.  Not only will you have pain, but you will have restricted range-of-motion.


Why stretching a tight muscle can increase shoulder joint pain:


When your shoulder feels tight you may feel the need to stretch.  Many times a person tries to stretch and it feels even more painful after the stretch.  The reason, and the logic, is simple.  The muscle fibers are shortened by “knots” in the fibers.  Stretching makes the knot tighter and puts a greater strain on the two points where the muscle attaches to the bone.

You know you need to stretch, but it’s important to know how to untie the knot first, and then stretch the fibers.


Releasing muscle spasms that cause shoulder joint pain:


We are dedicated to teaching you how to release the spasms that cause not only shoulder joint pain, but joint pain throughout your body.  We do this by first showing you how to untie the knots in the muscle, and then walking you through a 30 minute stretching program.

This is a sample of one of the treatments for your shoulder that is taught in our Focused Flexibility Training system:

Using the specialized ball included with the program, you learn how to self-treat each of the many muscles of your shoulder girdle.

This focused pressure releases spasms in the muscle fibers.

Now you are ready to safely stretch all of the muscles without causing an injury to the fibers.


The source of your shoulder joint pain could be as simple as releasing muscle spasms!

This is the first place to start with any joint pain!

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