Why does my shoulder always hurt? What is that popping I hear in my shoulder? I didn’t do anything serious to it, why is it hurting all of the sudden? Why is it so tight when I wake up in the morning? These are just a few of the many questions we hear every day in our clinic concerning shoulder pain, and they must be taken seriously. Beyond the clinical testing, individualized treatment plan and specific active care program, we give each patient tips or ideas on how they can prevent future problems with their shoulder. While we treat a wide variety of patients and each situation is unique to that individual, there tend to be a couple of common tips everyone could use to help prevent their shoulder from hurting.


 The shoulder is a ball and socket joint that can be very challenging to stretch out. One part of the shoulder that is easily overlooked are the lats. They run down the side of your ribcage into the low back and are a major influence on the shoulder complex. There are always competing forces in the body that help keep you upright and although we may feel tension on one end of the joint, it doesn’t mean that the opposite side isn’t contributing to the imbalance we feel. To address the lats, simply find a doorframe, grab ahold of it with one hand at about waist height and then lean back into your hips. If you lean to the side of the arm that’s holding onto the frame you should feel a great stretch along the side of the ribcage. Reach the opposite arm down for your toes to enhance the stretch as well. Hang back for about 10-15 seconds and repeat as necessary throughout the day.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 2.06.10 PMStabilize

Often times when your body lacks stability it will force stability on you causing tightness and often pain. If your shoulder pops or grinds a lot this exercise is for you. A simple remedy for shoulder stability is the timeless exercise called planks. It’s commonly thought of as an ab exercise and it absolutely is, but it is also a really great way to stabilize your shoulder complex. The big tip when doing planks is to make sure you keep your shoulder blades flat on your back. If you feel them pinching together, then simply push your elbows into the ground and maintain a neutral spine. If you want to target your shoulder more than the abs, then planking from the knees is completely acceptable. If you want to move on to an advanced version of this, try it with one arm in a side plank.


Balance out your shoulder workouts. While the direction and method can change, the shoulder can really only push or pull. So try to find a good balance of pulling exercises like rows and pull-ups to even out all the push-ups and bench press at the gym. One armed workouts are a really easy way to help you spot your own imbalances as you continue to work out and strengthen your shoulder. You can try a one arm press where one arm has the weight while the other has nothing in.

Having shoulder problems can be frustrating, but hopefully you found some easy ways to help prevent it from disrupting your daily life. If these few things don’t make an impact on your shoulder find an Airrosti doctor near you. We make it a point to help you understand what is going on, answer all your questions and get you back to what you love doing.

John Cybulski, DC