A Fix For Common Shoulder Pain | Corrective Exercise

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I had a shoulder injury about 10 years ago, it did not require surgery but it was a mild dislocation with a pinched nerve of my left shoulder. It did not cause me too long of an issue when it happened but every now and then that discomfort will show its ugly head and it typically resurfaces randomly when working on the lateral deltoids (lateral raises often being a exercise I notice). I have experienced tightness in my trap and in my neck, but typically any pain I would feel would be more from where the dislocation occurred near the front (anterior) portion of the shoulder. In many cases, it’s not the painful spot that you feel which is the root of your problem.

With self myofascial release and corrective exercise I can usually fix my shoulder tightness/pain/discomfort within a week while still lifting heavy and going about my same routine with the use of a theracane, light stretches, and a very light rotator cuff warmup. The key to fixing this injury is CONSISTENCY and MAINTENANCE.


What I mean here is whether I have the time or not, whether I feel like it or not, I MAKE the time to work on injury preventatives. EVERY SINGLE TIME I workout, prior to my warmup I loosen up my neck, traps, and shoulders, I then utilize a Theracane in tight areas, lightly stretch, I then go through about 3-5 minutes of lightly weighted rotator cuff work. This is my permanent routine to keep my shoulders/neck fresh. The pain will subside but this is STILL going to be part of my routine. Am I a little more particular when the discomfort is present? Sure…but I tend to always treat things as injured in terms of warming up adequately even when I’m feeling 110%. To me, injury prevention is not to be overlooked and is worth the extra 10-15 minutes that may be added to the beginning of your workout.

Key point here is do not wait until something hurts to fix it, PREVENT injuries with corrective exercise routines. Trust the value long term.


Step 1: I foam roll virtually my entire body but specifically to this post I will use a Thera Cane Massager for working out my upper back and neck areas.
Step 2: Lightly stretch the neck. Looking left, looking right. I also stretch my upper traps by leaning forward slightly, crossing my arms over the outside of the opposite knee, and pulling my torso up.
Step 3: I learned a lot of rotator cuff strengthening exercises through my baseball past. I prefer using cables to perform internal/external rotations with very light weight and high repetitions. Typically two sets to get a little pump or burn in the shoulder.
Step 4: I like to warm up with an exercise I learned through NASM called “Ball Combo II”. Youtube can provide you with a variety of demonstrations. Is not a race, so all the movements are very slow and controlled attemping to concentrate on muscle contractions.

Thats it, it does not take a lot of time but for the most part over the past 10 years has kept shoulder irritations away following my shoulder dislocation and pinched nerve a very long ago. Regardless of your goal or your experience level…if you’re injured you will not be able to train to your full potential. Muscle aches, soreness, little tweaks are inevitable when you push yourself but damage can most definitely be controlled and its worth taking the time to control it.

Corrective Exercise Taylor Carpenter
Applying pressure to the sternocleidomastoid with a theracane, searching for neck tightness

Corrective Exercise Taylor Carpenter
Applying pressure to the upper trapezius with a theracane, search for trap tightness


About the Author:

Taylor Carpenter is a nationally Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Taylor was featured as a fitness expert in the first publication of NASM's "The Fitness Edge".
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