You probably never thought about your shoulders much until they started to hurt and simple daily tasks like brushing your teeth, getting dressed and wiping your bottom became almost impossible. Depending on how active you are and what activities you do can change how likely you are to experience shoulder problems. Take, for example, an athlete that competes in Olympic weightlifting, that’s a lot of force, repetition and load moving through the shoulder joint with a compound movement pattern, shoulder problems will be quite common. Take our second example; running, while involved the shoulder isn’t heavily involved, and as such, the occurrence of shoulder problems from running is much less than our Olympic weightlifting athlete example. 

What to do if your shoulder hurts

If you do experience shoulder problems or pain, it is crucial to seek a professional assessment and opinion to help guide and reduce the overall duration of the problem or mitigate any long-lasting effects. 

Rotator cuff group and injuries

Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that support and protect your shoulder by stabilizing your shoulder humerus bone within the shoulder socket. Most people will experience shoulder problems while performing pushing movements such as; bench press, military press & push-ups. Most problems with the rotator cuff are the result of inflammation or strains of the rotators cuffs themselves. A multitude of tests exist to determine the exact cause of the shoulder problem, and these would be performed during your physical assessment. 

What can I do at home

If you aren’t sure but have no reason to suspect that muscle strains or a tear cause your shoulder problems. You may choose to rest from the aggravating activities, e.g. weight training and see if that makes a difference to your shoulder problem. If that’s able to settle or resolve the shoulder problem, likely, you were not resting appropriately and should modify the frequency of your training program. Basic shoulder stretches have been shown to decrease pain, only perform them if it doesn’t irritate the shoulder. If your shoulder problem is causing issues with daily activities, you should seek an assessment sooner rather than later.