Aug 25th, 2009 by Kathryn Merrow
Shoulder pain can occur in a variety of places around the shoulder and almost always muscles are at the root of the problem. Unhappy muscles cause most pain. Our goal is to keep our muscles happy.
The following request for help is very specific about the location of the pain: the bottom half of the shoulder blade and the outer side of the shoulder blade near the armpit. Using a movement with the arm in front of the body makes it worse.
Here is the email:
“I really need your help for my shoulder problems from which I am suffering from past many years.
I am getting pain on my right shoulder, on the lower half of the scapula muscle(Teres minor and major area) of my shoulder. The pain exists at approximate all the time but increases if I repeatedly do an activity (A simple activity like holding a book will aggravate the pain). I can always feel their is a difference between my right shoulder and left shoulder because of the pain.
I have shown to many doctors and had done many tests but they could not come out with any conclusive results. Their advice was just to strengthen my shoulder muscles and to do some physical activity.
Whats the best way to strengthen my shoulder. Will joining gym will be a good option or doing Aerobics .
Please suggest if something better can be done.
Here is my response:
Based on the information you gave me, here is my best thought. You did not say you are right handed, but I bet you may be. This area often becomes aggravated on the side of the dominant hand.
Thank you for your kind words about my website. I appreciate the opportunity to be helpful to people.
Here’s what I suspect: (a) The muscles in the area you have pain can get “tight” because they are being overstretched (your arm is not next to your body, rather it is stretching forward to reach) OR (b) they can get tight because you hold your elbow slightly BEHIND you.
The solution for (a) involves:
- strengthening your back and there are simple directions at http://SimpleStrengthening.com
- stretching the muscles in your chest and the front of your arm
- bringing your arm into neutral when you work rather than reaching forward, and
- massaging the painful area and the area that surrounds it.
Massage and changing the position of your arm will also help (b).
So, what kind of massage will help?
In this case, the muscles that are involved are usually where the pain is so that is the area to treat. You can use ice massage or ice packs, you can go to a professional massage therapist, or you can ask a friend or family member to “pinch” that area.
As the tissues have become tight, contracted, or bound together, pinching is an easy way to release them and get the circulation flowing again. Yes, it will hurt a bit. In fact, if it isn’t uncomfortable your helper isn’t pinching enough.
The idea is not just to pinch the skin but to grab as much of the muscle and tissue as possible and pinch or compress it for several seconds up to 30 seconds. If they can do this to the whole area, that would be ideal. Do several pinches. Later, after perhaps 10 minutes or so, you will notice that the original pain has diminished or is completely gone.
You may also press into the area of the teres (armpit near shoulder blade) and yes, it will also be tender. Tender or uncomfortable means it is tight and needs to be released. You may be able to do this yourself or you may be able to accomplish it by laying on a tennis ball and using that as a tool to press against your lateral scapula (outside of your shoulder blade). Again, ice massage is an option.
There is a lot of information about how to find a massage therapist who can specifically help you at http://CarpalTunnelPainRelief.com Just scroll through the Categories to Massage. Look around at the other Categories, too, if you wish.
If you look at the Self Help Category, you will find more info that will be helpful even though you don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome. Why? Because all parts of our body are attached to every other part!
Here is one article that I think will help:
This article covers a lot of what you need to get rid of the pain in your shoulder.
Please write again if you need more detail or want to add any additional comments or symptoms about your shoulder pain.
Best wishes to you for speedy pain relief,
The Pain Relief Coach