How To ELIMINATE Shoulder Pain – Shoulder Impingement Exercises

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6 of the best physical therapy exercises to eliminate shoulder pain. Shoulder impingement is one of the most-common causes of shoulder pain that I encounter in my physical therapy clinic. These are some of the most effective stretches and rotator cuff exercises to stop shoulder pain and help you to feel better. |KEEP READING FOR MORE LINKS!|






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The most-common cause of shoulder pain that I treat in my physical therapy clinic is a condition known as “impingement”.

Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint. That “ball” should stay firmly seated in that “socket” during shoulder motions, especially overhead. If the head of the humerus (the ball) does not stay seated properly in the glenoid cavity (the socket) during motion it can “pinch” on the tendon and other structures up on the top of your shoulder.

Over time, this can lead to pain, inflammation, and even a rotator cuff tear. It’s important that you address the cause of this pain quickly to avoid exacerbating the injury.

The primary causes of shoulder impingement include poor posture, muscle weakness, joint tightness, and muscle imbalance. The most effective way to cure this impingement syndrome is to perform exercises that address these deficits.

Posture is probably the number one cause of shoulder impingement. To demonstrate why this is an issue I want you to stand up and slump forward (exaggerate poor posture). Now try to reach your hands all the way over your head. You won’t be able to do it! You’ll get to about 160 degrees of motion and run into a block.

That’s the impingement I’m talking about. You’re pinching those structures under the roof of your socket and it’s not allowing you to go any further.

Now stand with great posture. Tuck your shoulder blades down and back and make sure your head is squarely over your shoulders. Now reach both arms up in over your head. You should find that you are able to reach a lot higher with a lot less pain.

In order to achieve full overhead motion, your shoulder blade needs to upwardly rotate. This will enable you to achieve those last 20° of motion without pain.

This is why posture is important when we talk about shoulder pain and range of motion.

The second primary cause of shoulder impingement that I see in my clinic is rotator cuff weakness. You have 4 muscles that make up the “rotator cuff”. The primary function of the rotator cuff is to keep the head of the humerus (ball) seated squarely in the middle socket of the shoulder.

Oftentimes muscle imbalance and shoulder/rotator cuff weakness can cause the head of the humerus to move towards the front of the shoulder. During overhead motions, there’s less room under the “roof” in the front of the shoulder than there is in the middle of the shoulder. This can cause shoulder pain and impingement during overhead motions.


The best things you can do to eliminate shoulder impingement are to stretch the tight structures in the front of the shoulder and chest while strengthening the rotator cuff muscles in the back. This will promote a better anatomical position for the shoulder joint and enable you to move through these overhead motions with decreased pain and less “pinching” symptoms.

The stretches and exercises that I recommend to patients experiencing this type of shoulder pain include:

1. Doorway Stretches (Low, Middle, and High): great stretch for the front of the chest and shoulders. I like the low position for the pull through the biceps tendon and I like the high position for the additional rotation component.

2. Foam Roller: lay on a 36” foam roller to stretch your chest and shoulders out. If you need to get one you can do so at this link:

3. Scapula Pinches: One of my favorite exercises to correct poor posture and help put your shoulder blades back in the correct position for function.

4. YTA: Easy shoulder and rotator cuff exercises you can do at home with zero equipment required.

5. Resisted External/Internal Rotation: My personal go-to exercises for rotator cuff strengthening. Remember while internal rotation will be strong, functionally speaking external rotation will be more important.

You don’t have to struggle with shoulder pain. The right stretches and the right exercises can help improve your shoulder mechanics and decrease your pain. Stay consistent for 4-6 weeks and you’ll be amazed at the results you experience with these exercises!


Tone and Tighten says:

Do you experience shoulder pain? Try out these exercises and let us know how they helped you in a comment below! Thanks so much for watching!

Bixxy Nash says:

Been in agony for a couple months now. Watching this impingement firs. ATM I feel that I will never be pain free but will try these exercises. Can I use a pool noodle as roller for the time being?

Joe Go says:

Once u have a torn rotator cuff, none of this il work, u need to have an MRI, to determine the fix, a lot a these exercises il do more damage than good, I've had to have both shoulders with orthopedic surgery! Consult ur doctor before u do any of these exercises!

Gina Hunter says:

Sir tqu i will try very good exercise God bless you

Kay Miller says:

I will try this Dr, looks good.

Krishna Kumar says:

sir, good demonstration, but please speak little bit slower,then it will be more clear. you speak too fast difficult to understand.

Poonam kiran Nandi says:

Hi!, I have a habit of sleeping on my palms behind my head. That happens unconsciously and in the morning , I have a bad shoulder pain, nock pain and my fingers are all numb. I don't know how to come out of this habit.. any suggestion please?

Hamza Salahuddin says:

Hi Jared, I just had a shoulder injury last week where I torn supraspinatus on the right shoulder during dumbel pullover, its slowly healingbut in the meantime I tried these stretches just now & I already feel great. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable info

ব্ৰমুচ হিন্দুস্তান says:

can shoulder pain spread to another shoulder?

Matt Luker says:

Try "Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff"

Plastik aus China says:

Hello Jared! I've had pain on my right shoulder for years now. It's on and off. My Doc. says the cause of my elevated scapula on the right side is due to an over-strengthened infra-Spinatus. So that basically means my rotator cuff is "too strong", right? I already stretch my pec muscles and try opening up my upped back. I don't know what to do amymore. It doesn't matter whether it's pull or push day, the right shoulder always hurt for about 2 days after a workout.
Any tips?

Erika Martins says:

What an Amazing VIDEO! T H A N K Y O U S O M U C H! <3

Lee Spector says:

Excellent video- very informative.

paripower54 says:

My neighbor and I work a lot in the garden and house and go through pain. I just tried the door stretches and got relief.
I will give this info. to her too and try the rest with her. I thank you for sharing your knowledge. God bless.

Syed Irshad says:

I have sounds in my shoulders when I move it

Reply to ব্ৰমুচ হিন্দুস্তান Cancel reply