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Pain in the…

shoulder…what is going on & how do I find relief?

Have you ever experienced pain in your upper back or shoulder area?

Do you sit at a computer and type for hours?

Our shoulders support us energetically and physically every day. The shoulders are a cornerstone in our bodies.

The shoulder joint is one of the main joints in the body.

When the shoulder or shoulder joint is injured or experiencing compression and tension; the impact will be felt in the small joints; elbows and wrists.

Our shoulders have significant range of movement and yet not a lot of stability which creates potential for injury.

What the heck does your shoulder joint look like?

Visualize your shoulder joint is a golf tee. Picture the head of the golf tee it is open and the head of your humerus (upper arm bone)  sits on top of the tee.  The head of the humerus has room to move in all directions. There are ligaments and muscles that support the attachment and if any are injured the movement of the joint will be impacted.

The clavicle or collarbone is the only boney attachment between our torso and the upper arm bone. The collar bone forms the front portion of the shoulder girdle across the front of our bodies and articulates at one end at the sternum (centre of chest) and at the other end with the acromion process.

I know a lot of anatomy words and can be overwhelming AND yet just think about it…one bone that connects our arms to our torso and the rest is muscles and ligaments.  If any of those muscles become injured or tightened we will feel it in our shoulders.

Rounding of the shoulders is common in today’s world and causes tension at the back of the shoulders and upper back.

How often do you round your shoulders?

Here are sometimes I have noticed my shoulders rounding:

Computer work


Watching TV



These are just a few I can think of off the top of my head and I am sure there are more times when my posture is not optimal.

PLEASE do not get me wrong I am not saying we must always have perfect posture AND YET perhaps if we are consciously aware of how we are holding our bodies we may be able to reduce the shoulder sensation.

When we round through the back we are not only impacting the shoulder muscles along our backs; we are also shortening the muscles along the front and creating space for weakness.

So now what????

For me becoming connected to my body I began to hear the messages it was sending and began to understand what it needed from me.

How do you hear the messages?

Breathe…connect and bring awareness into the physical body.  Our bodies are amazing and will signal to us when something is not quite right…the key is to listen.

Try by starting to move the body with conscious awareness.  Notice are you slouching on the couch and perhaps offer a nice stretch every so often for the shoulders.

We also want to look at strengthening our shoulder muscles. We want to engage the smaller muscles and create strength in the body to support the joint.

When we strengthen we want to ensure we strengthen with proper integration.  Draw the head of the arm bones back and the shoulder blades down. Create safe space for the shoulders before building strength.

If we do not take the opportunity to strengthen and lengthen;  our shoulders are at a greater risk of injury in a yoga class or even in daily life like just even picking up a grocery bag.

Our shoulders move in six healthy ranges of movement:

? Flexion

? Extension

? Abduction

? Adduction

? Internal Rotation

? External rotation

Our shoulders are meant to lift, glide, rotate open and rotate closed.

When our shoulders are injured and inflamed we need to allow the joint to rest. We must try to be patient and pull away from the idea of doing and move into a place of rest.

Give yourself and your body permission release and heal the inflammation.

Once inflammation reduces slowly bring movement back into the body. Resist the temptation going from zero to hero; allow small micro movements to return to the body. Play with the small movements and stay connected to the messages from the physical body.

Even just start with proper posture and integration of the shoulders as noted above Play with finding integration and notice how does it feel.  Once you find integration of the shoulders then move onto strength building.

Moving our bodies with conscious awareness and being present with the movement can create strength in the body.

When talking about the shoulders become aware of sensations that arise and tune into yourself to the messaging from the physical body. Create space for what it needs and and keep our shoulders healthy.

Some days the messaging is to simply release and relax the shoulders to begin to lengthen the muscles and then move into strength.

Restorative Yoga is a beautiful way to support the needs of our shoulders and creating space for an opening to receive a release and relaxation.


Access this FREE video that guides you into a restorative posture that creates space to release shoulder tension and open the front body.

Want to dive deeper into the anatomy of the shoulders?

Join me for an Online Shoulder Workshop August 18th from 10am to 12pm where we will learn more about the muscles, ligaments, function and how to keep our shoulders safe, strong and open.

BONUS if you are a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance the workshop can go towards your CEC.

Let’s get together and release our shoulders.

I would love to hear your experience.

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