Rotator Cuff Problems, Shoulder Impingement or Shoulder Pain? Look to Your Shoulder Blade

To fix your pain prob­lem, you can’t just look at the spot where it hurts – you have to look at the entire inte­grat­ed move­ment pat­tern.

scapulohumeral rhythm

If you have pain or move­ment lim­i­ta­tion of your shoul­der, the log­i­cal trail leads back to your shoul­der blade – the scapu­la — and the mus­cles that sup­port it.

The most com­mon shoul­der prob­lems, includ­ing impinge­ment, rota­tor cuff pain, labral tears, and more, can all be traced back to shoul­der blade imbal­ances.

A thor­ough rehab pro­gram for shoul­der prob­lems has to include

  • An analy­sis of your pos­ture and pat­tern of mus­cle engage­ment when you move your arm
  • Con­nec­tive tis­sue treat­ment for the ten­dons and lig­a­ments of the shoul­der that are giv­ing you trou­ble
  • Analy­sis of your dai­ly activ­i­ties and ath­let­ic pur­suits to deter­mine where extra shoul­der stress adds up
  • Tar­get­ed strength­en­ing exer­cis­es for the low­er trapez­ius, ser­ra­tus ante­ri­or, and the oth­er mus­cles that anchor the scapu­la
  • And, if poor align­ment of the neck and upper back are con­tribut­ing to your prob­lem too, mobi­liza­tion of the joints of the spine.

You can take a big step toward rehab­bing your shoul­der prob­lem by tak­ing a look at Dr. Lavine’s video — Top Five Exer­cis­es to Strength­en Your Shoul­der and Pre­vent Rota­tor Cuff Injuries


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Swim­mers’ overuse injuries of the shoul­der


About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty five years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods. His website,, provides more information about his approach. Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.
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