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 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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