Skip to content

End Shoulder Blade Pain: Simple Tests & Exercises for Lasting Relief

Shoulder blade pain is a common issue, often caused by muscular imbalances and overuse. Whether it’s a nagging ache or a sharp twinge, it can seriously impact your daily life and activities. While there are many potential causes, this post will focus on common muscular issues and how to find relief.

Understanding Shoulder Complexity:

The shoulder is a marvel of flexibility, but it’s also prone to pain. Its intricate design involves tendons, ligaments, and muscles working together, making it vulnerable to injuries from overuse, strain, or even inflammation. In my clinic, I often see shoulder pain related to impact injuries, muscle strains or sprains, and overuse. These can lead to specific conditions like bursitis, tendinitis, or even tendon tears. It’s crucial to seek guidance from a qualified practitioner to diagnose your specific issue accurately.

The Secret to Relief: Finding the Imbalance

While every case is unique, a common thread in shoulder blade pain is muscle imbalance. Some muscles might be overworked and tight, while others become weak and underutilized. Identifying this imbalance is crucial for effective treatment.

Two Simple Tests You Can Do at Home:

Today, I’ll share two easy tests from the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) that you can try yourself. Pay attention to any limited range of motion or pain during these movements:

  1. Superior Apley’s Scratch Test (Shoulder External Rotation): This tests the flexibility of your long head triceps, a muscle crucial for shoulder movement. If it’s tight, it can restrict movement and cause pain. Sports Acupuncture Therapy uses hands-on therapy, like manual therapy and needling to help desensitize and lengthen this muscle.

  2. Inferior Apley’s Scratch Test (Shoulder Internal Rotation): This focuses on the long head bicep and the distal triceps. If you experience pain or limited movement during this test, it’s a clue that these muscles might need attention through hands-on treatment.
PXL 20240517 193304588
PXL 20240517 193335827

Remember: These tests are a starting point, not a substitute for a professional evaluation.

Are you Ready to get to the source of your shoulder blade pain?

Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center in Raleigh, NC uses Acupuncture Sports Therapy to help you get out of pain fast.