Skip to Main Content

Shoulder Pain

If you or someone you know has shoulder pain, you're not alone.  According to Physician and Sports medicine Online (, there are about 4 million people suffering from shoulder problems on any given day.  We ask a lot of our shoulders.  This joint has the largest range of motion and yet it must be strong and stable enough to allow us to move heavy objects.  In my clinic shoulder pain is the second most common ailment that I treat - back and neck pain is the first.

Shoulder Pain - Most of us tend to think of the shoulder as  only consisting of the joint between the humerus (our arm bone) and the scapula (the shoulder blade), but actually there are two other joints involved.  The clavical (collar bone) articulates with both the scapula and the manubrium (the top of the sternum in the center of our chest).  Also, there are 19 muscles that can affect the shoulder.

Rotator cuff injuries are very common and acupuncture is very good at treating these.  Four muscles and their tendons comprise the rotator cuff.  They initiate all the movements of the shoulder and they stabilize the joint.  These muscles often develop micro tears or worse resulting in inflammation, pain and/or weakness.  A frozen shoulder has very little range of motion and can be quit painful.  For unknown reasons middle aged women often get frozen shoulders.

Acupuncture is wonderful for treating and healing shoulder pain.  Besides using acupuncture I also will recommend stretches and exercises.  Often a Chinese herbal formula is used to supplement the acupuncture.  My advice is not to ignore shoulder pain.  If you are experiencing pain, weakness or restriction in your range of motion please get it checked out and remember that acupuncture can be a very safe and effective treatment.  Make an appointment >

Shoulder Exercise

There are many good shoulder exercises you can do, but this one is the simplest and yet one of the most effective.  It's called the pendulum.  Bend forward at the waist and let your arm hang down.  You can place your other hand on a table or counter to help your balance.  Sway your body a little so that your arm swings in small circles.  Start with 2 sets of 10 revolutions and work up to 2 sets of 20.  Go in both directions.  You can also add a light weight - a can of soup works great.

Marcia Mueller, L.Ac.
Different Drummer Acupuncture
7380 SW Gable Park Road
Portland, OR 97225