Scapular Pain | Tips And Exercises To Fight It

By the healthiergang writer , student in Physiotherapy.

Scapular pain

The shoulder blade is a triangular bone which connects the humerus with the collarbone. It can happen to feel a pain localized in this area and the causes can be many. The problem can be linked to pathologies related to internal organs, uncorrect position, overload of the zone, muscle injuries or other fabrics.

For example, if you overload an arm carrying weight (such as a bag) for a prolonged period of time it can happen that the shoulder blade is affected and pain occurs. Another cause could be poor posture during the day, for example, if you spend several hours in front of the computer and tend to extend the arms forward, the shoulder blade could be affected.

Sleeping in the wrong position can also lead to this type of pain. Pain is almost always related to problems and therefore should not be ignored. Rather you have to take some precautions that go to solve the cause by eliminating the symptom.


In general it is always useful maintain proper posture during the day.

This means maintaining proper alignment of the spine but also of other body structures. in this case, as previously mentioned, if you are used to keeping your arm extended in front of you, you tend to develop muscle stiffness and consequent shoulder problems.

These stiffnesses are manifested in particular in the anterior serratus, whose function is precisely that of protracting the shoulder, and in the clavicular bundle of the pectoral, more involved in the intra rotation of the arm.

? To solve this problem it may be useful, in the case of an office job, keep the computer mouse at a correct distance (as well as striving to maintain correct posture).

? Another trick could be that of avoid carrying shoulder bags. Also in this case, in fact, the complex of the scapula and arm is overloaded.

? Another cause can be the mattress on which you sleep. If it is too stiff or too loose you can have problems.


Shoulder blade pain can be combated strengthening the muscles in this area. In some cases the problem is linked to pathologies affecting the internal organs. For example, gallstones or other problems related to the gallbladder can cause pain in the shoulder blade area (especially on the right side).

In this case, strengthening the muscles will be of little use, rather it will have to be solve the pathologies related to these organs. In the event that the pain is due to muscle weaknesses, strengthening them can be the solution to the problem. The muscles involved are the rotators of the cuff, these are the supra barbed, sub barbed, teres minor and sub scapular.

Scapular Pain | Tips And Exercises To Fight It

These muscles are critical because they allow you to stabilize the humerus in its seat during each movement.

An injury to these muscles or ignoring their training leads to shoulder blade pain. Strengthening these muscles is simple, that's enough include dedicated exercises in your training routine. Of these four muscles the ones that are most often ignored are those that extra rotate the shoulder. The exercises to be included will be the following.

? Extra rotations with arm along the side

This exercise can be performed in different variations and is sometimes performed incorrectly. If you perform the exercise standing using a dumbbell and rotating the shoulder while keeping the arm at the side, the exercise is pointless.

The weight force in fact pushes the handlebar down and turning the shoulder in this way encounters no resistance. The movement is lateral but the weight force is directed downwards therefore the work is zero. To do work you have to make the movement in the opposite direction to that of the weight.

To perform the exercise it is therefore necessary to lie down on one side, hold a dumbbell (light) and extra rotate the shoulder while keeping the arm flexed and with the elbow on the side. The goal of the movement is to make the humerus rotate in its place, so the focus will be on this. After about ten repetitions you should feel some fatigue on the inside of the shoulder. It means that the muscles are doing their job.

Scapular Pain | Tips And Exercises To Fight It

? Extra high arm rotations

The movement is the same as in the previous exercise but this time the arm should be kept parallel to the ground. In this case it is better to use a low resistance rubber band or low cables. Also in this movement focus on rotating the humerus in its seat.

Both exercises can be entered at the beginning or at the end of your training session. Bet on 3-4 series (per side) from 12-15 repetitions for each of the two exercises every week. Choose very low weights and focus on execution.

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