Shoulder discomfort

Has anybody any experience of shoulder discomfort and how to overcome it? I have noticed on my last three runs I have experienced some discomfort around the back of my shoulders, right hand side twice left hand side once. I cannot pin down why at the moment. I do know I have had a poor posture and it could be part of using muscles that have not be used for a while.

Any thoughts?


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8 Replies

  • Me too! I never got the stitch I was expecting, but on many runs it's as if there's a knot in between my shoulders. I too think us is probably down to incorrect arm posture, so I will watch this thread with interest...

  • I sometimes get pain in the top of my shoulder and I think it's probably down to tension being caused by hunching the shoulders up while you run. Once or twice when out on a run I relax and shake out my arms and that seems to help. I also try to make sure my arms are swinging at the sides and not across my body - something I often struggle with!

  • I'd agree that it's probably tension in your shoulders. On at least one of the post C25K podcasts, Laura suggests shaking out your arms if you can feel them getting tense - might do the trick for your shoulders too. She also says you should walk tall (this is in the warm up walk) but keep your shoulders down. I'd say try not to carry anything (because of the tension it creates in your muscles), and try not to hunch your shoulders.

    If you've still got a bit of pain, then while you're sitting reading this try hunching your shoulders (forwards), lifting them up, keeping them down, etc, and you'll probably find that you get a twinge - and that's the position you should probably avoid when running.

    Can't say I've experienced this after running, but the roads here are frankly terrifying at times, so I sometimes find I have an incredible pain in my shoulder/neck from being very tense in my arms and shoulders and gripping the steering wheel very tightly!

  • I experience this but not specifically because of running. There are stretches you can do, take a look on the web. If it's really compacted though, suggest that you get sports/deep tissue massage and then use the stretches for maintenance. A trained therapist will also tell you which muscle groups you are favouring and the likely cause.

  • I agree it's most likely to be caused by tension and posture. I've had problems with my shoulders being achey too and have been consciously relaxing my arms and paying attention to my posture as I run. I try to squeeze the muscles of my lower abdomen in as I run as I think this helps strengthen my 'core.'

    One thing I have found helpful in relaxing my arms and shoulders is to let them straighten out a bit. Laura says keep them at 90 degrees and don't cross your body as you run. If I feel myself tensing up I hold my arms lower and a bit straighter (maybe 75 degrees) for a few minutes and that seems to help. Another plus is that since I have been consciously running 'easier' I don't get nearly as tired during my run. Hope this helps a bit.

  • Yes I had exactly this at the start, because of running with poor posture. I got over it by obeying Laura in the warm up- relax the shoulders etc - and also doing ten mins Alexander lying on the floor - this is part of Alexander technique; lie flat on the floor on your back with a large book under your head, then bend your knees up towards the ceiling so your feet are flat on the floor. Consciously relax muscles starting from the feet/ankles etc. Works for me! And hope it helps you too.

  • I remember that one. I used to get it a lot and then I slowed down a bit and it went away. I have managed to build my speed up a bit now without it coming back. But I do remember that just slowing down a tad did the trick for me.

  • Thanks everybody for your replies, I tried to be more aware of my posture today and relaxing my arms. I got round without any further issues

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