Does anyone else get shoulder pains whilst running??

Strangely enough I get pains in my shoulders sometimes (not all the time) whilst running. The pain is occassionally bad enough for me to stop running.

Does anyone else get this or has anyone any ideas as to causes/remedies?



  • Yes Jel, I do too. Sometimes I wonder if its sports bra related, or just holding my shoulders tense if the run's not going well - its definitely worse when the goings tough. I find it helps if I hunch my shoulders hard and then really relax a couple of times.

    Hope you find a solution!
  • Thanks for the advice Jo but I don't appreciate you telling the world that I am a secret sports bra wearer!:P
  • So Jel what sports bra do you find best?

    Is it one shoulder or 2?
    If it's one it could be due to having a leg length descrepency.
  • Jel

    I suffer this from time to time, I find it is normally caused through being too tense - try to relax more when running

    if it helps carry 2 small bits of broom stick whilest running - hold them loosely in your hands this will help you ro relax your muscles more when running


  • Thanks everyone - I sometimes get this too. But the advice from Will has to be some of the weirdest I've yet seen? Two bits of broomstick??? Mind you, knowing Will, it probably works.....

  • Mr A - I try to live up to my name
  • Pizzaman,

    No personal favourite bra I'm afraid but in the words of that dodgy tennis "star": "Only the ball should bounce." !!

    It varies, sometimes its just one shoulder then others it can be both at the same time.


  • 'Two bits of broomstick'? Are you running or flying, WW? Or maybe you've watched too much Harry Potter.
  • i often get this along with neck ache - i find warming up that area before a run helps. hunch your shoulders to your ears a few times, then circle your arms forwards, then hunch again,circle arms backwards.
  • just picturing WW running with 2 bits of broomstick - i take it you dont mean the bristley end ?
  • I'd agree with the advice above re tensing the shoulders, but I used to find that some routes where I ran on the same camber all the way were bad for sore shoulders - presumably because I was trying to keep my head level so one shoulder was doing all the work. It's also not good for the feet for similar reasons.
  • Always get pain in right shoulder in marathons / long runs. I have a displaced bone there - a real `chip on my shoulder'. This is down to a back fall of my bike about 6 years ago. Does not affect mobility, ability to play golf, cricket etc. but running finds it out.

    I generally run for a bit with my arms by my side, not very efficient but taking a different position relaxes the overtense muscles and means I can carry on. If not a numbness takes over most of my right upper torso.
  • I have been getting a severe ache/cramp in along the top of left shoulder every time I do a long run in the past few months. I had put it down to bad posture whilst seated at my desk at work, but even changing that hasn't helped. I'm getting sports massage treatment for my shoulders, neck and upper back which seems to be only a temporary resolution.

    Nothing I seem to do stops the aching reappearing, I just have to run through it. I find that holding my arm extended at shoulder level and turning my head to look to the right gets a stretch along the area, but obviously you can hold this for a few seconds whilst running, to avoid trees and people etc.

    I would be very interested to hear if anyone has come up with a method which prevents these aches and pains occuring, it's worse than blisters, stitches and shin splints all at the same time! Help!
  • I had a problem with my right shoulder on longer runs (10 miles +) a dull ache and stiffness. I've found that when I'm using the gym and working my shoulders I have no problems but when I lapse the problem comes back! Make of that what you will!
  • It might be stitch - the shoulder is a pain referral site for the diaphragm. It will be felt as quite a sharp, stabbing pain rather than an ache that develops gradually.

    but could just be muscular - your arms are fairly heavy!
  • I'd heard that you can get it from running with your fists clenched too tightly. I'm always relaxed so it's never been a problem for me.
  • Ah, thanks, Mellifera. I sometimes get what I could swear was stitch in the front of my shoulder. Usually goes if I stretch my arms out behind me a few times.
  • so if it is a "shoulder-stitch", how do i avoid getting them in future?
  • I experianced these problems earlier in year during marathon training, had to swing both arms in a circle to ease pain whilst running.
    Physio told me to roll a bath towel up and lie on it with towel running down the center of your back , Its worked for me, lie on it for 15mins each time your training run is finished.
  • er, i dont want to scare anyone
    But regular exertional shoulder pain could be heart pain
  • Darren, do you know what the theory is behind the bath towel? How does it help the shoulder pain?
  • Just picked up on this thread, I have had a pain in my left shoulder for about 5 weeks, slept in an awkward position one night woke up with a very 'dead' left, pins and needles and have had terrible pains in my shoulder and down my left arm since, not at all running relating, have had massages and ultrasound but it is still there, any thoughts, just reading about heart pain has made me worried.

    Advice needed as I am fed up with the constant pain!

  • I get pain in my left shoulder sommetimes mid run, I have worried if it's heart related before now as well.

  • mind you, I have had a heart rate monitor on at the time and not going mad
  • hmmm... i woke with a dead arm after a night out. I had been drinking rather a lot (my body is a temple... except on a weekend). Couldn't remember how I'd woken up as I was still v.drunk and so wasn't sure if I'd been sleeping on my arm funny. Anyway - had a dead arm for the whole day and I guess since then, I've had the trouble in my shoulder - although, never really connected the two.
  • i woke up the other nite (no drink involved) and my arm was completely dead - it felt cold and i couldn't move it - managed to pull myself up and the blood seemed to rush down - quite scarey - will try to lie on other side tonight see if it happens again!!
  • I have the same problem! After sleeping funny one night I seem to have sore shoulders all the time. Does anyone have a cure for this? I've seen in so many shops knee, wrist, angle, leg, elbow etc supports - are there such things as neck/shouder supports? :-)
  • I used to get shoulder/lower neck pain. mentioned it to a physio whilst he was workint on my AT. he recomended - straight back, arms by your side, shoulders square then force your shoulders down towards the floor. Works for me, but not so much when its cold.
  • Cheers Paul! So, are these exercises to do when I'm actually running? I've been doing some of the exercises on this website which are quite good. Would you recommend going to a physio rather than a chiropractor/osteopath etc?
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