Shoulder Pain! When your Pecs win the Tug-of-War and Cause You Problems!

Shoulder Pain is a typical condition for my clients.

A Typical Client Profile at The Mind Body Whisperer Massage:

  • Now enjoying their “Older in Life” Prime
  • Have 30 years + enjoying sports
  • Love the title of “Weekend Warrior
  • Live by the ideal that Success in their Sport = The Power of their Swing

The Athlete’s Power Swing and the Tendency to Unbalanced Shoulder Muscle Teams

A Quick Info Bit – Muscle Teams:

  • Muscles work in teams
    • AKA Muscles contract to “work” while their antagonist muscle simultaneously stretch to provide “stability and support” for the working muscle.
  • So, your Power Swing depends on Balanced Shoulder Muscle Teams
    • In other words…When your pecs contract (work) to power your stroke, the infraspinatus and teres minor muscles on the back of your shoulder blade provide the primary stability and support for your pecs.
  • Summary: Optimal Muscle strength and a Full Power Swing occurs, in part, when the strength of your pecs are balanced by the strength of your back rotator cuff muscles.

An Unbalanced Shoulder Muscle Team is like a Shoulder Muscle Tug-of-War

One way to think about your Shoulder Muscle Teams is to consider Tug-of-War as a metaphor.

  • Your Shoulder’s Muscular Tug- of- War occurs as the front shoulder muscles are match up with your back shoulder, or rotator cuff muscles.
  • Ideally, the strength of these muscle teams is balanced.
  • However, sports injuries, i.e. rotator cuff injuries, occur when your front Swing Power muscles - i.e. your pecs - are stronger and chronically win your Shoulder’s Muscular Tug- of- War against your rotator cuff muscles (located on your shoulder blades.)

If your pecs continuously win your Shoulder’s Muscular Tug- of- War, you’ll experience the following:

  • Your shoulders tend to curl forward
  • AND your swing is actually weakened
  • AND the likelihood of rotator cuff injury will increase

Now, imagine that you have the chance to see one of my clients (PS HIPPA regulations will prevent this from actually happening.)

For this example, my hypothetical client’s background includes:

  • 30-years of playing tennis and paddle at a local country club with monthly rounds of golf
  • He loves the strength of her forehand and her overhand smash
  • He requested an appointment, complaining of a sharp pain when she serves

A Quick and Dirty Test – The Shoulder-Blade-to-Spine test:

Certainly, my clients’ symptoms vary, but here’s a quick example of what a Shoulder Muscle Tug-of-War Problem looks like.

First, the Test Marker is the distance between:

  • Center of the spine and the
  • Inside edge of each shoulder blade

My client’s Shoulder Muscle Tug-of-War Problem was best seen in the dramatic difference between the distance between my client's spine and his right inside edge of his shoulder blade compared to the same distance measurement on the left.  The measurements were as follows:

  • 4” = the distance between the middle of spine and the right inside edge of his shoulder blade compared to the
  • 2” = the distance between the middle of spine and the left inside edge of the shoulder blade

  The Problem:

  • My client’s strong pecs and biceps overpowered and over-stretched his rotator cuff and rhomboid muscles to the point that they lost muscle tone and could no longer balance against strength of his pecs and biceps.

  The Result:

  • Consistent sharp pain in his mid-back

  The Solution:

  • Orthopedic Massage sessions with The Mind Body Whisperer
  • Muscle balancing homework recommendations
  • Adjustments to computer work postures
  • Changes to driving patterns
  • Adjustments to side-sleeping habits

So IF You’re Feeling Shoulder Pain and You’re Ready to

  • Optimize Your Shoulder Strength
  • Power Your Game Stroke
  • and Claim Pain Freedom

I Can Help You Feel Great Again and Optimize Y0ur Game!

Call or Text me, Christine, @ 302/593-9262 or email me @ and



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