Shoulder pain can be very debilitating, especially if it occurs on your dominant side. Not only do you have more restrictions in how much you can move your arm, but you have pain too. Talk about adding insult to injury!
Shoulder pain can come from many different sources, such as:
an acute injury
a pinched nerve
adhesions or thickened tissue
In many of these situations (excepting muscle or cartilage tears), the tissue become short or thick and the bones can become displaced from their normal resting neutral position. The shoulder is a unique joint since the shoulder blade (a.k.a. the scapula) only has two boney attachment to the skeleton, which is the collar bone (a.k.a. the clavicle). Since there are only two bony joints, the shoulder blade is very mobile and its movement and position is mostly controlled by the muscles of the shoulder girdle and upper arm. Imbalance in the muscles responsible for the position of the shoulder blade tend to cause pain in the chest, rib cage, or neck. Imbalances in the muscles responsible for the movement and position of the upper arm (i.e. humerus) will often cause pain along the shoulder blade, the shoulder joint (the arm to shoulder joint), or in the upper arm.
The treatment goals are to not only eliminate the pain, but to balance the shoulder and reposition it into its neutral location. Strategically softening and lengthening both the tissue that position the shoulder relative to the ribcage, and the tissue that position the upper arm to the shoulder, helps achieve both results. In addition, making sure that you have as much range of motion possible from the arm and shoulder, allows you to resume all your normal activities in a pain free manner.