Ongoing anterior shoulder pain

April 27, 2021

I have forward shoulder/head posture and last year I decided to start with rowing. After 6 months of rowing, I started having sharp shoulder pain when I move my shoulder forward. My arm moves do not really hurt. It is just sticking the entire shoulder forward hurts like hell. The pain starts from the glenohumeral joint and goes to my chest under the collarbone.

I think I was rowing with bad forward shoulder position instead of keeping the shoulder blades together. I was wondering if you can tell what is happening in my shoulder when I move it forward, causing pain.

I have been reading about rotator cuff issues, bicep tendon problems and impingements but all are described by the pain with arm movements.

I really appreciate your opinion.


April 27, 2021

Hi Alpkan

Your rational sounds really plausible. This really sounds impingement related – bicipital, cuff, bursal or even labrum…that’s pretty much the full squad!

The what’s aren’t as important as the whys.

Stiff thoracic spine postures (common in rowers) cause poor shoulder blade motion and as a possible compensation you shove your shoulder forwards..meaning your posterior shoulder structures tighten to keep this forward movement – or vica versa.

The forwards movement pain is when your pinch/compress any of the above tissues. It might be between your coracoid and arm, acromium and shoulder or even your biceps being over used – not necessarily related to range of shoulder movement but more likely to be related to the amount of “play” in the joint.

There’s lots that can be done – and you don’t necessarily need to be scanned before, and if you really want to carry on rowing then it might be worth getting it checked out – rehab will be key.

The Guru

Guru Responded

Have more questions?

If you're struggling with Back, Shoulder issues then we'd love to help. We offer appointments within 24 hours whether face to face at one of our London Physio Clinics, virtually or if you’d prefer we can arrange a home visit.

Request An Appointment

We aim to get back to you within an hour

How should we contact you?