David R. Beatty and Camilia Makyhoun

David R. Beatty, DO, Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice, WVSOM

Camilia Makyhoun, Assistant Editor, WVSOM Class of 2016

Friday, March 15, 2013



Does the top of your shoulder hurt whenever you try to raise your arm out to the side and over your head? If so, you probably have impingement syndrome, a pinch of the supraspinatus tendon as it passes under the point of the shoulder. This common and disabling condition can be relieved with self-administered manipulation but with just one catch - the catch will return with continued reaching upward.

DOCTOR'S NOTE: Seek evaluation by a health professional if your shoulder pain is associated with arm weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, arm swelling, or dizziness.

Supraspinatus position of ease (WVSOM)
  1. Sit with the involved arm resting on a table, counter, or the arm of a chair;
  2. Place a pillow under your arm and hand;
  3. If pain is not relieved, add a second under the arm and hand;
  4. When pain is relieved, rest in that position for 2-5 minutes;
  5. Slowly remove pillows, lower arm, and proceed to the SUPRASPINATUS STRETCH;
  6. Use this position of ease 2-4 times a day or as needed for pain relief.

Supraspinatus stretch
  1. Grasp the involved arm just above the elbow with the other hand;
  2. Allow the involved arm to relax and use the other hand to pull it across the chest as far as it will comfortably go;
  3. Take a few deep breaths and stretch for 10-20 seconds;
  4. Slowly lower the arm and proceed to the SHOULDER MOBILIZATION;
  5. Do this stretch 2-4 times a day.

Shoulder mobilization
  1. Sit or stand with a weight in the hand of the involved arm and the other arm leaning against a counter or wall;
  2. Allow the arm to hang freely and move the hand in small circles for 20-30 seconds;
  3. Move the hand in small circles in the opposite direction for 20-30 seconds;
  4. Do this mobilization 2-4 times a day.

1 comment:

  1. I was unable to find the wrist extensor position of ease or wrist extensor stretch. Have those been taken down?