The 2 Minute Fix: Shoulder Impingement – Subscapularis Release

This post is part of a new series I’m calling “The 2 Minute Fix” which will be short videos to teach people easy self-care solutions to common movement faults.

The Problem:

I’ve previously discussed shoulder impingement syndrome and the most common root cause of superior shoulder pain. Most of the time the offending muscular imbalance is subscapularis dysfunction. This muscle is easily treated in office with Active Release Technique, but I’ve yet to find a way to have patients continue care at home. Until now.

The Fix:

Using a banded activation and release, follow the demonstration in the video to help assist with breaking the spasm / dysfunction in the subscapularis. If you’re able, add a thumb to the underside of the scapula to help strip any adhesions away from the surrounding musculature.
http://youtu.be/K54FxiNEJvE

Yours in Health,

Dr. Scott

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10 thoughts on “The 2 Minute Fix: Shoulder Impingement – Subscapularis Release

  1. Aimee

    I’m so grateful for these videos. I’ve watched them all and implemented many of them into my life. Thank you!! I was diagnosed with shoulder bursitis. I still can’t quite figure out what that means. I’ve done physical therapy (for hours!) & find that I’m ok as long as it doesn’t “flare up” due to some crazy movement in my shoulder. Not quite sure what that “crazy movement” is. I guess I just don’t have the strength & mobility I need in my shoulders…does that sound correct? Or even close to correct? I sure wish I had a trusted chiro in my area! What do you recommend? I know that’s a HUGE question…so, any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    • scottamillsdc Post author

      First – thank you! I really appreciate the feedback and am glad people are finding the videos helpful.

      Second, yes bursitis can be tricky and often flares and then goes away depending on activity.

      Lastly, there is a reason, a root cause for the bursitis. The ultimate answer is NOT to simply avoid using the shoulder. The job of any provider is to find that root cause and develop a plan to fix it. I use a combination of Active Release, chiropractic techniques and functional movement restoration to address cases like this. It can be a battle, but it is definitely solvable. To answer the last question about finding a trusted provider, I would point you to my post on that subject and look for someone with a lot of experience working with athletes. You may also want to consult the Active Release Provider Search page for someone in your area.

      Hope that helps,
      Dr. Mills

      Reply
  2. Susan

    Thank you so much for the videos! The Plantar Fasciitis video has pretty much solved my issue! I no longer wake up in pain with the first few steps.

    I wonder if you have a video you can recommend for the front of the shoulder. If you look at me from the front, I am pinched right at the front edge of my shoulder, before it begins to curve towards the side. Difficult to lift like a bag from the floor with my palm down. Palm up is fine as that uses the bicep. Palm down won’t work. Anything where I am trying to move my arm above my head gets pinched. Almost like someone put a binder clip right at the front of my shoulder and it has limited my range of motion. I am not “in pain” but am unable to use the shoulder for much. I do cross fit and right now am unable to do push ups, front rack position, anything overhead. Did a low weight thruster this week but could not lock out the bad arm as I can’t get it straight above my head, or back. Would not be able to do a shoulder stand.

    Any videos that you could recommend? Many thanks!! FYI – you have followers in Minnesota.

    Reply
    • scottamillsdc Post author

      Hey there and thanks for the comment!
      The one that I have already done that might be helpful is on Shoulder Stability, using scapular retraction. That will help get your shoulder in the proper back and down starting position which is a solid and safe starting point.
      What you’re describing sounds like a possible mobility issue in the anterior shoulder capsule, or a deltoid injury. Hard to say without a hands on eval…do you have someone you can go see to get it checked out? I don’t have any current videos for these.
      -Dr. Mills

      Reply
  3. Catherine

    My husband mentioned a shoulder injury he incurred when quickly lifting a heavy piece of music equipment during a recent checkup with his Dr and was told that it appears he strained a part of his rotator cuff–specifically the supraspinatus muscle. Only thing he received was a referral to PT which hasn’t resulted in anything yet. I’m trying to help him by looking into exercises he can do at home. I’ve really benefitted from many of your videos so I immediately thought of you–would this Fix possibly help? Anything else you can direct me to? Thank you!

    Reply
    • scottamillsdc Post author

      Hey there Catherine. It certainly could be a strained supraspinatus. The release move I demonstrate in this video could help relieve some of the pressure on that tendon/muscle. I would have him try it first and if it doesn’t seem to help, get a second opinion.

      The other option is to check out my longer version of this protocol which can be found at fullbodyfix.com under the “Upper Body” section, and is called “Shoulder Pain and Impingement” protocol.

      Reply

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