Pain Management/Shoulder pain


I have just started taking my bronze medallion\cross so I can work in the Waterpark but started having pain in my left shoulder. It starts under the shoulder blade and branches out, stealing my breath if I move my arm a certain way. That shoulder had something similar happen about ten years ago (again while I was swimming) but it went away on its own so I never saw a doctor about it.
Is this a muscle strain or something else? Is there anything I can do if it is? Should I be trying to see my doctor over this? Right now I can't use that arm to swim and I won't pass my course if I can't swim a certain length in a certain time

Hello, Megan,

If it steals your breath, it's likely not your shoulder, but the muscles between the ribs, underneath.  It's not a muscle "strain"; it's muscular contraction probably triggered by an accident.

For an explanation of how that happens, please see this entry:

Stretching won't help because stretching doesn't improve muscular control.

Please see this entry on the "strengthening and stretching" approach, so you understand why:

For me to advise you further with regard to which somatic education exercise will help, I need specific description of the location of the pain and of the movement that triggers it.

For more background on somatic education exercises, please see this entry:

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Lawrence Gold


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In practice since 1990. Two years on staff at a hospital Wellness and Rehabilitation Center.

Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, American Journal of Pain Management, Somatics: Magazine-Journal of the Mind-Body Arts and Sciences. More complete listing at

Certifications: Hanna Somatic Education, the Dr. Ida P. Rolf method of Structural Integration (partial list)

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