Repetitive Strain Injury/shoulder/bicep pain


I was wiping up the floor with a cloth.  I rinsed the rag and in the process of wringing it, I had severe pain in my shoulder and upper, outer arm (bicep, I think).  Went to after hour clinic.  Given morphine and I had taken vicodin at home (Dr knew this).  Relieved pain by half. I can lift my arm up and down and back and forth, but not across my body. It's my right arm, I can't reach to my left side without severe pain.  Otherwise, pain in minimal in bicep.  Dr thought bursitis or tear.  In sling for 3 days.  What do you think it could be? Any other tests? Xrays negative. Severe pain is 10 out of 10.  At rest pain about 2. If I shrug my shoulder, it ha slight pain, more like an ache. Severe pain is very sharp.

Hi Victoria,

I've read your message several times to get a clear picture of what is happening to you. The fact that you can move your arm up and down eliminates several muscles from the mix, and the same with back and forth. Although I'm assuming here that you mean straight forward, right?  

I believe the muscle causing the problem is your infraspinatus.  If you go to you can read more about why a tight muscle will cause joint pain.  In the case of the infraspinatus, it pulls your shoulder back, it's actually one of the rotator cuff muscles.  When it is in spasm you can't bring your arm across your body to touch your opposite arm.

It's easy to self-treat this muscle to force out the toxins that are causing the spasms, plus then self-treating all the other muscles that impact your shoulder blade. For now, try taking a tennis ball and hold it in your left hand. Bring your left hand across your body to put the tennis ball on your right shoulder blade, and then lean into a wall.  Find the "hot spot" and put enough pressure on it that it "hurts so good."  There's more to that treatment, but this should tell you if the muscle is actually in spasm, and it should also help to bring that pain level down a good bit.

Wishing you well,
   Julie Donnelly

Repetitive Strain Injury

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Julie Donnelly, LMT


I can accept questions that relate to chronic or acute pain caused by muscle spasms and contractions. Repetitive Strain Injury is actually Cumulative Trauma to muscles. Releasing the spasm &/or contraction will relieve the strain that is felt at the insertion point on the bone. I am the co-developer of the unique safe-stretching program "Focused Flexibility Training," which combines easy instruction for self-treating spasms throughout your body with proven yoga stretches. I have recently authored two new books: "The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution," and "The Secret to Your Best Golf Game EVER!


Since 1989 I have been working with endurance athletes and individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. I have authored seven self-treatment books and three self-treatment DVDs and I have developed the Julstro System for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, Trigger Finger, and other Hand/Wrist pain. I am a national and international presenter at conventions, seminars, and workshops. Principle topics are "Work Shouldn't Hurt," and "The Pain Free Athlete." In 2005 and 2006 I was the massage therapist for ultracyclists competing in the Race Across America (RAAM) 3000+ mile race from San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ. I've taught the Julstro techniques to physical therapists at the Cleveland Clinic, to massage therapists in areas around the USA, and I've taught Julstro self-treatment clinics to dancers at Juilliard School of Performing Arts (NYC),the sprinting team at NC State, and I am working closely with several Olympic-hopeful. We have successfully eliminated the repetitive strain injuries that could keep them out of the Olympic Games, and the best part is they know how to do the self-treatments so they can stay pain-free and flexible.

Triathlete Magazine, Endurance Magazine, multiple national and international trade journals.

Swedish Institute of Allied Health, NY, NY - Initial education in massage therapy Licensed NYS Massage Therapist since 1989. SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY - B.Sc. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Education I was an Associate Professor helping to develop the massage training program for SUNY Rockland Community College

Past/Present Clients
Privacy prevents me from filling in this section without prior consent from my clients. Life Experience: I have been specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries since receiving my NY massage license in 1989. A personal bout with carpal tunnel syndrome was the catalyst to my developing a self-treatment that heals the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome quickly and without surgery. My work with endurance athletes was the inspiration to teach people how to self-treat so they could stop pains even during a race or heavy training day. Both of these situations ultimately became the products that are sold on my websites: and I currently treat people in my offices in Sarasota, FL, Cary, NC, or Pearl River, NY

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