Exercise to Regain Motion and Reduce Shoulder and Upper Back Pain

Reduce Shoulder and Upper Back Pain

Video by Dr. John Wertish

Our poor posture from the computer work has contributed to upper back and shoulder pain. This postural stress leads to muscle imbalance and lack of motion that causes pain. Chiropractic care helps improve mobility and allows the joints to recover correctly. A common issue that we see in the Chiro Health Clinics is weakness in certain shoulder muscles that leads to increased stress in the back. The movements of the scapula in rotation, abduction and tilting are essential for normal shoulder function. If the strength is lost in the serratus anterior, we impact how our scapula can move. Easy movements such as brushing your hair, cleaning your teeth, or reaching overhead can become problematic. The serratus anterior is a muscle that attaches to your scapula and your rib cage. A floor or a wall push up by keeping your elbow locked and focusing on your shoulder blades protraction or moving from the middle of your back around your rib cage, is a fantastic way to activate and strengthen the muscle. This can help with shoulder and back pain. Try this exercise out to help the stability of your shoulder and if you are dealing with pain take advantage of our donation to charity to get answers to why the pain is present!

Below are a few quotes from research on scapula winging and the serratus anterior.

“The shoulder pathologies are the most common origin of complaints. Almost all shoulder pathologies are accompanied with a degree of dyskinesis. The most common pathologies that are associated with some form of scapular dyskinesis are: (1) acromioclavicular instability, (2) shoulder impingement, (3) rotator cuff injuries, (4) glenoid labrum injuries, (5) clavicle fracture and (6) nerve-related. The common characteristic of all these pathologies is the disturbance of the scapulohumeral rhythm”

“The scapula is an under-appreciated component of the shoulder kinematic chain. The importance is highlighted by the significant improvements in functional ability after rehabilitation. Clinical evaluation of the scapular resting position and function is paramount for the prescription of the necessary physical therapy exercises.”


  • Burkhart SS, Morgan CD, Kilber WB (2003) The disabled throwing shoulder: spectrum of pathology Part I: Pathoanatomy and biomechanics. Arthroscopy 19, 404–420.
  • Kilber WB, Sciascia A (2010) Current concepts: scapular dyskinesis. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 44, 300–305.
  • Scapular Dyskinesia, the forgotten culprit of shoulder pain and how to rehabilitate. Andreas Christos Panagiotopoulos and Ian Martyn Crowther. SICOT-J, 5 (2019) 29 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1051/sicotj/2019029 
Our Message

When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our Chiropractors located in McKinney, near the corner of Eldorado Pkwy. and Stonebridge Dr., will teach you what the research says about how and why we should eat a better diet, move more and have more positive thoughts. By improving these areas of our lives we can restore motion and decrease stress while staying out of pain!