How to Run With a Sore Shoulder


More than 4 million people suffer from shoulder pain in any given year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The soreness could be the result of a traumatic injury, though many shoulder problems result from chronic overhead usage. If the injury isn't severe, you can still run and train as long as you take precaution. See a doctor for proper diagnosis or if pain worsens.

Massage a heat balm or cream to the sore shoulder prior to exercise. Rub around the scapula, the shoulder itself and neck muscle. The area should begin to warm within seconds.

Stretch before running. Don't overlook stretching your upper torso, arms and shoulders. Pull your right arm across your body with your left in an upward motion. Reach behind your back with your right arm, dropping it from your neck region -- meet the right hand with your left hand from your buttocks area. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and switch arms.

Jog five to 10 minutes to warm muscles up and generate blood flow. Pay attention to how your sore shoulder feels. Stop jogging if it aggravates the pain. Otherwise continue jogging at a light pace for the warm up.

Increase your pace slowly until you are in full running stride. Proper running form rotates the upper torso and shoulders, throwing the arms forward to help your legs generate momentum. Reduce the rotation if your shoulder presents increased pain. Stop if necessary.

Stretch when your run is complete to prevent unnecessary tightness developing in the shoulder. Repeat the same stretches you did in the warm up to maintain mobility.

Ice the shoulder when you are done to prevent swelling. Over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can also be used for pain reduction.


Heat balms can be used up to three times per day either before or after exercise. Wash hands after application to make sure you don't get cream into your eye accidentally.


If shoulder pain persists or you begin experiencing numbness and tingling in your arm, you may have an impinged nerve. See a doctor immediately.