10 Common Activities You May Be Doing that Cause Shoulder Pain

The most movable joint in the body, the shoulder, is also one of the most potentially unstable joints. There are many activities that can cause shoulder pain. This is why it is the body part where many common problems occur.


Here are some common activities that can cause shoulder pain:

1. Lifting

Improper lifting is one of the most frequent causes of shoulder problems. Lifting objects can be a very simple thing to do. But if you don’t know how to do it properly and safely, this simple activity can hurt your shoulders. Keep objects close to your body when lifting. Better yet, use a stroller for large objects.

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2. Slouching while Sitting

Sitting in a slouched position causes your upper back to bend forward. It changes the position of your shoulder blades. They tip forward and wrap outwards. Over time, slouching will change how your shoulder blades move.

3. Housework

Household chores involve repetitive movement and overuse, leaving pain in the muscles, nerves and tendons. Some examples of housework are scrubbing floors and washing dishes. These chores can be murder on your shoulder.

4. Painting

It may be a low-impact activity, but painting can do so much damage to your shoulder. A painful condition called “painter’s shoulder” happens when you paint for extended periods of time. Whether you paint on walls or canvases, those lifting and swinging can put a stop to your work.

5. Playing Sports

Shoulder pain is common in sports that include repetitive movement, such as overarm bowling or throwing. Repetitive movements can cause inflammation or tear, leaving your shoulder in pain.

Also, a heavy fall or sudden impact can dislocate shoulder. Your upper arm may “pop” painfully out of your shoulder joint. Not only you get shoulder pain, you’re unable to move your arm.

6. Sleeping in a Wrong Position

If you sleep on your side, the weight places stress on the downward-facing shoulder. The weight placed on this shoulder can cause a compression of the nerve bundle as it passes into the arm. You may feel numbness in your arm and hand when you wake up.

7. Using Your Shoulder to Hold Your Phone

This is simply a dysfunctional fashion. Your muscles contract as you use your shoulder to hold your phone. As a result, you get a package deal of shoulder and neck pain. You have your hand. Use them. You can also use a speakerphone or invest in a headset.

8. Certain Hobbies

If you spend a lot of time knitting, sewing, crocheting, or playing video games, you’re most likely to have shoulder pain. If your arms are unsupported, your shoulder muscles will have to work harder. Gravity pulls the arm down when it is unsupported, increasing the strain on your rotator cuff. You might want to use a soft pillow or cushion when doing these kinds of activity.

9. Carrying Shoulder Bag

Hanging a bag on your shoulder can cause your shoulder muscles to spasm and tighten. Also, since the weight of your bag is on one shoulder, you’re carrying an asymmetric load. Not only it throws off your posture, it also affects your natural gait.

10. Long Hours of Driving

If your steering wheel is too high or far from you, your shoulders may be placed in an awkward position. This can lead to muscle strain. Adjust your seat forward, enough for your head to be able to rest on the headrest and your back comfortably resting on the seat. Use two hands when driving. Also, adjust your rearview mirror so you don’t need to adjust yourself.


Your shoulder pain may develop into a more complicated condition if left untreated. It’s recommended to see a Perth physiotherapist for assessment as soon as possible.


If you need professional physiotherapy advice about shoulder pain, call us today at 9444 8729!