Why Do You Get Shoulder Pain When Running?

Blogs, Running, / By Winsen Citra

Have you ever felt some pain and soreness in your neck and shoulder while running? You are not alone. This is a fairly common phenomenon that happens to a lot of runners. Why does this happen?

Why does running trigger shoulder pain?

It may seem odd that running, a sport that uses mainly your legs, would cause shoulder pain. However, what you don’t realise is your shoulder and neck muscles have to work quite hard to maintain your posture while you’re running. This is especially true if you have poor form. Most commonly, people who suffer from shoulder pain while running have a forward leaning posture, making their shoulder and neck muscles work harder to maintain their upright position.

Another common cause is improper breathing technique. Instead of breathing from the core, you may be using your shoulde rmuscles in order to breathe. Once again, this leads to overworking of your shoulder muscles, causing the pain and aches.

What can I do?

There are a few things that you can do to reduce your shoulder pain while running:

  1. Strengthen your core muscles – this will not only benefit you by helping you run in a more upright position, it will also help you to breathe more naturally from your core rather than using your shoulder muscles.
  2. Look up! – if you find yourself looking down on the road while running, then you are most probably leaning forward. As we have established, this is a poor running form. So, lift your head and look forward. You will also find that breathing becomes easier if you do to this.
  3. Relax – one of the things that you may be doing is tensing up because you’re tired. Try shaking your hands loose and avoid clenhing your fist. This will have a relaxing effect to your shoulder and neck muscles.

We hope these tips will help you run pain free! Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Do check out our Instagram for some useful exercises you can try.

Winsen Citra
Principal Physiotherapist

Winsen graduated from University of Melbourne in 2012. He worked in organisations of various sizes such as Singapore General Hospital, Pain Relief Practice, and Physioclinic before working at Elevate Physiotherapy. He specialises in sports and musculoskeletal injuries and has worked with athletes of various sports such as fencing, dancing, dragon boating, and cycling.

In his spare time he enjoys singing and playing chess.