I have been experiencing a dull pain in my left shoulder which feels like it’s behind the front delt. I first noticed it three days ago when I woke up after falling asleep on my left arm in an awkward position. Unfortunately I didn’t think too much of it and went training that evening where I did a leg weight training session which included front squats. I think the movement aggravated my shoulder so I have rested since.
Any remedial advice would be much appreciated.


Hi Cxxxx,
Thanks very much for contacting us regarding your shoulder pain. It sounds as though you may have a shoulder impingement.
Shoulder impingement occurs when you have muscular imbalances around your shoulder joint, leading to movement in your shoulder that is dysfunctional. This can cause certain structures in your shoulder to become irritated and inflamed causing pain. In your case this may have been building up for a while, but the awkward sleeping position could have really aggravated it, and the gym session further exacerbated the situation.
My advice for now would be to try icing your shoulder, try not to sleep on that side, avoid moving your shoulder above shoulder height/behind your back with daily activity, and rest from upper limb gym exercises. You can also and try making sure you sit well at work if you have a desk based job, so that your shoulder can remain in an optimal position.
Physiotherapy for this problem would usually consist of soft tissue release and joint mobilistation where required to get your shoulder moving correctly, thus taking the strain off the aggravated structures. A thorough assessment of movement control around the shoulder by the physiotherapist would flag up any muscle weaknesses, or learnt poor movement patterns that may have led to your problem, and a programme of specific strengthening to address this could be given. This would help to correct the imbalances causing the initial inflammation.
If your pain doesn’t settle down over the next few days, it is worth coming in and getting it looked at so that we can fully assess your shoulder for an accurate diagnosis, and to try and work out why it has happened in the first place.
I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Kind regards,
Zoe