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Hang Away the Pain

Shoulder pain is a buzzkill.

Shoulder impingement, frozen shoulder and rotator-cuff tears are common reasons for a painful shoulder. Onsight Chiropractic is here to introduce a simple but effective method to add to your daily routine and get your shoulder functioning back to 100%.

The Method

The method is quite simple. Just hang. The goal is to hang from a bar for two minutes each day. Sometimes this number needs to be increased, but 2 minutes of body-weight hanging is enough to make physiological changes and see whether this method will help with your current issue. Some of you may be thinking that there is no way you can hang from a bar for 2 minutes straight. That’s okay! Splitting the time up into 10 to 30 second reps is okay as long as you hit that 2 minute goal. If 10 seconds is too difficult then start with putting one or two legs on a stool or other type of support as shown in the picture.  This will help take some of the weight off of your shoulders and let you work up to hanging from full bodyweight. Sometimes your local gym will have a pull-up machine that allows you to adjust the amount of assisted weight. In addition, you want to make sure that your hands are in the pull-up position (palms facing forward) and not the chin-up position (palms facing backwards).

This method can be easily added to your prescribed rehab routine of mobility and strengthening exercises. I prefer to do this as a warmup before an upper body workout, especially on “push days.”  Simply perform the hanging regiment before the strength or rehabilitative training. It will warm up the tissues and open up the joint space so you can use you can exercise without pain.

At first this may be painful on your shoulder joint, capsule and rotator cuff muscles. The force of gravity on these structures are stretching the tissues into a more favorable position for shoulder mobility. Similar to the feeling of braces in your mouth, the stretching may cause some discomfort. The more you challenge the  tissues the more your body will adapt to the discomfort.


The hanging exercise is not recommended for persons with unstable or dislocating shoulders, for those in precarious physical health or with severe osteoporosis. If you have shoulder pain that goes unexplained for several weeks, you should obtain a proper diagnosis from your chiropractor.

-Dr. Edward Espinoza is the author of this post. He may be reached at

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