Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket – Reasons and Solutions

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Are you struggling with neck and shoulder pain, especially when trying to put on a jacket? Wondering if this is a cause for alarm or not, the cause of the pain, and/or what to do to resolve the pain?

This article shares some important insights into what you should know about shoulder pain, especially when wearing a jacket.

So, let’s jump right in!


Why your shoulder hurts when wearing a jacket?

  • Shoulder Impingement syndrome

Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket

Shoulder impingement syndrome is the most common cause of shoulder pain. This pain often flares up when there is an impingement of the bursa or the tendons on the shoulders, specifically the bones connecting the bones of your shoulders.

Often, this pain flares after frequent overhead activity involving the shoulders, and it’s worsened by repeated activities. Therefore, it’s safe to say that after some time, wearing your jacket would result in shoulder impingement syndrome.

Other activities that would exacerbate this condition and the subsequent pain include lifting, painting, swimming, or sports like tennis, among other types of overhead sports. Abnormalities in the joint and bone would also increase the risk of pain.

It’s also worth noting that shoulder impingement syndrome is a persistent kind of pain that affects your everyday life and activities, which is why the normal range of motion like wearing a jacket, reaching up behind your back, etc., may cause pain.

Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket

Though this is a common type of pain, and it affects many people, this kind of pain shouldn’t be ignored because it may result in the inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff and bursa – tendinitis and bursitis, respectively, and these tendons could thin out and wear away, causing extreme pain and hospitalization.

So, you shouldn’t ignore the shoulder pain because it’s not nothing.

To treat this issue problem, your doctor will first get an X-ray done in a bid to rule out arthritis, and if they determine that shoulder impingement syndrome is the issue, they will prescribe anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin for 6-8 weeks.

Note that there is no specific/ preferred medication for this condition, but the anti-inflammatory medication is expected to work.

Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket

The other common causes of shoulder pain when wearing a jacket include:

  • Muscle Injury– If any of the 4 main muscles of your shoulders are injured, then you will feel pain when you lift your arm or wear your jacket because of damage to the supraspinatus muscles. This muscle is prone to injury, and it also tends to suffer tears and inflammation, especially if you use the muscle often when throwing a baseball, for example.
  • Tendon Injury– if the important tendons in your shoulder are injured, you will suffer some shoulder pain. This is often the case in case of the inflammation of the tendon, its rupture or tearing, and in other cases, tendonitis (where the tendon is swollen and inflamed.
  • Nerve Injury (Brachial plexus injury) – in case of injury to the nerves in your shoulders, tasks as simple as wearing your jacket will result in shoulder pain. This is the kind of pain you never want to ignore since it may have permanent repercussions. So, it’s best to see a doctor about that shoulder pain, however mild it feels.

Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket

  • Repetitive Strain Shoulder Injury– this is not a common shoulder problem, but you be suffering from this kind of pain if you overuse your shoulders. It is also called the swimmer’s shoulders and results from overuse of the shoulder muscles.
  • Frozen Shoulder– this is also known as the adhesive capsulitis of your shoulder, and you experience shoulder pain when the super-strong web of connective tissue at the upper arm’s ball joint is damaged. This damage manifests as severe shoulder pain, which you may notice first when wearing a jacket. The biggest symptom of this problem is the inflexibility or stiffness of your upper arm. If you notice this, see your doctor urgently.
  • Muscle strain/ poor posture – The other reason for shoulder pain when wearing your jacket might be pain from strained muscles, which results from poor posture.

Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket

Other potential causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Non-specific shoulder pain
  • Shoulder sprain
  • Bicep tendonitis  
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Pinched nerve


How to wear a jacket without shoulder pain?

First, see your doctor make sure that the pain you are struggling with has nothing to do with a serious shoulder problem. Before you stretch out or start lifting heavy weights, get a proper diagnosis.

Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket

If the shoulder pain is from muscle strain or poor posture, you might want to work on your postural problems. You can do this by incorporating the right exercise for therapy to stretch and relax your muscles. You should try breathing exercises too.


How then do you wear your jacket to avoid shoulder pain?

Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket

  • Make sure that the jacket is the right size and fits your correctly. While you may experience shoulder pain from any of the conditions above, there is a possibility of shoulder pain resulting from a wrong-fitting jacket. So, resolve this issue first by getting a jacket that fits correctly. If you still struggle with shoulder pain, you may have a psychological issue that needs immediate attention.

Other remedies to get rid of the shoulder pain:

Shoulder Pain When Wearing Jacket

  • Cold compress in case there is swelling in your shoulder. The cold compress also numbs the affected area of pain.
  • Take anti-inflammatory NSAIDs for pain relief and reduced inflammation. Take pain medication too.
  • A compression bandage or even a regular ACE bandage might help reduce the pain and swelling. Just make sure that the bandage isn’t wrapped around your shoulder too tightly – you don’t want to block blood flow in your arm.
  • Heat therapy – this helps in case of tense muscles or stiffness of the shoulder. It would also help with muscle pain. Get a heated gel pack, a hot water bottle, or a heating pad.
  • Muscle relaxants prescribed by a doctor
  • Exercises – like the overhead shoulder stretch or pendulum stretch to improve your range of motion.
  • Finally, throw in some rest and change your lifestyle/ activities that you engage in often.



Shoulder pain when wearing a jacket could be from an ill-fitting jacket, but there is a high likelihood that the pain would be from a problem affecting your nerves, muscles, or connective tissue.

So, if wearing a jacket that fits right doesn’t take the pain away, you may want to see your doctor or make some changes in your lifestyle to see if the pain subsides.

Read more useful fashion tips, please read here or here

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