The Ultimate List: Top 5 Pressure Points for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can significantly affect your daily life and overall well-being, especially for those who spend hours working at a desk or in front of a computer. Acupressure presents a natural and effective solution for relieving shoulder pain.

This method involves applying pressure to specific body points to reduce tension, enhance blood circulation, and relax muscles, offering considerable pain relief. Our guide highlights the top 5 acupressure points for shoulder and neck pain relief, providing an easy way to alleviate discomfort and improve your quality of life.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

Before we explore the pressure points, it’s crucial to understand what might be causing your shoulder pain. Common causes include:

  1. Rotator Cuff Injuries: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder. Injuries here can include strains, tears, and tendinitis, often resulting from repetitive movements or overuse.
  2. Impingement: This occurs when the shoulder blade exerts pressure on the underlying soft tissues when the arm is lifted. It can cause inflammation and pain, especially when lifting the arm.
  3. Bursitis: Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between joint parts. Overuse, stress, or injury can lead to inflammation of the bursae in the shoulder, known as bursitis.
  4. Frozen Shoulder: Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder occurs when the connective tissue enclosing the joint thickens and tightens, restricting movement. Its exact cause isn’t always known but can follow periods of immobilization.
  5. Arthritis: Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of arthritis can affect the shoulder joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
  6. Fractures: Broken bones in or around the shoulder (such as the collarbone or humerus) can cause immediate and severe pain, swelling, and immobility.
  7. Dislocation: The shoulder is the most frequently dislocated major joint. A dislocation occurs when the top of the arm bone becomes disconnected from the scapula.
  8. Referred Pain: Sometimes, the pain felt in the shoulder can originate from elsewhere in the body, such as the neck or upper spine.
  9. Overuse or Strain: Repetitive activities or lifting heavy objects can strain the muscles and tendons in the shoulder, leading to pain.
  10. Pinched Nerves: Nerve compression in or around the shoulder can cause acute or chronic pain, sometimes accompanied by numbness or tingling in the arms.

The Importance of Identifying Pressure Points for Relief

Acupressure is a time-tested method, rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, that can offer respite from various ailments, including shoulder pain. By targeting these points, you can tap into your body’s innate healing mechanisms.

Related: Top 5 Pressure Points Every Headache Sufferer Should Try

How Does Acupressure Help Relieve Pain?

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to alleviate pain and promote healing. This method is grounded in the concept of Qi (chi), the vital life energy that flows through meridians within the body. By targeting precise points along these meridians, acupressure aims to rebalance the flow of Qi, thereby enhancing the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

The effectiveness of acupressure in pain relief can be attributed to several mechanisms. Firstly, applying pressure to certain points stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which help reduce the perception of pain.

Secondly, acupressure can help relax muscles and joints, alleviating tension and inflammation, which are common sources of pain. Additionally, this technique promotes improved circulation, ensuring that oxygen and nutrients are efficiently delivered to tissues, aiding in recovery and pain reduction.

Acupressure has been found beneficial for various types of pain, including headaches, back pain, menstrual cramps, and arthritis. It offers a non-invasive, drug-free approach to pain management, making it an appealing alternative or complement to conventional treatments.

  • Releases muscle tension: Acupressure helps relax the muscles around the shoulder and neck, reducing pain.
  • Improves circulation: Enhancing blood flow to the affected area speeds up recovery.
  • Stimulates the body’s natural painkillers: Acupressure can trigger the release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain-relieving hormones.

Top 5 Acupressure Points for Shoulder Pain

Here are the top 5 acupressure points that are believed to help alleviate shoulder pain:

1. Jian Jing (GB21)

  • Location: Midway between the spine and the shoulder joint, at the highest point of the shoulder muscle.
  • Benefits: Relieves shoulder tension, neck stiffness, and headaches.

2. Jian Yu (LI15)

  • Location: On the shoulder, in the depression which appears when the arm is fully extended.
  • Benefits: Helps with any kind of shoulder pain, including pain due to arthritis, and improves the range of motion in the shoulder.

3. Jian Zhen (SI9)

  • Location: On the back of the shoulder, about 2 inches below the shoulder joint, found by moving the arm slightly.
  • Benefits: Reduces shoulder pain, especially in the back of the shoulder, and eases frozen shoulder symptoms.

4. Qu Chi (LI11)

  • Location: On the outer edge of the elbow crease when the elbow is bent at a right angle.
  • Benefits: Effective for general pain relief, beneficial for elbow and arm pain but also indirectly affects shoulder discomfort.

5. Tian Zong (SI11)

  • Location: In the center of the scapula (shoulder blade).
  • Benefits: Helps relieve shoulder tension, and pain across the shoulder area, and aids in treating scapular or upper back issues.

Application Tips:

  • Apply gentle yet firm pressure with your thumb or finger to each point.
  • Hold the pressure on each point for 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the session.
  • Repeat as needed or combine with other treatments for better results.

Use Acupressure Regularly for Lasting Relief

To achieve the best results, apply gentle but firm pressure to these points for 1-2 minutes daily. It may take several sessions to notice significant improvements. For optimal relief, combine acupressure with other treatments like massage, stretching, and rest.

Incorporating acupressure into your daily routine can lead to lasting relief from shoulder pain. Remember, while acupressure is a powerful tool for managing pain, it’s also important to consult with healthcare professionals for chronic or severe conditions.

Additional Tips for Managing Shoulder Pain

While acupressure can provide significant relief, it’s essential to address the root cause of your shoulder pain for long-term management. Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Consider ergonomic adjustments: If you spend long hours at a desk, make sure your workstation is set up ergonomically to avoid strain on the neck and shoulders.
  • Take regular breaks: Whether you’re sitting at a desk or engaged in physical activity, take frequent breaks to stretch and rest your muscles.
  • Practice good posture: Be mindful of your posture throughout the day. Slouching can place undue pressure on the spine and shoulders, leading to discomfort.
  • Exercise regularly: Engaging in regular physical activity can strengthen the muscles around the shoulder and neck, reducing the likelihood of injury or pain.


In conclusion, acupressure stands out as a powerful, natural remedy for alleviating shoulder pain, offering a safe and effective alternative to conventional treatments. By focusing on key points such as GB 21, LI 15, LI 14, LI 11, and SI 11, individuals can find significant relief from pain and discomfort, improving their quality of life.

Coupled with healthy habits like regular exercise, maintaining good posture, ergonomic adjustments, and consulting healthcare professionals when necessary, acupressure can be a vital component of a comprehensive approach to managing shoulder pain.

You can also refer to this video

People Also Ask

  1. What are the pressure points for shoulder pain?

    Pressure points for shoulder pain are specific areas on the body where applying pressure can help alleviate shoulder discomfort and tension. These GB 21, LI 15, LI 14, LI 11, and SI 11.

  2. How can I locate pressure points for shoulder pain?

    Pressure points for shoulder pain are typically located on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. They can be found by applying firm pressure and feeling for areas of tenderness or tightness.

  3. Are there any risks associated with using pressure points for shoulder pain relief?

    When done correctly, using pressure points for shoulder pain relief is generally safe. However, it is important to apply gentle pressure and avoid causing further discomfort or injury.

  4. How can I effectively use pressure points for shoulder pain relief?

    To effectively use pressure points for shoulder pain relief, apply steady pressure to the identified points using your fingers or a massage tool. Hold the pressure for a few seconds and release. Repeat as needed.

  5. Can pressure points for shoulder pain be used as a standalone treatment?

    While pressure points for shoulder pain can provide temporary relief, they are most effective when combined with other treatment methods such as stretching, strengthening exercises, and professional medical advice. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider for a comprehensive treatment plan.

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Harshal Ukirde
Harshal Ukirde

5 years of experience in the medical field.
Dedicated to provide a best healthcare infromation for free.

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