Shoulder pain? This may help!

Most people feel some shoulder pain at some point in their life. For some it never goes away.

I recently discovered Dr. John Kirsch. He’s a board certified orthopedic surgeon who’s been practicing orthopedic surgery and medicine for over 35 years. He published a book called “Shoulder Pain? The Solution &Prevention”, in which he outlines an exercise program that will allow you to start a healing process and maintain your health. The book is subtitled “The Kauai Study” because Dr. Kirsch first presented the results of his academic study at a meeting of the Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery societies in Kauai.

The Kauai study included 92 carefully followed subjects with shoulder pain problems who followed the Kirsch Institute for Shoulder Research exercise protocol to overcome their shoulder pain, even canceling their planned surgery, and returning to a comfortable daily life.

The study found that the most common cause of shoulder pain is a condition called contracture of coracoacromial (CA) arch, which consists of the acromion and coracoacromial ligament and is superior to the glenohumeral joint. This causes an increased pressure on the rotator cuff and the surrounding tissues which can produce pain, and the eventual destruction of the rotator cuff.

The book shows simple exercises to help heal and prevent shoulder pain. They are really simple to do, but at the same time they are so effective.

Hanging protocol

Hanging can create more space and stretch many of the structures that cause pain and impingement of the supraspinatus. When you do this regularly, you will see the benefits of decreased irritation and shoulder pain.

Hanging remodels or reshapes the shoulder bones and ligaments. While you are hanging, there is a stretching of the arch of the ligament and bone covering the rotator cuff and the CA arch. Hanging stretches the CA arch, expanding the subacromial space. This prevents injuries that result from compression of these tissues.

Without hanging, over time the CA arch will contract. This can lead to pressing the rotator cuff, irritation, inflammation, pain, and degeneration of the tendons.

In the beginning, hanging can feel a little uncomfortable, but you can practice only passive hanging with your feet on the ground, or on a chair or bench, and your arms fully extended as much as possible. Most importantly, you should allow a complete relaxation and have your palms facing forward. You will notice the difference within just a few days.

The book has many images of CT scans and x-ray images of the structures, so it’s very easy to understand what’s going on. I’ve experienced the benefits myself, and some of my clients have seen remarkable changes and improvements in their general health — not just shoulder, but also neck and back pain too.

You can start hanging from a pull-up bar or even a strong door frame (just put a towel on the door to make it more comfortable on your hands). Soon you’ll be able to hang for about 30 seconds, repeating three to five times, at least five days a week. But start off with whatever you can, even if it’s only 10 or 15 seconds. When you start hanging, keep your feet in contact with the floor (or a chair or bench) so that you’re not hanging with your full bodyweight.

If you have acute shoulder issues then make sure to check with your physician, and share this information with them. You may help other patients as well.

It’s time to go back to the playground! Start hanging!

P.S. It was so sad to see all the damage from the recent storms. Sending much Aloha and prayers to beautiful Kauai.


Ayda Ersoy is a nutrition and fitness director at The Diet Doc Hawaii. She can be reached at, or (808) 276-6892

  1. Charlie Chimknee May 3, 2018 11:01 pm Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    As well, when it comes to shoulder problems, it is well known that fixing shoulder problems can be done by members of the profession of doctors in the neurospinal field of Atlas Orthogonal, and is accomplished with a specific upper cervical structural displacement correction of the C1Atlas vertebra; The C1Atlas vertebra is located under the bottom of the skull at the bottom of the brain stem and the C1Atlas actually houses a part of the most lowest part of the brain stem and the C1Atlas is in the vicinity of the neuro reticular system.

    When the C1Atlas is in displacement and is aberrating the Reticular System it can cause both upper and lower extremity pains and malfunctions as well as many other problems with the body’s cells, tissues, organs, and systems.

    Fortunately, when done correctly, the alignment procedure of the C1Atlas results in correction of those pesky shoulder problems. The alignment is done by a precision instrument wherein this alignment to the neck is unable to be felt. There is no neck snapping or cracking. 100% results are often experience in a few seconds.

    The alignment restores the very complex shoulder biomechanics including the rotator cuff and all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the the bones that make up the shoulder mechanism: humerus (upper arm), scapula, and clavicle, as well as its supportive soft tissues: muscles, tendons, and ligaments that attach to the shoulder and some to the spine.

    This type of restoration of structural Health does no require a Diagnosis; but instead a:
    1.) Detection: to determine that the C1Atlas is in a state of structural displacement significant enough to aberrate the nervous system,

    2.) Analysis: of the C1Atlas and related spinal structural displacement measured in degrees and millimeters.

    3.) The Analysis results in a Co-sine Vector to be set into the Atlas Orthogonal Alignment Instrument. The Vector is used to used to restore the normal aligned positioning of the C1Atlas Vertebra…this is a Neuro-Spinal Structural Alignment. The safe alignment procedure is so gentle it cannot be felt.

    4.) The result of the proper alignment is a restoration of the function of the reticular system which in turn controls the shoulder and the rest of musculo-skeleton system; as well as the other nerve targets of the body, specifically the cells, tissues , organs and body systems.

    5.) The beneficial result of this delicate procedure is that it causes a silent return to normal function of the body’s organs. As well every body organ has a corresponding system: e.g., digestive, respiratory, myocardial, secretory, excretory, vascular, immune, hormonal, gastro-intestinal, etc., and let’s not forget the Master Organ that controls and coordinates all the other organs and systems.



  2. Alice Walter May 28, 2018 5:49 pm Reply

    Yes, I believe the realignment with the C1Atlas Orthogonal Alignment Instrument is a fundamental part of rehabilitaion of the body. I have experienced much relief, especially of my neck problems/pain.
    Of NOTE: I have not found an ATLAS practicitioner here on Kauai.
    Secondly, I have just started Kirsch’s shoulder hanging, and the benefits for my posture and shoulder occurred with the first trial.
    Esther Gokhale’s Methods and many Physical Therapy procedures also help create a posture foundation, especially as we age.

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