Objective: Post-stroke shoulder pain is a common phenomenon in hemiplegia and impedes rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to identify a possible relationship between post-stroke shoulder pain, scapula resting position and shoulder motion. Methods: Shoulder kinematics of 27 patients after stroke (17 men) were compared with 10 healthy age-matched control subjects. Using an electromagnetic tracking device, the kinematics of both the contralateral and ipsilateral (i.e. paretic and non-paretic) arm during active and passive abduction and forward flexion were measured and expressed in Euler angles. Results: Scapular lateral rotation relative to the thorax was increased in patients with post-stroke shoulder pain compared with both patients without post-stroke shoulder pain and control subjects at rest as well as during arm abduction and forward flexion. Additionally, glenohumeral elevation was decreased in patients with post-stroke shoulder pain during passive abduction. No differences were found regarding scapula position (displacement relative to the thorax). Conclusion: In patients with post-stroke shoulder pain a particular kinematical shoulder pattern was established, characterized by enhanced scapular lateral rotation and diminished glenohumeral mobility. © 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation. © 2008 Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.