19 Nov 2016

If back pain is our most common mechanical pain; then grumpy shoulders follow very closely behind, which like all our other joints, there are multitudes of reasons for your pain and suffering.

Except for trauma; most cases of shoulder pain will have arisen due to years of neglected stiffness- perhaps due to some arthritis, bad posture, overuse or overloading in a career or sport and bad movement patterns.

Niggles could be serious injuries in dormant slumber, just waiting for the opportunity to strike. Not so often considered clues to your suffering, are your thoracic spine and neck.

Many cases of shoulder dysfunction also present with neck and thoracic spine stiffness, plus shoulder blades that move either too much or are rigid with poor alignment, leaving your shoulder joint trying to stabilise your arm while also letting it take all of a load while moving. When your shoulder blade is in a sub-optimal position, those  infamous stabilising rotator cuffs can cause pain around the shoulder, or pull the roof of your shoulder down causing a grinding or impinged pain in it.

So stand up, walk to a mirror and let’s look at what’s happening.

Looking side on; do your shoulders round forward, do your shoulder blades sit high or stick out?

Front on; raise your arms, shoulder width apart, slowly up in front of you.

Do they move painfully, stiffly or differently to each other? Now do the same out wide at your sides.

Is your neck sitting crookedly or head pushing out forward?

Stretch out the front of your chest against a doorway or wall – feeling tight?

If you answered yes to any of these then here’s where to start.

Loosen your neck, upper shoulder and chest muscles, mobilise thoracic spine joints, do some rotator cuff activations drills, adding mid back strength exercises like rows, face pulls, and scapular presses. Better still; get an individualised management program, so your shoulders will feel better sooner.

For advice call me on 0429 695 069

 

Article by Tracy Welsh – Specialist Master Coach 

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