Shoulder pain can be more than painful, it can be all-consuming and even limit your daily activities, so what can you do about it?
The shoulder joint is complex, but due to this, it is also one of the most versatile joints in the body. Around the shoulder joint, we have a host of other joints, muscles, and tendons that assist with shoulder movement. Meaning that addressing shoulder pain is seldom straight forward.
Due to the complex nature of the shoulder, getting a proper diagnosis from a health professional is a must, Dr. Google can’t perform all the tests for you or give you a complete picture of what structurally is going on with your shoulder.
Anyone who has; torn a tendon, dislocated the joint, has bursitis or frozen shoulder will find that following videos on YouTube may do more harm than good. A proper diagnosis from a qualified health professional will be required before you can start engaging in online exercises. You may even require and imaging before a complete diagnosis, and surgery or other medical interventions may be on the cards. But before we jump to that let’s delve a little deeper.
Unless you have had an acute injury, perhaps a blow to the shoulder from a football tackle or a bad fall, your shoulder pain is more likely to be due to instability, and so the best way to reduce pain is by building a holistic strength programme.
Often we tend to grip our shoulders in front of us, locking them in tight with our pecs and a muscle under the shoulder blade that crunches the shoulder down, tightly into our ribs called the Serratus Anterior Superior.
To help reduce this gripping, strengthening the muscles at the back of the shoulder is important. As is training yourself to stop gripping with your shoulder blades and pecs. Ensuring strong rotator cuff muscles, which are the muscles that attach around your shoulder blade and into the top of the humerus is also highly recommended.
If you have been in this gripping pattern for a long time, which is likely if you are in pain, your first point of call will be to release the pecs, allowing your shoulders to sit back into their rightful position. This release will then allow you to start the strengthening program for the muscles that provide stability to your shoulder.
Our recommendation would be to come in and see one of our therapists for a full assessment. They can provide initial release to get you on the right path. Your treatment plan is likely to consist of 4 - 5 sessions over a period of 5 - 10 weeks, depending on the acuteness of your presentation. We would also provide you with some strengthening exercises to do while at home. Each session your therapist will check in with how you are executing the exercises and on your strength improvement.
If you aren’t in pain, prevention is much better than cure! To help you out, we have compiled some easy exercises you can do anywhere to help you to build a strong shoulder. You can find these on our Exercise Library as well as our socials [facebook and instagram]. These are simple exercises, but should you feel any pain while performing them stop immediately and get professional advice.
Isometric Shoulder Rotations