Unglue Your Sticky Shoulders

 

 

There is a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that states "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

In my line of work as a corrective exercise and posture specialist, I take these words very seriously.  Everyday I work with athletes and individuals who are experiencing chronic muscle and joint pain.  Most often the pain is a result of a lifetime of muscle imbalances, poor posture and faulty movement patterning.  The presence of pain often is latent, so by the time it "calls your name", there's a lot of fixing to do.  

The human body is a stimulus-response mechanism.  It responds and adapts to the demands you place on it day in and day out.  Much like a car that requires good alignment to drive straight and reduce wear and tear, you can think of your posture and joint mechanics in the same way.  

Just take they typical person who has to sit for the majority of their day.  The body is most adapted to a short frontal plane, head forward, shoulders rounded. hips imbalanced......

Your body doesn't just unravel itself before going off to exercise under intensity, load, power and speed.  I'm sorry to tell you that you're taking an imbalanced body into your movements.  The problem is you might not feel pain right away, until one day you do.  In my opinion, most muscle and joint pain problems and repetitive stress or injuries are the result of posture problems that could have easily been avoided by implementing some preventative measures.

The easiest way to keep everything in your body moving freely without common muscle and joint pain is through correct MOVEMENT! As Dr. Kelly Starrett [mobilityWOD] likes to say "Every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves." And I agree.

Each week I have the privilege of teaching a Mobility and Corrective Exercise class at CrossFit 5885 here in Apple Valley, MN.  

My goal in instructing this class is simple.  To introduce easy to do self-myofascial release techniques and corrective exercises that local CrossFit athletes (and the general public) can do to on their own at home to perform basic maintenance on their bodies.

Do You Know How to Unglue A Sticky Shoulder?

Sticky shoulders,  aka Shoulder Impingement is an ailment that affects many fitness enthusiasts, not to mention CrossFit athletes.

WebMd [1] states that shoulder impingement:

"occurs when there is impingement of tendons or bursa in the shoulder from bones of the shoulder. Overhead activity of the shoulder, especially repeated activity, is a risk factor for shoulder impingement syndrome. Examples include: painting, lifting, swimming, tennis, and other overhead sports. Other risk factors include bone and joint abnormalities.

With impingement syndrome, pain is persistent and affects everyday activities. Motions such as reaching up behind the back or reaching up overhead to put on a coat or blouse, for example, may cause pain.

Over time, impingement syndrome can lead to inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons (tendinitis) and bursa (bursitis). If not treated appropriately, the rotator cuff tendons can start to thin and tear."


But let me tell you, once the symptoms begin there's a bunch of stuff going on in and around the shoulder joint (I know, very technical!) that needs to be considered before you try to treat the symptom.

Before we begin to mobilize the joint that is causing you pain (in this case the shoulder) we have to first take a step back and assess the position of your arms.  You are after all, more than just a shoulder!  Your shoulder (and thoracic spine) are not separate of your entire body!

Come to Mobility and Corrective Exercise 

Please join me this Saturday, November 14 (10:00 - 11:00 am) at CrossFit 5885  (Apple Valley, MN) for a hands-on instructional self-mysofascial release and corrective exercise session.

This week you'll learn to assess your own shoulder position, then working to unglue the soft tissues affecting shoulder position with mobilizations.  We will follow up with simple corrective exercises you can do to help re-position the shoulder and scapulo-humeral rhythm.

This class is OPEN to members and the general public (drop-in is $20, and a 10 Class punch pass is $180)!  If you plan to attend are are coming for the first time, please arrive 15 minutes early to fill in a waiver and secure payment).  

Please bring the following equipment to class:

  • Yoga Block
  • Single LAX ball 
  • Foam Roller
  • Yoga Mat

Questions? Please reach out.  Hope to see you there!

Resources:

1.  WebMd

Stock Photo Credit:  Shutterstock.com

Head Photo Credit:  Melissa Thome Photography

Author:  Deb Preachuk is the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.  A CF-L1 Trainer, Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, Deb has over 25 years experience in the health and wellness field.  You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTubePinterest or Instagram pages.