3 Secrets You Need To Know About Shoulders

Shoulder pain and shoulder injuries are highly common in the OCR community.  At times you know exactly how it happened because you had a specific traumatic injury.  Most times, though, you just develop shoulder pain for no apparent reason.  One day you don’t have pain; the next day you do. 

When you experience this pain, you do what you can to calm it down – you stretch, you roll, you smash, you rest (maybe) – but nothing works.  Or if it does work, it is all temporary.  

Why is this?  Because you aren’t addressing the correct issue.  

Here are Three Secrets You Need To Know About Shoulders! 

 

1) It may not be the shoulders after all…

Many times, the shoulders develop pain because the upper back is tight and stiff. 

To get your arms overhead, your upper back needs some extension.  Add transitions on obstacles to that and you need even more upper back extension as well as rotation.  Many people don’t have the necessary motion because they have not worked on it…or if they do, it has not been consistent. 

When we lack upper back extension (and rotation), your shoulders end up working harder in order to get your arms straight overhead or behind you at timesOver time, this causes increased (and unnecessary) stress, force, and fatigue on the shoulders. 

 

2) The way you hold your body during the day matters 

“Sit up straight!!!” 

Cringe a little with that?  Remind you a little bit of being yelled at by teachers and parents when growing up?  If only you would have listened… 

Many of your shoulder issues come down to…POSTURE!  Yes, that thing we all ignored growing up because we know better than all the adults in our lives.  Right!?!? 

Posture, in itself, is not necessarily the issue.  The habits we created because of the posture IS the issue! 

As a society, we have gotten ourselves in the habit of slouching, sitting and standing with our shoulders and upper back rounded forward.  Over time – years and decades – we forget how to actually hold our bodies in a better position.  Not only do we hold this position at rest, but we also tend to hold it with activities as well. 

Maintaining this ‘forward shoulder’ posture when doing activities with your arms overhead places your shoulders in a bad mechanical position – meaning it can cause structures and tissues in the shoulder region to pinch and rub.  Over time, this creates pain and aggravation in the shoulders and can lead to major injures, such as labral and rotator cuff tears. 

 

3) Strong doesn’t mean stable

Strength allows us to lift heavy things and to hold our body weight for short periods when doing different tasks.  Stability allows us to do these things for long periods of time and under fatigue. 

With the normal movements and activities performed when training, the external “mover” muscles – deltoid, biceps, triceps, lats, traps – develop strength.  The smaller underlying muscles that surround the joint tend to get ignored.  Those underlying muscles are just as important, if not more important, than the big muscle groups. 

Those underlying muscles are what your body uses to put you in good posture, to stabilize your joints, and to allow you to perform high load or high volume.  When you don’t have good endurance and control in these stabilizer muscle groups, your joints become unstable when fatigued which can result in pain or injury. 

Having issues that sound similar to these?  Want to know what to do about your shoulder issues?  Email brianne@getyourfixpt.com to gain access to a shoulder program that was created just for you!

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