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shoulder pain

neck pain, Shoulder pain, Upper limb

Scapula stabilising exercises – Beat shoulder pain for good.

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winging scapula shoulder bladeWhy does your shoulder pain not get better or keep coming back??  Scapula stability and control is often overlooked yet it is absolutely necessary for good shoulder function. Here we will increase shoulder girdle strength, stability and control to get rid of and minimise the chances of:

  • Rotator cuff impingement
  • Shoulder tendinopathy
  • Subacromial Bursitis
  • Neck pain and Headaches
  • And much more

Scapula Dyskinesia is a very very common response to shoulder pain and leads to ongoing, prolonged and frustrating shoulder pain. This is basically abnormal movement of your shoulder-blade. For more detail: Skapula dyskineia

Normal shoulder movement, strength, control and performance is fully dependent on the scapula – and not just movement but it’s stability as well. The scapula is the base that your arm works off and if you don’t have a stable base, you will be much more likely to have shoulder and neck pain – It would be like trying to walk in an earthquake!

Normally when you lift your arm, your shoulder blade rotates upwards as seen in the picture below. If your shoulder-blade doesn’t rotate – your shoulder gets jammed against it, leading to pain and tightness.

So given that Scapula Dyskinesia occurs in 68-100% of shoulder injuries, this is something that needs to be addressed in EVERY PERSON WITH SHOULDER PAIN. So below is your exercise regime to address this yourself at home or the gym.

1. Push-up Plus: skapual, serratus anterior strengthening exercises, physiotherapy, shoulder pain

keeping your body and arms straight, push your shoulders forward(body upwards and then control your shoulders back to the starting position).

Too easy? do a push up and add the press at the top of each push-up (this is the plus!)

2×12 reps (to start with!)and start on your knees if you need to.

 

2. Shoulder external rotation: shoulder ER

Remember to always keep your elbow into your side and at 90degress.

You can also do theses in side lying with a 1-2kg dumbell in your upper hand.

2 x 12reps, increase the stretch to progress.

 

 

3. Chariot Pull: chdariot pull

Keeping your arms straight and shoulder back and down, take your arms back untill they are level with your body.

2 x 12reps, increase the stretch to progress.

 

 

 

 

4. Thoracic Mobility: I have included this as if you have a stiff spine, your shoulder chariot pull, shoulder strengtheningblades are always going to be in a bad position, so it is important to address this so that you don’t get stuck at 95%!

Using either a full or preferably 1.2 foam roller (high density!) lie on it, placed below your shoulder blades as shown, bridge up and extend your arms overhead and then elbows down to your sides.

Tip: Keep your head up and chin tucked in.

spend 1-2minutes working on your spine.

Do these exercises two times daily (Ideally!) for 6 weeks for awesome shoulder stability and a pain-free shoulder.

http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/47/14/877.long

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12670140

Also see:

Mobilise yourself

Beating neck pain and headaches

Please share and let me know how you get on.

 


Mobility, neck pain, training

Thoracic Mobility: Forget back, neck and shoulder pain

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Mobile Monday: Thoracic mobility

The key to many neck and shoulder injuries, your thorax needs to be mobile and in control, otherwise everything working off it… eventually feels the hurt.

Thoracic mobility is one of the most overlooked aspects of injury prevention and although this part of your spine doesn’t have as much movement as above and below it, it is very important none the less and here are a quick few reasons:

1. A stiff or weak upper spine means other areas have to compensate and move MORE, leading to shoulder, neck and low back injuries and pain.

2. Because your ribs attach to the thoracic spine, if the spine is stiff, locked up or just not moving correctly then the ribs are not going to move optimally when you breathe – leading to a lower breathing capacity and less basal lung expansion (the most important area of the lung).

3. If you work at a desk or live on the couch, your thoracic spine ends up hunched over, your pecs get tight and you just feel stuck – this makes your shoulders sit forward,  increasing the risk of sub-acromial pain and makes your head stick forward = causing headaches and neck pain.

 

So, to get you to 100% here is an exercise to improve thoracic mobility and improve every aspect of your movement – and it just takes 5 minutes!

Thoracic extensions: Mobilising into extension is my a definite go to exercise for all shoulder and spinal/back pain as this unloads all those areas. Extension in the thoracic spine is coupled with rotation, so if you gain extension, you also gain rotation!

Tools needed: There are specific tools that you can use such as Foam Roller and 1/2 foam rolls (my favorite), but if this is too much for the budget then you can roll up a towel very, very firmly and tape it up.

chariot pull, shoulder strengtheningPosition: Lying on your back place the roll under your upper back, starting above the curve of your low back. With your knees bent up and feet planted on the ground bring your arms all the ways up above your head so that you stretch your upper body right out and then bring then down to your side (like a big snow angel).

Bridging your bottom off the ground can add to the stretch!

Reps and sets: You will need to move the roll up your back to get the different levels. Spend 30 seconds on each level, extending your arms above your head towards the ground and then down to your side repeated.

 

Do this exercise daily and you will see a great improvement in not only thoracic mobility but in all aspects of your life including, from overhead gym work and your golf swing to looking over your shoulder when driving.


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