Injured shoulders can take a long time to heal and limit our activities dramatically. Many people especially those in sports might experience pain from shoulder to wrist. Learn more about the causes of shoulder pain and what we can do about it!
1. Lack of thoracic spine mobility. Each of the joints in our body is designed for a specific purpose, which is either stability or mobility. The thoracic spine is a section of the body that craves mobility, but is generally locked up due to the sedentary postures we adopt on a daily basis. If the thoracic spine does not move into extension it means any movement where we lift our arms above our heads is compromised. This will lead to anterior shoulder pain. Practicing thoracic extension drills on a foam roller is a great way to improve this dysfunction.
2. Scapula instability. Our scapula is literally the foundation for our shoulder joint. If it does not sit in the right place at the right time the glenohumeral joint loses its instantaneous axis of rotation and is prone to impingement, faulty recruitment patterns and other issues. The best way to combat this is exercises that emphasize the opposites of these movements which are depression and retraction.
3. Faulty breathing pattern. Breathing is often overlooked in shoulder function. However if our breathing is dysfunctional, our shoulders will be problematic! We breath on average 20000 times a day so we need to ensure that each breath is therapeutic, not stressful to our biomechanics. A great idea to fix this issue is to go for a walk while holding water in our mouths. This ensures correct nasal breathing and wards off hyperventilation.
4. Imbalanced training programs. The majority of people who train focus on the muscles that they can see in the mirror. Quite often we see an overwhelming focus on pushing exercises to the detriment of pulling exercises. This creates imbalances in the scapulo-thoracic musculature and is a recipe for disaster. Creating a training program with a pulling to pushing ratio of 2:1 or even 3:1 will rectify these problems quickly.