There is a common misconception that muscle weakness around a joint always causes pain within that joint. This could not be further from the truth! It is possible to have a weak and painful joint, but sometimes people also have pain when they are strong. Pain is often more complicated than faulty body mechanics or muscle weakness.
For the shoulder joint in particular, there are indicators outside of pain that point to muscle imbalances within the joint. These might include:
If you are experiencing any of these you could benefit from a shoulder strengthening program! Shoulders provide stability for use of the arm and hand, so shoulder joint health is very important. Consider seeing a physical or occupational therapist for an appropriate shoulder exercise progression based on your needs.
Acute or chronic shoulder pain is a common reason a person might seek out the services of a therapist. In this blog post, we will cover the starting point of our favorite exercises for weak or painful shoulders. First, we will discuss different types of exercise and how we use each type to promote pain management. Then we will demonstrate shoulder alignment and give instructions for strong, healthy shoulder joints!
Sound like a plan? Here goes...
When we initiate a plan of action for either acute or chronic pain, we structure an exercise sequence in a specific order. The first goal is to calm down the pain response and bring more stability to the joint in order to allow for bigger movement. Once pain is addressed, we look at underlying movement patterns and reinforce patterns to promote optimal joint health! Let's take a look at the difference between different types of strengthening exercise and discuss a starting point for weak or painful shoulder joints.
Different types of...
A key component in maintaining strong, healthy shoulder joints is understanding how to differentiate between using actual shoulder movement v. other movements to compensate for a lack of shoulder mobility.
As the above photos demonstrate, more than one motion can be used to reach arms overhead. Many of us mistakenly believe we're using shoulder mobility to accomplish this motion.
The first photo shows someone reaching arms overhead to touch the wall behind them. At a glance, this might look like fantastic shoulder mobility, but take a closer look at what is happening at the rib cage. It moved away from the wall to help move the arms further overhead. Once the end of actual shoulder mobility is reached, rib cage thrusting can help us achieve further movement without using the shoulders but using the low back instead.
Is this a problem? Not always. But if you are looking to improve actual shoulder joint mobility, compensating with rib cage thrusting bypasses the...