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5 techniques to avoid shoulder pain

Have you ever felt a pinching sensation at the top of the shoulder? Learn how to avoid this injury.

Shoulder impingement approximately affects 16%-21% of the population, only second to low back pain. Furthermore, shoulder impingement “accounts for 44%-60% of all conditions that cause shoulder pain, and reported as the most frequent cause of visits to a physician” (A.R. Tate 2010).

If not attended to by an effective health practitioner, your shoulder pain can lead to additional injuries including neck and upper back pain. Shoulder impingement affects approximately 16-21% of the population as stated above, so it is reasonable to say that the longer you leave it, your chance of being injured increase.

A.R. Tate 2010, proved that a program focused on the strength of the shoulder muscles and mobility of the thoracic spine (mid back) showed improvements in 8/10 subjects in 6 – 12 weeks. Don’t think it will just go away, make a move today toward a stronger and healthier shoulder.

If you’ve experienced or have been experiencing shoulder pain, make a point of it today to do something to remedy the issue. If you feel as though you can increase the performance of your shoulder and hence improve your active lifestyle, the following will help you on your journey.

  1. Do not train your shoulders on consecutive days: The soft tissue during training is subject to stress, although very mild compared to the stress of an injury, the body needs sufficient time to recover and prepare for the next work out. Ensure your training program has an adequate rest period for each relevant body part.
  2. Structure your program to ensure you are pulling more than pushing (approx 2:1). If your anterior sling is tighter than your posterior sling you will adopt a rounded shoulders posture causing your shoulder blade to shift. This will lead to impingement.
  3. Elbows must remain in your peripheral vision (in front of your ear line). For example, if you are performing a single overhead shoulder press if you can’t see your elbows as you lift (they are now behind the plane of your ear) you are jamming your anterior shoulder structures, again leading to impingement
  4. Mobility: Flexibility in specific muscles that attach to the shoulder blade are imperative to reduce the risk of developing shoulder impingement. Self-releases to the pectoralis minor, posterior capsule and the upper trapezius is a good way to avoid these muscles from pulling the shoulder blade in unwanted directions.
  5. Strength: Weak Serratus anterior and rotator cuff muscles, with increased upper trapezius activity, is detected in patients with impingement. It is very important to start strengthening the rotator cuff in neutral and then progressing through the range to mimic the desired activity.

Be sure to implement these techniques to help greatly improve your shoulder functionality. If you are not in pain and want to improve the output of your shoulder, our 5 step checklist will also ensure you get the desired outcome.

Part 1

Part 2