Not all shoulder pain is a result of damage to the shoulder muscles (rotator cuff). Quite often there is a posture issue that evolves over time and can result in improper movement of the shoulder joint leading to rotator cuff injuries.
Upper cross syndrome, (shown at left) results in weak head and neck flexors, weak shoulder blade stabilizing muscles, tight upper back muscles, and tight chest muscles.
The easy fix? There isn’t one. But creating a plan to start a new stretching routine is a good place to start. Stretching tight muscles before strengthening weak ones will give you a better idea of how things are changing.
Suggestions for Weak and/or Tight Muscles:
Exercise One: Lie on the floor, knees bent and feet flat, bend elbows and try to lay arm on the ground. You may feel a slight pull through the front of the chest that is okay. If you feel any pain, please stop. Initially try to keep elbows below height of shoulders.
Exercise Two: Work on posture, try to imagine a line from your ears, through your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles whenever you are standing. (Or just to your hips if you are sitting).
Exercise Three: Try to keep your shoulders away from your ears at all times. You can do a slight tilt of your head to one side and then the other (keeping your shoulders still and level) to stretch the upper back.
Exercise Four: When you are ready to strengthen, start small. Go back to the position where you are lying on your back with hips and knees bent and feet are flat. You may have a small pillow behind your head. Slowly tuck your chin and either push back into pillow or lift your head slightly, repeat 3-5 times.
Exercise Five: Still in the same starting position as number 4, lift arms towards the ceiling just slightly below shoulder height. Make a fist and gently push hands towards the ceiling. This will engage the shoulder blade stabilizers by pushing arms out and back, keeping them straight.
As with all stretching and strengthening programs, it is a good idea to seek professional help from your chiropractor or doctor before beginning. We’ve got your back (and shoulders)
If you would like an individual plan for yourself, please contact us now!