If you work in an office, I bet you can look around at any given moment and see someone rubbing or stretching their shoulders. Even if you don’t work in an office I’m sure you’ve either done this or seen someone do it in the last week.
That’s because one of the body’s most frequent areas of concern is the shoulders. Many people are living with a shoulder dysfunction and either don’t think it’s a problem or don’t know how to fix it. You don’t need to “work through the pain” or spend hundreds of dollars on physical therapy and doctor bills. Sure, there are some that might need more specialized treatment, but most shoulder aches and pains can be treated and even prevented by increasing mobility, stabilization, and strengthening other areas of your body.
As a personal trainer, I see shoulder dysfunction in about 85% of the people I interact with. Many of them aren’t aware of the imbalance and how it affects other areas of the body. The pain that started in the shoulders can often lead to low back and hip pain, neck and shoulder tension, and tension headaches. A shoulder muscle imbalance is often simply overworked muscles of the shoulders, neck, arms, rotator cuff, upper back, chest or other muscles assisting in stabilizing the spine. As a result many people start experiencing nerve or muscle pain, tendinitis, impingement, instability, headaches or arthritis.
There are many causes that can create chronic shoulder pain. The body often carries tension and stress in the neck so this creates an area prone to injury. Exercise, in particular strength training, can also contribute to shoulder pain because those muscles and tendons are not getting proper massage/release at the end of a workout. You’ll find muscles going into a “reaction” or “overworked” mode thinking they need to do all the heavy lifting. But it may be as simple as retraining your body to put more emphasis on other muscles to give the shoulders a break.
Before you head straight to the doctor or physical therapist for a quick fix, take some time to stretch and release the tension and tightness those muscles hold. Educate yourself on ways to balance out the muscles that move your shoulder blades and the functionality of each movement.Talk with a personal trainer about ways to stretch and strengthen areas of concern. And consider a hydro massage before AND after a workout to not only prep your muscles for exercise, but as a way to cool down and relax your muscles afterward. Your shoulders, and the rest of your body, will thank you!
Join us January Saturday, January 12th for a Pilates and Yoga combo class designed to focus on proper alignment, movement, and relaxation techniques to reduce common musculoskeletal problems that may be causing shoulder and upper back pain.