How to help reduce shoulder pain with 3 simple strategies.
Ever since the expansion of technology since the 80’s we are now beginning to see the toll taken on public health.
The majority of the population spends less time engaged in physical activity due to automation, cell phones, personal computers, and convenience.
This lack of mobility can lead to major forms of musculoskeletal degradation, in other words, the integrity and strength of your muscle become weak.
Up until recent years, the muscles of the body were always looked at from an isolated perspective, meaning that each muscle was its own individual motor of movement.
Today the body is now looked at as a whole, the main mover of the skeleton is known as the global muscular system.
This particular musculature group is composed of major muscles like the rectus abdominis, external obliques, erector spinal, hamstrings, glute max, lats, adductor, quads, and calves.
These muscles are strong and have a huge relationship with the muscles of the upper extremities ie: the shoulders.
The overall function and relationship of these muscles together as a whole are responsible predominantly for movement and affect the function of adjacent muscles connected.
Over the last decade bodybuilding has taken up a lot of popularity and for good reason, there’s no better way of becoming the ultimate version of your self than through the matters of physical training or bodybuilding.
It's important to remember however that the body is a biological machine, and none the less should be treated and maintained as such.
Proper understanding of muscle action allows you to move them in the most efficient manner, limiting the amount of unwanted stress that may compromise the joints and tissues surrounding them.
Our posture plays a huge role in the mechanical function of the muscle in our body. When the structure deviates, the local muscle and surrounding muscle functions begin to fail, which eventually lead to injury.
This image below just goes to show the level of stress put on the neck just from having your head in a forward flexed position.
Even at just 15 degrees of flexion, the neck is a victim to 27 pounds of force, which over time leads to chronic neck, shoulder and even back pain.
Shoulder pain is reported to occur in up to 21% of the general population. Shoulder impingement is the most prevalent diagnosis, accounting for 40-65% of all reported shoulder pain.
It is believed that the nature of this impingement is the result of degenerative changes to the shoulders capsuloligamentous structures, articular cartilage, and tendons as the result to altered should mechanics.
Proper mechanics are important not just in the Gym but outside as well. As mentions above the photo represents the he risk of using our cell phones without proper posture awareness which can lead to painful tissue trauma.
This trauma causes inflammation in the muscles which aggregates the pain receptors in the muscle, leading to adhesions (knots) which build more and more up over time, making the shoulders hard and rigid pulling them down and forward.
This tissue buildup forms crushing pressure of the brachial plexus ( the nerves that innervate from the neck thought the collar bone) between the collarbone and first rib.
Swelling in this area from excessive stress and imbalanced soft tissues can also cause an injury.
Here is an image showing the anatomy of the shoulder and pecteralis areas where the brachial plexus runs through the musculature
What is good posture?
Good posture is standing erect with your chest up, shoulder blades pulling the shoulder back with the arms relaxed down by the side.
The photo below should give you a good idea of how we should be standing when in a relaxed state whether inside or outside the gym scene.
In order for the body to fully repair and rebuild muscle tissue, it must be flexible and in alignment.
Obtaining correct posture the muscles of the body to prevent shoulder impingement starts with awareness.
The body will do what is most familiar, so if we are familiar with how we sit, stand and move given our modern day lifestyle than it's going to take much deliberate practice to reverse these chronic deviations.
How you can correct your posture?
Here at Bodi Cafe, we believe that the maintainability of the body requires proper care and awareness of the muscles and their correct movements.
There are 3 basic components you can implement today to start the repatterning of your shoulders to alleviate pain.
- Exercises (SMR, Static stretching)
- External Devices like the Bowtie
In order to begin moving the shoulders back you must release the tension and adhesive build up in the anterior portion of the body.
The muscles of the chest and shoulders should be worked manually with self-myofascial techniques.
Myofascial release techniques (MFR) are designed to go in and smooth out those hard knots, returning the fascia to its normal fluid and adaptability.
In MFR, a gentle, sustained pressure is applied to points of restriction (those bunched up spots), allowing the connective tissue to release.
Here is an example for SMR of the Pec and Shoulder:
After the adhesions are broken up you must now stretch those muscles, some basic pec major stretches will open up the broken tissue of the chest and shoulders, which allows more activation and recruitment of the posterior shoulder muscle like traps and rotator cuff muscles.
Heres an example for stretching the pecs:
This new activation requires deliberate conscious effort in keeping the shoulders back and chest up. This can be a difficult task to adhere to due to the altered neurological efficiency of the upper back and rotators.
So how do you keep your awareness while training your body?
This is why we LOVE the BOWTIE by Spud Inc.
If you have a slouchy posture, tight pecs, and achy shoulders then the Bowtie is for you. With minimal time and effort, you can help to correct these issues and more. Wear it at your desk, in your car or even at home while watching TV.
You can train while wearing the Bowtie by performing some exercises that strengthen the rotator muscles and bring postural integrity back to your body.
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In summary, you can start today to alleviate shoulder pain by
- SMR of the shoulders and chest
- Stretching the pecs and shoulders
- Wearing your Bowtie Device every day to retrain your mind-body connection.
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