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rotator cuff

Ep 378 – Why Does My Shoulder Crack, Pop, or Click?

Ep 373 – Improve Shoulder Rotation (Range of motion)

Ep 369 – Best Exercise After a Shoulder Injury

Ep 366 – Why Your Shoulder Always Hurts?

Ep 358 – Elevate/Depress Shoulder Mash

Ep 355 – Scapular & Shoulder Mobility Drill

Ep 347 – This Exercise is Killing Your Shoulder

Why Your Shoulder Still Hurts?

Not all exercises are created equal.  As a Sports Chiropractor and shoulder specialist, we often see a lot of shoulder injuries & rotator cuff injuries but all of these injuries have one thing in common… poor movement of the scapula.  This is called scapular dyskinesis and truly contributes to poor shoulder movements, increases the chances of neck pain and mid back pain as well.

Lets Talk Rotator Cuff

Many are familiar with the rotator cuff band exercises.  You know the ones where we use a band and rotate inward and outward?  Well, a lot (actually a ton) of people do this with weights in their hand but it is completely incorrect!!!

External rotation with the bands are fine but when it comes to using weights its pretty much useless.  The reason is that there is no force to oppose that movement, meaning you need to have resistance.  When you are holding weights in your hand the force of the weight (and gravity) is downward.  When you are doing this exercise, you are holding the weight in your hand then rotating in external rotation.  As a result, you are not activating the muscle within the rotator cuff and posterior shoulder girdle as effectively.

So what happens is people have to hold this weight in place (isometric hold) and they are mostly strengthening the forearm (grips) and bicep.  Yes, you may be getting a small amount of shoulder firing but its not a true shoulder or rotator cuff movement.  The rotator cuff is does rotation of the shoulder but the primary job is actually to hold the joint into a good position.  That is why you want a strong and stable muscles that are not undergoing imbalances.

The force you need to generate to get rotation (and the fact that there are no opposing forces) allows you to overly rotate and shear the rotator cuff, ligaments, and tendons within the shoulder which can then cause injury, damage to it.

If for some reason you are no doing damage to the joint then great… but the truth is you are NOT strengthening it so don’t expect to improve your rotator cuff strength or have muscle gains with this either! No wonder you are likely not getting the results you want or are continuing to have shoulder pain.

Strengthening a muscle requires resistance against a movement.  Weight (gravity) goes down, so you go up!  Want external rotation, well the weight then needs to be pulling inward.   Think about where your forces are before doing the movement and what you need to do to oppose or work against that movement.  Knowing this concept can help you avoid other improper movements and help you isolate other muscles.  You will be surprised the results you can get when you engage in proper joint mechanics and give the muscle complex the proper resistance.

Ep 320 – Why You Shouldn’t Stretch If you Are Injured & In Pain

Why You Should Not Stretch if You are Injured?

Stretching is not what it all said to be.  Yes stretching has benefits such as blood flow, coordination, and can help get you more flexibility but guess what?  There is minimal evidence for stretching and the prevention of injury.

If you ended up getting injured you are likely suffering some tightness, immobility, stiffness, and pain.  Most people jump right into stretching and they think that stretching while injured will help.  WRONG!  It will not help because your body is in spasm.  Essentially, it is in protection mode and that is dictated by your nervous system.  Your body is so smart that its nervous system sends a signal to the muscle and surrounding areas that tells them to “tighten up,” contract and protect that area.

If you stretch in this state, you are only going to be fighting an uphill battle because the nervous system controls everything.  You are not going to stretch intensely and magically get the pain, spasm, and dysfunction to release and I have never seen this personally or professionally happen!

By stretching during the pain you can likely injure the body more and you should move the best you can given your state.  You need to go through ranges of motion, contract muscles, and do it within a painless state if possible.  By doing this you will relax the body rather than putting it through more pain.  When you relax the nervous system, then and only then can you start to work on other areas.

Final thought, stretching is better to help movement patterns but should be done prior to injury NOT during an injury.

Ep 299 – What Does Pain Mean?

What Does Pain Mean?

Pain comes in all forms.  From burning your hand on a hot stove to neck, low back, hip shoulder, etc.  but WHAT IS PAIN?

Pain is a neurological signal sent to the body from the brain!  It is a way of brain communicating that there is damage, injury, or an unpleasant stimuli that can hurt you or create further injury to the body.

If you are currently in pain and been suffering for a while with pain, this is a signal that you MUST change and do something different.  It is a way if your body crying for help and that something is wrong.  If something is crying for help and is wrong well… you guessed it, it needs to be saved and you need to do something!

When you are in pain, you cannot thrive and truly be well.  When in pain and chronic pain you body then sends signals that increase inflammation, and they also release stress hormones all the time.  I encourage you that if you are still reading on and are in pain MAKE THAT CHANGE!  Go see a professional that can help, stop guessing, being stubborn, and start feeling and more importantly LIVING WELL.  You will thank me but more importantly, you will thank yourself.

Ep 260 – Thumbs Up For Good Shoulders (Shoulder Pain)

Shoulder Pain Rehab

When talking about shoulder pain it is most often the rotator cuff that is injured.  Most of the time much of the dysfunction and faulty movement patterns occur in the scapula and the muscles surrounding the scapula.  As a result, it is important to strengthen this area to get the joint back into a more optimal position.

When doing this particular exercise for the shoulder you want to make sure that you are getting some thoracic spine extension, strengthening the scapular muscles, and pointing the thumbs up.  This allows out to minimize the possibility for impingement within the shoulder.

When performing rehab its usually best to do higher reps and lower or no weight as seen here.  3 sets of 10 reps is a good starting point and this exercise is much more difficult than it looks.  With time you should start to feel muscles that were otherwise inactive begin to contract and activate. As that happens, you will be in better joint alignment and have better muscle recruitment.  All this will lower the chances of re-injury for the shoulder, upper back, and neck.

Ep 249 – Shoulder and Bicep Relief