Ep 378 – Why Does My Shoulder Crack, Pop, or Click?
Ep 376 – Frozen Shoulder, Common Symptoms
Ep 373 – Improve Shoulder Rotation (Range of motion)
Ep 372 – Shoulder Dislocation & Instability Tests
Ep 369 – Best Exercise After a Shoulder Injury
Ep 366 – Why Your Shoulder Always Hurts?
Ep 361 – Must Have Exercises for Shoulder Rehab!
Ep 360 – How Balance Improves Everything!
Ep 358 – Elevate/Depress Shoulder Mash
Ep 355 – Scapular & Shoulder Mobility Drill
Ep. 350 – How to Mash & Release the Upper Trap Muscle
Ep 348 – Neck, Back, Ankle, Hip Adjustment & Hypervolt
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 346 -Can You Really Get High Quality Food For Cheap?
Ep 341 – Do You Have A Short Leg?
Have you ever been told that you have a short leg?
In the health and Chiropractic profession I see a lot of therapist tell their patients that they have some sort of condition, dysfunction and in this case, a short leg. The troubling part is not the short leg but rather that the therapist is likely not telling you the truth or they actually don’t understand the mechanics of your problem.
Why is a short leg important?
Any short leg can cause a lack of symmetry in the body. That lack of symmetry can produce biomechanics changes that cause one side to be used more often and create wear and tear. We see this in the lower back a lot when people are suffering lower back pain, SI joint pain, and/or hip pain.
So whats the deal?
You most likely do not have a short leg! Yes, DO NOT! In order to evaluate a true short leg you need to take an x-ray of the leg, thigh, and pelvis. You would also need to take an x-ray of the opposite side so that you can compare them and measure them. First of all, this is no standard and common practice to take that many x-rays for such a dysfunction. Some Chiropractors still take Full body x-rays which will allow you to see the whole body in one picture. This is very outdated and the profession, medicine has moved away from this. Finally, this subjects you to x-ray beams (ionizing radiation) that would be excessive for that individual.
When could you have a short leg?
Most true short legs occur naturally by birth. Sometimes people may have a short leg if they had surgery and hardware placed in them that can cause a length discrepancy.
So I don’t have a short leg, whats happening?
Most of the time people are actually having a “functional short leg.” This is really where you can change the function of the body and mechanics of the body that make it appear that you actually have a short leg. For example, a lot of people have a spasm or tightness into the lower back (specifically the QL muscle) and that muscle attaches to the hip. If it goes into spasm it will elevate the pelvis and make it appear as if you have a short leg.
Most short legs are not real short legs and they are due to muscle imbalances, and a lack of symmetry in the mechanics of the body. Releasing the tight muscles, strengthening the weak ones and creating balance in the body is critical for better mechanics, reduced wear and tear, and optimal performance.
Ep 339 – Wall Walk Extension
How to Increase your Mid Back Extension?
Mid back pain often comes from overly tight upper traps, poor neck posture, tightness within the upper back, and tightness within the chest. The inability to have proper upper back movements often results in neck pain and shoulder pain. With all the sitting we do in todays society we also roll our shoulders inward, which contributes to a very tight and shortened chest.
Why Loosen up The Mid-Back?
Loosening the mid back up is easy in concept but you may need to do this fairly often and make some daily changes to your posture to help lasting results. Simply stated, you need to loosen up the muscles that are overly tight and strengthen the muscles that are too loose. This will help correct muscle imbalances. It is sometimes difficult to know exactly which muscles need the care but generally speaking the upper back, shoulder, and chest need a lot of work.
Adding extension into the mid back helps the joint mechanics of the mid back, neck, and shoulder. As the mid back starts to overly round (kyphosis), it allows the neck to protract or move forward. As this occurs your head literally will translate more and more forward which can increase a lot more pressure on the spine, discs, nerves. From this point, many of the other muscles will begin to overly compensate and tighten up.
In addition, the scapular (shoulder blade) is a joint that follows the curvature of the thoracic cage. It is actually attached only by muscles so essentially it is just free floating but its directly effected by the curvature/position of the thoracic spine. When the spine bends forward again, the shoulder blade muscles then become de-conditioned and the position of the shoulder blade tips forward. This creates too much elevation of the scapula and compresses the rotator cuff. Specifically, this will compress the Supraspinatus muscle and is known as impingement syndrome. Other shoulder injuries or conditions that can arise from this is called scapular wining.
Either way, when your thoracic spine does not have enough mobility and extension you are most definitely risking chronic mid back tightness, neck pain, and shoulder injuries to come. Sometimes this can be an easy fix but there are a lot of factors, muscles at play in this.
To keep it very simple, start with improving your thoracic spine extension on the foam roller. Place the foam roller under the back and roll out your mid back. You may want to cross your hands over your chest or grab behind the neck.
If you are more advanced or need to get more range of motion you can use your hands to go over your head. By using your arms overhead you can then use the palms of the hands to help walk your spine into further extension which can help improve your mobility. Often times you can feel a pop or crack. This is called a cavitation and is actually a release of gas in the joint space. No worries, it typically feels good and will not contribute the any problems. This sound is the same sound that occurs when you crack your knuckles or when the Chiropractor does an adjustment to your spine.
The cavitation will result in a slight increase in range of motion. You can stop the foam rolling if you like if you get a crack or pop but it is advised that you repeat this exercise often and you should likely do this at least twice. The body learns through repetition repeatedly getting more motion will only benefit your mid back.