The shoulder girdle is perhaps the most complex, intricate collection of joints in the body. Comprising four bones, over fourteen muscles, eleven ligaments and four different joints, it is easy to see why this is one of the most commonly injured areas of the body. If you suffer from shoulder pain, you’ve probably heard of the following injuries or conditions:
• frozen shoulder
• trapped nerves
• shoulder instability
• rotator cuff injury
• repetitive strain injury
• muscle strain
The trick to solving shoulder pain is to find the root cause of the pain. This might be a tight muscle, a misaligned collar bone, a nerve impingement, or the cause may even be in a different area of the body altogether, for example in the opposite hip.
A common cause of shoulder pain is bad posture, especially in this day and age when we all spend far too much time hunched over computers, smart-phones and tablets. The difficulty arises from the fact that once you’ve developed shoulder pain, it doesn’t take more than about fifteen minutes in a “bad posture” to exacerbate the problem. Without addressing your posture, you won’t be able to rid yourself of shoulder pain in the long term.
Other causes of shoulder pain include trauma, repetitive strain from incorrect biomechanics, and even emotional causes such as grief or repressed anger.
The most frequent question I get asked is “What can I do myself to help it?” Well, to answer that question, I’ve put together a list of the top five tips that I recommend to break free from your shoulder pain.
1. Have your posture assessed. Most workplaces will provide this as a Health & Safety standard. At your computer, you need to make sure the top of your screen is in line with your eyes; your elbows should be at your sides (the further forward your elbows go, the more stress you’ll be putting on your shoulders) so you might want to bring your keyboard right to the edge of the desk; and your back should be relaxed against the backrest of your chair. I include a postural assessment of every client who books in for a “Break Free From Shoulder Pain” Consultation.
2. Limit repetitive activity. If you suspect that your shoulder pain might be caused by a repetitive action, for example a particular exercise at the gym or a sport such as golf or tennis, then you should limit that activity and, if possible, get one of our professional Personal Trainers to assess your technique. More often than not, you will be able to continue with the activity once you have corrected your technique.
3. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. A diet that is high in protein, rich in green leafy vegetables, high in omega 3 fatty acids (so include lots of fish) and stay well hydrated. Try to reduce if not eliminate altogether your intake of all grain-based products like bread and pasta, and again reduce alcohol intake.
4. Embrace movement. Whilst repetitive activities can cause shoulder pain, a lack of movement can do just the same! Your body was built to be a dynamic, moving, flowing organism. Sedentary lifestyles are leading us to move less and less, resulting in more and more pain. Doing some simple shoulder rolls, swinging your arms about a bit, and stretching your arms and shoulders could do wonders for your pain levels.
5. Get your shoulder assessed by a qualified health-care professional. There’s a chance that if you act on the first four tips that I’ve outlined, your shoulder pain may resolve on its own. However, experience has led me to believe that when it comes to shoulder pain, most people will need hands-on treatment that’s why I’m offering you a free Consultation. To find out more about this opportunity contact the studio on 01926 495691