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Shoulder Pain

“Ouch!  My shoulder hurts when I lift my arm over my head, or when I open a door, or pour the milk.  I’m sure it’ll go away in a few days.  No big deal”.

How many times have you said this to yourself?  Shoulder pain, including pain in the upper arm when using your shoulder, is a sign that you have either a shoulder joint or shoulder muscle injury, not to mention the possibility that your spinal joints may be contributing to the problem.  These problems don’t just go away.  The pain may subside, you may find clever ways to compensate for the positions and activities that cause the pain, but the actual “problem” still exists until you actually correct the problem.

What should you do?

Visit me and tell me about your shoulder problem as soon as possible.  The likely cause is a rotator cuff muscle imbalance, combined with an inability to properly control the shoulder joints (joints is plural because we actually have a few joints involved in the shoulder.  The two important ones are the glenohumeral joint (ball & socket) and the scapula-thoracic joint.)  Because of our sedentary living, sitting, computers, etc., few of us have good scapula-thoracic mobility.  As a result, we overload our glenohumeral joint and, in turn, our rotator cuff.  {Be honest, how many people do you know who have had a “rotator cuff injury”?! I bet the answer is really high}  The solution is not to rely on time and medication to make the pain go away.  The solution is to restore proper shoulder mechanics.

Pain reduction is part of the therapy.

But, restoring proper rotator cuff strength and balance, improving scapula-thoracic mobility, and simply making the parts of the body “place nicely with one another again” is the real key to shoulder pain and shoulder injury rehabilitation.

If your shoulder or upper arm is hurting, please do yourself a favour and let me or another therapist you trust properly diagnose the problem and get you on a treatment plan to resolve the problem.  Don’t let it fester for months or years only to learn too late that it needs surgical intervention.  You’re better off in the long run to fix the mechanics with conservative rehab now, rather than have surgery later.  Anyway, even if you have surgery, you have to do the rehab afterwards anyhow, so why not do it first and avoid the risks.


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