If you play sports and train consistently injuries are just part of life. we do our best to avoid them, but sometimes shit happens and there is not much we can do about it. I've been someone to accept pain, if there is something going on in my body I want to know why. This approach has always served me well and is the reason I've learnt so much about my body and how to help others with their injuries.
Most people stick their head in the sand and train through pain. This is a BIG no no!
Recently I tweaked shoulder doing weight dips on the rings. I’ve never had shoulder issues and was a little stunned at the fact that I was dealing with it, but I understood it wasn’t just magically going to fix itself and rest definitely wasn’t the answer. There were 3 main components that got me out of pain and back doing what I love to do.
1. Soft Tissue Work
I started my warm-up with releasing the tension in my pec and the back of my shoulder (specifically the teres minor and major) this would immediately improve the range of motion and reduce pain.
I’d then move onto hanging from a bar, this can be quite painful but I would gradually fall into the hang until I could take my full body weight. In my experience you need to flirt with the pain.
To clarify I would gradually sink into the hang with my feet on the ground or on a box so I could control the amount of load I could put into the shoulders. Opening up shoulder extension (google this if unsure what this is) and my thoracic were also a big focus.
I didn’t address this very well in the video below, but if your thoracic is locked up, it will be extremely difficult to overcome shoulder pain. This is because every time you go overhead you will not get good extension through the upper back.
What this means is the scapula won’t upwardly rotate efficiently. Leading to the humeral head of the upper arm to impinge and compress nerves in the subacromial space of the shoulder.
3. Scapula Stability
The next step is scapula stability, having the ability to control your shoulder blades in all planes of motion, like it was designed to do is critical to avoiding future shoulder injuries. This also involves strengthening the upper back to bring balance back to the upper body, this will involve focusing on developing the lower trap. This is an area where most people are underdeveloped and don’t have the motor control required to stabilise their shoulder blades.
Check out the Video below for a more visual representation of how to address shoulder pain.
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