Does your shoulder start aching towards the end of the day when you try to lift your arms? Are you met with shoulder pain and joint restriction when you reach overhead? Whether your pain is coming from an old injury or from overuse, these simple techniques can help your shoulders feel better and stronger.
Overview of the Shoulder
Your shoulder is one of the most complicated joints in your body and therefore is one of the most easily injured body parts. Your shoulder consists of 4 separate joints.
- Glenohumeral (GH) Joint
- Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint
- Scapulothoracic (ST) Joint
- Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint
The rotator cuff is a series of 4 muscles that form around the glenohumeral joint. These 4 muscles are critical to stabilize the humerus inside the socket. These muscles also function to guide ALL shoulder movements including reaching overhead. When these muscles are weak or damaged, the humerus bone can jam into the socket (glenoid) of the shoulder blade. This can negatively affect your shoulder joint mechanics.
3 Tips To Help With Aching Shoulders:
- Strengthen your rotator cuff muscles: Keep your rotator cuff muscles strong so that you have the proper stability in your shoulder joint.
- Improve your shoulder alignment and posture: Poor posture is a big reason for repetitive injury and pain in the shoulders. Prolonged slouching can cause your shoulders to protrude forward and disrupt the shoulder joint mechanics.
- Increase your Scapular (Shoulder Blade) stability and mobility: The shoulder blade must glide properly and stabilize your shoulder in order to perform proper shoulder movements. Each time you attempt to reach, lift, or pull objects, your scapula should be activated.
If you had previous shoulder surgeries or if you are tired of your shoulders feeling weak, achy, or painful, Respire Physical Therapy can help determine where the source of your aching is coming from. Call Respire PT today at 703-671-1871 to schedule a personalized evaluation and learn how physical therapy can improve your shoulder pain and strength so you can get back to doing daily activities pain-free!
Written by: Dr. Kevin Teng, DPT