We’re going to look into the #1 cause of shoulder pain and how to treat it. Shoulder pain is something that everybody suffers with at least once in their lifetime. The problem is we ignore it so much because you have 2 shoulders, so if one hurts you just use the other one. A lot of times this pain rolls into neck pain and can lead to numbness and tingling in your fingers and so on.
It’s really important when you recognize that there’s a shoulder issue that you address it.
It is really easy to stop doing things to make the shoulder pain go away, or you think it goes away, when really all you’re doing is narrowing the amount you can use it until you can’t use it anymore. Most people that come and see me who either have a rotator cuff tear or are recovering from surgery that fixed a rotator cuff tear did not get there because of a horrific accident.
Most people suffer a rotator cuff tear doing every day things, like shutting the door and all of a sudden feeling a sharp pain. Or going to turn a key and a felt the sharp pain, something that is so silly that you’ve done a billion times in your life and all of a sudden, your rotator cuff snaps.
Shoulder pain most often is just letting you know that your rotator cuff is irritated in some way, shape or form. So we’re going to go over how we relieve that irritation and how important it is to relieve that irritation.
Let's look at the shoulder joint.
This is a picture from the front. So you will have to picture your rib cage not being there. Where you see the bursae labeled is a small space in between your arm bone (humerus) and the top of your shoulder (acromion). What happens is that part of the rotator cuff goes through that space where the bursae is, where you see the supraspinatus, this is the part of the rotator cuff that goes through this little space. This is probably where the most shoulder pain develops.
When we sit at our desk or look at our phone hunched over, all we’re doing is taking this space that’s supposed to be there in between the 2 bones where the rotator cuff is supposed to be going through, and you are actually closing that space. So instead of having some space for the rotator cuff to go through, you slump forward and pinch the rotator cuff.
You effectively slowly begin to saw your rotator cuff. With the top bone acting as the saw and each time you close that gap, by slumping forward you saw a little bit more of the rotator cuff off each time. So this is why a rotator cuff tear happens with just a seemingly simple incident like putting your key in the door. You saw it away until one day doing the same action you saw of the last little piece and it tears.
But the rotator cuff tear usually isn't all of a sudden. We usually have warning signs, pain when lifting overhead, not able to sleep on that side, pain at rest, just a dull ache and so on. There are warning signs that that muscle is being irritated. Most of us ignore the warning signs because we can keep going, the warning signs don't stop us from doing most things and most of the time we can push through the pain.
This is also the reason that many times a change in position can relieve shoulder pain. You change position and allow blood to rush into the area and the pain to decrease. You change position and open up that space and the sawing and irritation stop.
And this is the #1 Cause of shoulder pain...
You can't have poor posture and solve any shoulder pain. Period.
In fact, poor posture leads to shoulder pain, neck pain and numbness and tingling going down the arm. You can't fix shoulder pain without fixing poor posture.
As your shoulder continues to hurt, what happens is you start to shrug your shoulders and it is completely subconscious that you do this. Your body is just doing everything it can to not feel pain. And pretty soon this becomes how you sit and stand everyday, with your shoulders shrugged up. Sawing at your rotator cuff, creating neck and shoulder pain and headaches.
There is no magic pill, no injection that will fix it. There are pills and injections that will take the pain away and allow you to trick your body that there is no problem but it is still there, you just medicated yourself enough not to feel it.
And recorrecting posture takes time. You aren't going to sit in good posture one day or one hour and have your whole body retrained. It didn't get that way overnight so it is going to take a lot of time for it to normal. You will need to set reminders on your computer and on your phone to remind yourself to push your shoulders down.
Every 15 minutes.
Yes, every 15 minutes you need to remind yourself. Until when you check, and you say to yourself, push your shoulders down and they no longer go down. You will need to set reminders for yourself.
And don't expect your shoulder pain to go away just by fixing your posture for a day. It will take awhile to get into the habit of good posture and it will take awhile to get the muscle calmed down in order for it to not hurt anymore.
This is the exercise that you have to do over and over again to fix it....
It is rolling your shoulders up, back and dropping them down. Or reminding yourself every 15 minutes to push your shoulders down, relax your shoulders. Many times in the beginning when you tell yourself this your shoulders will drop significantly. You will know you are getting better and your posture is improving if you tell yourself this and your shoulders don't drop as far.
You can see how to progress this exercise by subscribing to our you tube channel and watching some of our shoulder videos. You can find our you tube channel by clicking here.
If you would like more information on Shoulder pain, then click here to download our Shoulder Pain Solutions Book.