The shoulder is one of the largest and most complicated joints in the human body. It’s formed where the upper arm bone fits into the shoulder blade, like a ball and socket, and with a couple other bones and a liquid filled bursa, it is wrapped in a plethora of tendons, ligaments, cartilage and muscle. The “ball” of the upper arm bone fits loosely into this socket, giving the joint a wide range of motion, but unfortunately it can also be vulnerable to injury. How can you protect this important joint structure and what can you do for shoulder pain prevention and relief?
Increase Functional Flexibility
For years people have been stretching statically when warming up their muscles before activity, but new research is challenging the idea that it can help prevent injuries. Static stretches are those where muscles are held in an elongated position. Instead, it’s now suggested that dynamic stretches, or an active warm up, can better prepare muscles for function by slowly infusing them with oxygen from increased blood flow and by activating the nervous system. This is especially important for the muscles in the shoulder, which can be prone to forceful movements (like pitching, hitting, excessive or repetitive overhead motions or weight bearing), and can result in injuries like tears in tendons or dislocation from being tight.
Increase Shoulder Stability and Use Correct Form During Movement
In 2006, about 7.5 million people visited their doctors about shoulder pain, and more than 4.1 million of them were for rotator cuff injuries. Shoulder pain prevention involves protecting this very mobile joint from injury, not only during athletic activities like swimming, playing tennis or weightlifting, but also during those that are repetitive or include overhead motion, like washing walls or hanging curtains. Many times, weakness in the shoulder muscles can lead to instability, and basic movements can be performed with incorrect mechanics, straining the soft tissues in the joint and leading to irritation and pain. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain from day to day activities, working with a physical therapist to improve your range of motion and joint stability is key for shoulder pain relief.
Correct Improper Sleeping Posture
Most people sleep on their sides when resting, and studies into sleeping positions show that many prefer one side to the other. The problem here is that repeated pressure on the shoulder joint from the weight of the torso can reduce blood flow and eventually lead to stiffness and shoulder pain, and even impinge nerves, giving you numbness or tingling into the arms and fingers. Some sleepers even rotate their elbows up under their pillows to rest on their arms, stressing the tendons and ligaments in the shoulder and shortening muscles. Changing your sleep position to one on the back is simple method for shoulder pain prevention.
Are You Seeking Shoulder Pain Prevention or Relief?
At Pain Stop North Phoenix, our goal is to manage your pain quickly and effectively, while providing you with a customized treatment plan including a multi-disciplinary approach that addresses your specific conditions. Call us to get your recovery underway and to find the shoulder pain relief you need.