How to Prevent Shoulder Pain
If you have ever had that pain or pinch in side or front of your shoulder you know how annoying it can be. From putting on a jacket to reaching overhead everything tends to hurt. Fortunately there are a handful of useful steps you can take to help prevent this from happening. If you are currently in pain the steps below can also be helpful to get out of pain.
Step one: Mobility
If you have mobility limitations in your upper back or shoulder it can cause things to move oddly and cause pain in the shoulder. Below is a way to screen and see if you have any tightness in those areas.
Start by sitting on the ground with your legs crossed and your low back flat against the wall. From here grab a PVC pipe or broom handle with a shoulder width grip. Then without letting your low back come off the wall try and reach overhead. If you cannot touch the back of your knuckles to the wall you likely have tightness in your mid back or lats that can place additional strain on your shoulder, particularly if you are an overhead athlete.
So the next step is to fix this! Below are two different strategies to help loosen you up.
The first exercise is doing repeated extensions over the foam roller. This will help loosen your upper and mid back so that they can move correctly and allow you to move overhead. Perform 2 rounds of 25-30 seconds daily for this to be effective.
The next mobility need to address is the lats. One of my favorite stretches is the banded lat stretch. The picture below shows the set up.
You'll notice that in the photo he has his thumb pointed up the ceiling which is very important to make sure that the correct stretch is being performed. If this is done with the palm facing the floor the stretch will not target the correct muscles and may even cause issues in the shoulder. This is best done for 1 minute daily on both sides to be effective. After performing these two stretches its always important to go back and repeat the first test you performed to see if your knuckles got closer to the wall.
The next step to preventing or treating shoulder pain is to strengthen the rotator cuff. My favorite exercise is pictured below.
This helps strengthen one of the key muscles of the rotator cuff. This is best performed with 3-5 lbs for 3 sets of 15 reps. This should be performed 2-3 times a week for the best effect.
This should help bulletproof your shoulders and keep you moving pain free. If you have issues with your shoulders or would like to learn more about preventing shoulder injuries reach out and we would love to help you out!