HOW TO BULLETPROOF YOUR SHOULDERS

Shoulder injuries are a common occurrence, it can affect all walks of life from elite athletes to office workers alike.

The shoulder complex lives up to the name… it’s complex! People frequently overlook the areas beyond the shoulder joint itself, which are crucial elements to ensure proper functionality. With correct understanding and the right approach, you can effectively strengthen your shoulders and start to enjoy full and pain-free movement.

Here are the four key areas to consider when bullet-proofing your shoulders:

THORACIC SPINE MOBILITY

Thoracic spine mobility is an essential component to ensure your shoulders are able to move freely and smoothly. It is key to ensure our thoracic spines are extending (bending backwards), as this contributes to around 20 degrees of overhead movement of the shoulder joint. Failure of this can lead to shoulder impingement issues and increased risk of injury as a result of reduced mobility.

how to bulletproof your shoulders

SCAPULOTHORACIC CONTROL

The scapula, also known as shoulder blades, play an important role in the fluidity and initiation of shoulder movement, and is a fundamental component in allowing your arms to reach overhead. Limitations in this area can result in less movement and pain subsequent to unengaged muscles around the scapula.

how to bulletproof your shoulders

SHOULDER MOBILITY

Now that we understand the importance of surrounding areas that allow our shoulder to move optimally, we can now start to focus on the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint itself. It may just be tight muscles, (e.g., lats, pecs) that may be the cause of a lack of mobility, in this case performing some stretches will help restore range of motion. It is recommended to seek active stretches (e.g. arm swings) compared to passive (stretch and hold), as it’s able to allow more freedom of movement for longer.

Passive therapies can be applied at home for mobility deficits beyond muscle tightness, gentle techniques like behind the back towel pulls are a great way to stretch our rotator cuff muscles and provide desired range of motion.

SHOULDER STABILITY AND STRENGTH

This component is the most crucial in restoring function in your shoulders. Often people can feel discomfort in the front of their shoulder and potentially radiate down the arm. This can cause confusion on whether our nerves are involved, but it’s most likely due to our muscles behind the shoulder (infraspinatus & teres minor) that cause these symptoms. 

Exercises like banded shoulder external rotations will help address the potential imbalance you could be facing. There are a plethora of exercises to help address this issue, and it’s never a ‘one exercise fits all’ strategy, it is vital to ensure that exercises are correctly targeted based on a thorough assessment and become more challenging through the use of progressive overload.

WE CAN HELP!

If you would like to learn and fix your shoulder concerns.

Book Online at Fortitude Chiropractic or call us at (08)6184 8835 and start the journey of bullet-proofing your shoulders.

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