Shoulder pain and tension can uncomfortable and seem like a never ending condition. There are a number of reasons that contribute to shoulder pain such as repetitive motions and lifestyle factors such as working long hours at a computer and or desk.
Chronic shoulder pain is often caused by prolonged, repetitive, or awkward movements. This type of pain is also known as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or cumulative trauma disorder.
In order to prevent shoulder pain, we need to understand what its contributing factors are so that we can identify which factors apply to you.
Why Are Shoulders Prone To Injury?
The shoulders are capable of moving in any direction, the socket that allows the rotation of the head of the humorous is not a true ball and socket joint which opens it up to injury as it is less stable.
The smallest amount of inflammation can bring about friction in the joints and can increase the current and previous injuries. The rotator cuff plays a large part in keeping the head of the humorous in place and can be easily damaged.
When one facet of the shoulder becomes injured the internal structure begins to impinge on other areas of the shoulder resulting in tendonitis, inflammation and degeneration of tissue.
That seems to me like a pretty good reason to keep it easy on the shoulders and rest when you feel strained.
Sports that heavily use the shoulder are:
- Aerial arts.
- Contortion and many more.
Contributing factors to shoulder pain are:
As you get older, the natural wear and tear of the muscles and tendons can slowly begin to deteriorate just as the connective tissue thins and decreases with age. This can cause irritation and inflammation.
Is a degenerative bone disease in which the cartilage that normally protects the joints begins to deteriorate. This affects the smooth gliding motions in the shoulder.
Impingement or Rotator cuff damage
The rotator cuff muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder together can be weakened or torn. This can result in a frozen shoulder. If you are experiencing this problem I have written a complete routine to release stiffness in the internal and external rotator cuff.
The upper arm bone can come out of the shoulder socket, some contortionists do this multiple times as part of their training and career. Dislocations can happen due to incorrect technique with applied force or trauma.
The connective tissues that support the shoulder may thicken and tighten around the joint. This restricts the movement of the shoulder. If you are suffering from a frozen shoulder try these internal and external rotation stretches.
Reducing the risk of athletic shoulder pain and injury.
# 1 Training Regime
By participating in a year round training regime that includes resistance training, agility training plyometric training and flexibility training. This will strengthen the muscles, joints and increase pliability of the muscles and tissues surrounding the joints.
#2 Sport Specific Warm Ups
Warm ups and cool downs need to include similar motions to what you will be performing in your activity. The warm up needs to include dynamic movements as well as sports specific movements. For instance if you were going to play a tennis game you would want to include sports specific movements such as shoulder rolls, arm circles, side steps and arm crosses.
#3 Shoulder Stretches
Straight Arms Behind The Back
- In a standing or seated position.
- Place both hands behind the back.
- Interlace the fingers with the palms facing each other.
- Extend the elbows so that they are straight.
- Slowly raise the arms towards the sky keeping the elbows straight.
- To come out of it simply descend the arms.
Seated Lean Back
- Sitting on the floor with your legs out infront of you.
- Extend and place the arms behind you with your palms flat on the floor.
- Point the fingers away from the body.
- Slowly slide the hands away from the body.
- You should feel this in the head of the shoulder.
- To come out of it simply bring the arms back towards the body.
For more upper body neck and shoulder stretches check out 13 best neck and shoulders stretches. This covers the back and sides of the neck as well as the muscles that run down into the shoulders.
If your pain continues down from the neck into the upper back chest and shoulders then you should implement 21 Relieving Upper Body Stretches into your daily stretching routine for prevention and relief.
#4 Strengthening The Shoulders
Shoulder Press Machine or Weights
This movement can be completed with resistance bands or weights. For this example I will instruct for weights. You can use water bottles, cans or sand bags. The possibilities are endless.
- In a standing or seated position.
- Bring your hands by your side palms facing towards the body.
- Bring the arms upward towards the sky and fully extend the elbows.
- Allow the elbows to bend and bring the hands so that they are inline with your shoulders.
- Extend once again so that the arms are fully extended.
- Elbows, wrists and shoulder should all be stacked on each other.
- Continue the extension and depression 15 times for 3 sets.
Prevention For Non Sport Based Shoulder Pain
#1 Listen to your body
When you feel your shoulder is getting sore or aching after a certain activity or movement, pay attention to it. If the pain is severe and persists, it is best to see a doctor.
#2 Stay physically active
Exercise regularly and keep your body in a healthy physical shape. This can help strengthen your shoulder and avoid injury.
#3 Perform a daily stretching routine
I recommend 13 Best Splenius Capitis Stretches for neck and shoulders and 21 Relieving Upper Body Stretches if the pain continues into the upper back and chest as part of your daily routine.
Perform this routine before and after work to release tension and ease pain. These stretches are so simple that you can even perform them at your desk if you need relief.
#4 Correct posture
Take care of your posture and when you are sitting all day. Keep in mind to:
- Plant your feet firm and flat on the ground or a footrest.
- Keep your thighs parallel to the ground.
- Tuck the pelvis under and engage the lower core to support for your lower back.
- Support your elbows and keep them close to your body.
- Keep your wrists and hands aligned with your forearms.
- Relax the shoulders.
#5 Arrange your workspace
Keep your desk in level with your elbows while sitting. If the desk is too high, it can lead to shoulder fatigue. Your computer screen should be about an arm’s length away from you and your monitor, as well as keyboard, should be centered in front of you.
#6 Keep a headset
If you use your phone extensively in your job, consider investing in a headset. If this is not possible then avoid cradling the phone between the ear and shoulder while talking.
#7 Take breaks or walks in between
Experts suggest taking a 30-second micro-break every 30 minutes throughout the day. With each break, move or shake out your hands and arms. You can also relax your eyes and massage head and neck muscles.
Treating shoulder pain
After overuse such as post work out you can use the RICE principal to help elevate swelling, pain and discomfort. RICE stands for Rest Ice Compress and Elevate. Avoid movements that will aggravate the shoulder such as reaching overhead.
If your shoulder pain is quite prominent immobilize the shoulder and see a doctor. You can immobilize the shoulder by giving support through the use of a sling.
Pain can also be managed by over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are prostaglandins a family of chemicals that are produced by the cells of the body and have several important functions. They promote inflammation that is necessary for healing, but also results in pain, and fever; support the blood clotting function of platelets; and protect the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of acid.
Common NSAIDs are Ibuprofen and Aspirin.
If the shoulder pain is persistent or develops slowly, it’s better to get it checked with your doctor. The longer the pain persists, the more difficult it becomes for your shoulder to move. It may even enable you from lifting your arm over the head (frozen shoulder).
The doctor may refer you to a physical therapist, who will help you strengthen your shoulder muscles and improve its movement.
If the damage to the shoulder is severe, you may be recommended for a shoulder joint replacement. This surgery can be used to treat painful conditions of the shoulder, such as arthritis and fracture. Shoulder replacement surgery cost can be expensive but it is worth finding a leading medical doctor.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Keep your body protected, once we gain injuries they always seem to flare up in the future. Start your prevention routine today to avoid injury.
In happiness and health,
Co writer Sachin Saini the marketing director for Lyfboat.