Tight shoulders and struggling with a low range of motion in your scapula? You could have a tight capsule that is restricting your range of motion. Try these four shoulder posterior capsule stretches to open up the shoulders.
The posterior capsule is defined as the region extending from the glenoid rim medially to the humeral head laterally, and from the biceps tendon superiorly to the posterior band IGHL inferiorly, with the posterior band IGHL reinforcing the posterior–inferior capsule.
In english that means that the back (posterior) shoulder joint as well as the connective tissues that surround it.
The tightness of the posterior capsule and the muscle tendon unit of the posterior rotator cuff can limit internal joint rotation.
Damage to the muscles surrounding the shoulder joints is known as an impingement.
Studies by the American journal of medicine show that shoulder impingements can be corrected with the implementation of a stretching regime for the posterior capsule.
According to WebMD the rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that keep the ball (head) of your upper-arm bone (humerus) in your shoulder socket. It also helps you raise and rotate your arm.
Each one of these muscles is part of the rotator cuff and plays an important role:
A rotator cuff tear is often the result of wear and tear from daily use. You’re more likely to have this if you have a job where you need to move your arm a certain way over and over, like a painter or a carpenter, or you play sports like tennis and baseball. It also can happen suddenly if you fall on your arm or try to lift something heavy. It’s usually treated with physical therapy and medication, or you may need surgery.
Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon that attaches to a bone. It causes pain in the area just outside the joint. Common types of tendinitis include pitcher’s and swimmer’s shoulder.
Bursitis is when the bursa (a small sac filled with fluid that protects your rotator cuff) gets irritated. That can happen when you repeat the same motion over and over again, like throwing a baseball or lifting something over your head. It also can be caused by an infection.
Sports that heavily use the arm can create tightness and irritation. Some of these are baseball, tennis, football and cricket.
“The overhead throwing motion leads to overstress in the posterior-inferior structures of the shoulder that cause repetitive microtraumas and, consequently tightness of the posterior-inferior portion of the capsule and rotator cuff muscles, generating GIRD” (Braz. J et al).
On a scale of 1 -10 with 10 being your muscle is ripping of the bone, you want to be around a 4 when it comes to the muscles of the upper body. The muscles and tendons are smaller and more delicate. Secondly if you move past this point you will find that your muscles will contract.
You will need a peanut to do this exercise.
This stretch looks as though it would be as easy as pie. Mind you I find this one quite difficult to hold longer than a few seconds. I like to try and team it up with some of my other stretches such as: When I am taking a supine middle split I will place my arms in the siesta stance. Kill two birds with one stone.
Try and implement stretching and strengthening at least three times per week.
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In happiness and health,
Timothy F. Tyler, Stephen J. Nicholas, Steven J. Lee, Michael Mullaney and Malachy P. McHugh. Internal Impingement, American medical journal. Sports Med 2010 38: 114 originally published online December 4, 2009.