Shoulder pain can be a real bummer. Shoulder pain comes in the form of bursitis, rotator cuff pain, biceps tendonitis, post-operative pain, acromio-clavicular (AC joint) pain and many other conditions.
Assuming you don’t have significant problems like tears or arthritic changes, there are usually a couple unifying problems that contribute to all these stubborn issues. And just like everywhere else in the body, the answers are simple once you understand how the system works.
The big idea to understand is that our shoulder girdles (including the shoulder blade and arm bones) are essentially floating systems on the rib cage. They’re unique and, because they’re not a primarily weight-bearing system, work a little differently than other areas of the body.
Fortunately some really smart people figured out some specific rules and landmarks about how this system works. And if these are off, they tell a story about what isn’t working and what is working too much.
We’ve found one common problem is poor function of a large muscle called the trapezius. The trap, as it’s commonly referred to, is so large and unique that it has many functions—kind of like a hand. And just like your hand if one of your fingers isn’t working, it throws the whole thing off.
Often this is one of the big keys to what you’ve been missing. Restoring trap function will involve strengthening a particular “finger” of the trap as well as fixing your posture strategy and how you’re using your arm. This ensures the fix will be permanent.
We understand how the body works as a system here at Body in Balance Physical Therapy. In addition to manual therapy techniques, therapeutic dry needling, deep tissue laser and other types of treatments, we target how you’re using your body—fixing your habits. This is a powerful approach to fixing pain.
Regardless of whether you have shoulder pain from:
We can help.
To learn more about how and why shoulder pain typically happens, please watch this short video.
At Body in Balance Physical Therapy, we evaluate your entire system affecting your shoulder pain, bursitis, rotator cuff pain, biceps tendonitis, post-operative pain, or acromio-clavicular pain from your rib cage to your head.
We will likely have a new answer for you—one that is more complete. Please contact us to set up an appointment. Every new shoulder pain patient receives a free copy of my book, Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain.
Or check out my new ebook to see our take on getting rid of stubborn pain.