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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Martin

Rotator Cuff / Shoulder Pain

Rotator Cuff injuries - can often be easily resolved with massage and exercise.

Now I should be specific here in that if diagnosed with a ‘Frozen Shoulder’ this generally refers to when the shoulder movement is significantly restricted due to the degree of inflammation in the supraspinatus or infraspinatus tendons, or worse than that calcification has occurred within one of the tendons. What follows applies to any shoulder impingement problem where there is pain on raising the arm out to the side (abduction) and/or twisting (rotation)

These problems can begin with a sudden jolting movement causing muscle or tendon damage but are more often the result of repetitive movements with the shoulder joint in poor alignment. This poor alignment can be either due to an imbalance in the rotator cuff muscles usually causing the humorous (upper arm bone) to be internally rotated. What this means is that rather than your hand naturally dangling with the back of the hand facing out to the side (pic 1) the back of your hand faces forward (Pic 2).

Or because the shoulder girdle is protracted meaning that your shoulders are forward of the line of your spine which is the result of tight chest muscles and weak back muscles particularly Lower Traps and rhomboids.

Or as a result of both of these conditions (pic 3) which is becoming increasingly more common with the amount of time we now spend on computers and driving.

Try for yourself lifting your arms out to the side starting standing in posture 3 and then in posture 1. (Tip for posture 1 imagine squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades).

Pic 1

Pic 2
Pic 3

Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3

The good news is that unless calcification has occurred generally these problems can be easily rectified. Initial treatment is massage to release the excessive tension in the relevant muscles together with some regular stretching. This should then be followed by a programme of corrective exercises to get you to learn how to use the muscles that externally rotate your shoulders properly and to properly use the muscles that pull the shoulders back into proper alignment (retract and depress the shoulder girdle).

I have corrected these problems successfully with many clients over the years most successfully using the combination of massage and exercise, although I have achieved it through exercise alone it just takes a lot longer usually.

For further information you can contact me or 07980 695185

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