Shoulder pain is one of the biggest problems we see with our clients. Whether you are an athlete playing a sport that involves your upper extremities or someone who doesn’t play a lot of sports but sits stationary behind a desk and computer, shoulder pain can be inevitable. In both cases shoulders are a very complex part of our musculoskeletal region that are involved with most of our tasks and active daily living. Shoulder muscles function mostly in a coupling, agonist and antagonist pattern of muscle that creates a movement. The muscles have to work together to accomplish a one-plane or complex range of motion. This complex range of motion can often be comprimised during physical activity or sports that don’t engage the opposing muscles of the shoulder. This theory applies to people who work at the office and have to sit at a desk, using a computer. Sedentary lifestyles and working stationary often causes muscle imbalance in the shoulder by a group of muscles becoming weak through inactivity and dysfunction due to a prolonged short, contractile position.
Some of most common problems in the shoulders are impingement, tendinitis and restricted capsular movement. Common irritation like impingement and tendinitis occurs with repetitive movement like sports that involves the upper extremities (volleyball, tennis, swimming etc.).
Capsular restriction can be pathological, postural, or due to muscle imbalance. An example of muscle imbalance would be tight chest muscles which would restrict moving the arm away or raise the arm above the head. Postural mostly involves tight muscles which are attached and coordinate the front of the shoulder and weak muscles that are involved in coordinating the back of the shoulder.
Pathology like arthritis and some immunological diseases can affect the shoulder joint can lead to adhesion and sometimes fusion of the joint. Professional Physical Therapists are able to find out and have an idea about this by using special tests to indicate and differentiate the common injuries and the pathology of the shoulder girdle.
Alternative therapy like Massage Therapy is helpful to create a balance between weak and tight muscles in the shoulder region. Therapists are also trained to give you home care and exercises that help with the rehabilitation of the shoulder to return it to full function. Recognizing the common shoulder injury, tightness and muscle imbalance at the earliest stage possible is highly recommended, as ignoring an even minor pain in the shoulder and not seeking help may even cause further complications, which will cause more pain, discomfort and cost you more money to rehabilitate.
See your Massage Therapist if you have any pain or discomfort so the Therapist can help and assure you can be pain free and carry on with your active daily living whether you are playing sports or working at the office behind the desk everyday.