5 Of The Best…....Tips To Keep Your Shoulder Healthy To Avoid Injury

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body.  It is more of a complex than a single joint as it consists of 5 joints, over 30 muscles and 6 major ligaments. The main shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, which allows a very wide range of movement, therefore it is easily prone to overuse and injury. Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal complaint presenting to physiotherapy and the pain and disability associated with shoulder problems can have a large impact on individuals’ ability to complete their normal daily tasks.

With that in mind we have given you a few tips below to try keep your shoulder healthy and injury free.

  • Get your upper back moving

The shoulder is an incredibly mobile joint; the scapula glides around the thoracic cage in order for the shoulder to reach its end range of motion. If you do not have adequate movement in the thoracic spine (upper back) and ribs the shoulder is not able to function properly. These mobility restrictions can be helped with stretching, soft tissue release or foam rolling prior to exercising.

  • Strengthen your rotator cuff

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that are attaching your scapula to your humerus and work to rotate your arm either inwards or outwards. Their secondary function of keeping the head of the humerus stable and in its socket (holding the shoulder joint in place).The rotator cuff are exercises that are often skipped when exercising in the gym.   It is also essential that you ensure the balance of strength in the muscles at the front of the shoulder and at the back, to ensure the head of the humerus is centred in the socket.

  • Correct your posture

Think about your daily posture in sitting and standing. Have a look in the mirror, if you have rounded shoulders or your head is in a forward position, then your shoulder is not in its ideal position and over time can start to cause pain due to altered loads on the joint. Basic posture changes to improve shoulder motion include rolling shoulders up and back, then letting them relax down, tucking chin down lightly, and sitting up from the hips.

  • Core stability

Core stability is critical for the body and provides a stable support for the shoulder to work off. A good shoulder needs a good foundation. The core also provides the kinetic chain for overhead activities, allowing the trunk muscles to transfer energy and momentum to the shoulder for overhead sports or activities. If the core is not stable, significant extra loading and strain is passed on to the shoulder joint

  • Stretching

If you sit at a desk or work at a computer you are especially susceptible to carrying tension in the shoulders.  Being in static seated position for a long period can really stiffen up the muscles at the front of your chest and neck which can pull the shoulder into a poor position for function. You can also get stiff muscles around your shoulder from overload especially lifting or poor exercise technique. Try and add pectorals muscle (at the front of the chest), lateral neck, triceps and latissimus dorsi muscle stretches into your daily routine.