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5 Step Solution for Shoulder Stiffness

- Learn the common symptoms associated with shoulder injuries so that you can get clear on what type of shoulder injury you may have.

- Discover my five step solution that you can apply to any muscle in your body, so you can get back to your normal, physical activities - pain-free.


Now you can listen to me on the go. I've just released my new Playbook for Pain Relief Podcast. With new episodes Monday-Friday every week, I'm here as your therapist and coach to share my insights to help you transform your stress, tension and pain into health, happiness and vitality. **************************************************************************

Common Symptoms

- Shoulder stress, tension or pain

- "Frozen", immobile shoulder

- Reduced range of motion to the neck, shoulder and spine

- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

- Bursitis

- Tendinitis/Tendinosis - Arm numbness and tingling

- Neck pain and headaches - Radiating pain down the arm

Anatomy of the Shoulder

The shoulder is a unique, complex joint that is comprised of the humerus, scapula and clavicle. There are numerous ligaments to provide strength to the articulations of these bones and help minimize the risk of dislocation. In addition, there are an array of muscles that surround and connect over and around the shoulder to provide additional strength, movement and protection.

The shoulder has several movements which include flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal and external rotation. This accommodates a large range of motion which means that if you are not maintaining these patterns of movement and, performing strengthening exercises that challenge these ranges, when your body suddenly requires them, there is a much higher risk of injury to the shoulder.

The rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that keep the ball (head) of your upper-arm bone in your shoulder socket. These muscles include the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. I commonly see an imbalance in these muscles in my clinic that contribute to a reduced range of motion in the shoulder with the #1 culprit being the subscapularis. Fanning across the front of the scapula and attaching to the upper part of the humerus, this muscle shortens and tightens due to a rounded shoulder posture, and leads to further internal rotation which means that your shoulders can experience restricted range of motion and stiffness.

Below are my 5-steps that I teach my patients to help improve their shoulder health.

Restoring Balance in 5-Steps

  1. Move - increase your body temperature and blood flow to all your muscles.

  2. Massage - using a partner, lacrosse ball or foam roller to agitate the muscles.

  3. MOBILIZE - move the joints in their full range of motion.

  4. Stretch - focus on lengthening the short-tight muscles.

  5. Corrective Exercise - focus on strengthening the long-weak muscles.

This week I'm teaching you how to perform a mobility exercise for the shoulder to help improve its range of motion.

My prescription is to perform this exercise for 10 repetitions each direction at the most suitable level for you. Remember intensity is the shortcut to results. In this case, the intensity comes from the mobility level that you select along with the frequency of repetitions i.e. how many times per day or week that you perform. I suggest the following:

MAJOR SYMPTOMS - Mobilize 3+ times per day. MINOR SYMPTOMS - Mobilize 2-3 times each day NO SYMPTOMS - Mobilize every day!

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