Are you worried about shoulder pain? Is shoulder pain keeping you awake at night or stop you from doing things you enjoy? Are you concerned that your shoulder pain is affecting your quality of life or even your ability to earn a living?
In last week’s shoulder pain article, we talked about some of the areas in the shoulder that can cause pain. This week we will dive into some other factors affecting shoulder pain that you may not have considered.
Shoulder pain may start with an injury, arthritis, or sprains and strains among other things, but there are also other factors to consider that may cause your pain to be worse than normal.
Many shoulder injuries start as neck problems. Individuals with neck problems tend to move their shoulders in such a way as to avoid neck pain. Over time this altered pattern of movement causes shoulder pain and sometimes injury. The reverse is also true, shoulder pain and injuries also affect the neck. It’s important to have both areas examined when planning for rehabilitation.
The shoulder and the spine work together to position the hands for activities you perform. If the spine is not flexible, the shoulder then takes up the slack. Over time, this can lead to sprains, strains, and impingement in the shoulder. Many shoulder injures can be resolved simply by treating the spine. Addressing spine flexibility takes the strain off the shoulder allowing it to move normally and recover.
Exercise is essential to shoulder health. Exercising regularly allows circulation of fluid in the shoulder joint that improves cartilage health. Strong muscles, and the rotator cuff muscles, support the joint and protect it from damage and degeneration. What is important to know is the different types of exercise and how they affect shoulder health particularly if you have some degeneration or arthritis already. Many standard gym exercises can be bad for your shoulders, so it’s best to check with a physical therapist before you start your program.
Excess weight can be responsible for damage to all joints including shoulders. Therefore, losing even a small amount of weight can make a huge difference in the amount wear and tear that occurs in your joints on a daily basis. Contrary to popular notions, exercise is not the key to weight loss. The truth is that diet is the key to weight loss. The important part of dieting is to find one you enjoy and can stick with. Many diets come with mobile phone apps that help you set goals and track your food and exercise – keeping you accountable and improving your chances of success. Many people find that having a health coach to keep them accountable is the most effective way to lose weight.
In next week’s article, we will talk about treatments available for shoulder pain.
Do you have questions about Avala Physical Therapy or one of its programs? Call and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Physical Therapist experts today at 985.801.6265.
Thanks for reading. I hope you found something useful in this week’s article. Check in next week for more tips and tricks on how to get healthy and stay that way.Paul Jones, Director of Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation Services
Avala Physical Therapy