Continuing this week with the aches and pains we see on an all too regular basis - shoulder pain. Here are a few common causes of things like shoulder impingement, rotator cuff injuries, etc.
1. Lack of cervical (neck) mobiliy - If your head enters the room before you, or you can't lay comfortably flat on your back without something under your head, there is a problem. For years commonly caused by sitting for long hours in poor posture in front of the TV or computer, this problem is now exacerbated by the ever increasing amount of time staring down at our 'smart' phones and similar devices. Implement mobility drills for the neck and solutions to improve your sitting posture.
2. Lack of thoracic (upper back) mobility - I.E. Hunchback of Notre Dame Syndrome. Also caused by poor sitting posture, as well as weekness of the shoulder stabilizers. Implement mobility drills for the spine, and strengthen the surrounding musculature through exercises like rows, deadlifts, band pull-aparts, and batwings. Additionally, make use of the foam roller to calm down the tissues on the opposite side - chest, shoulders, serratus, etc.
3. Poor exercise programming - The group most often guilty of this are males aged 13-30 who are routinely known for participating in National Bench Day every MWF. In short, if there is an imbalance in the ratio of horizontal pushing to pulling there will eventually be a problem. Not to mention, you will look like a caveman. The paleo lifestyle has some health benefits no doubt- but this is not one of them.
Most people would be well served with a pulling/pushing ratio of 2:1.
Additionally, those trainees and trainers who dive right into training without some sort of movement assessment like the FMS run the risk of injury by implementing exercises that simply aren't safe for that individual. The most common example is overhead pressing. If your bicep doesn't line up with your ear when your arm is extended overhead, you have no business doing any overhead work until your mobility improves. Bending over backwards to get it there doesn't count. Insist on overhead pressing without this requisite mobility and it's not of matter of IF, but WHEN you will hurt yourself.
If you are not assessing, you are guessing.