Shoulder pain can change the game of life in some pretty substantial ways. Regardless of your normal level of activity, be it a daily session on the field or daily walks in the park, shoulder pain can severely limit your activity level. Because the shoulder joint is so complex and so mobile, it is beneficial to schedule an appointment in one of our New Jersey offices to explore what may be the cause of ongoing shoulder pain.
We understand it can feel intimidating to consult with an orthopedic specialist about pain, but we want you to know that, often, the shoulder can be supported without surgery. Even if an injury or degeneration were severe enough to warrant surgery and physical rehab, the shoulder joint is one that can benefit from ongoing support. Here, we discuss tips from sports medicine professionals for managing shoulder pain.
- Work the chest. When chest muscles are pliable and flexible, the shoulder is generally more mobile. If the chest muscles are tight, they can be loosened with massage using hands, fingers, or an object that can be rolled over the skin. The chest can also be stretched gently by standing in a doorway with one hand one each side. Leaning forward with hands in place, the stretch can be felt in the chest.
- Stabilizing the shoulder blades. There are 17 muscles that attach to each shoulder blade. That’s a lot! Exercises that help to stabilize these muscles include seated rows and good old-fashioned scapula squeezes, in which the shoulder blades are brought together toward the center of the back.
- Overhead stretches such as hanging from a bar over the head can be good for the shoulder. Conversely, lifting weight over the head can increase the stress on the rotator cuff. It isn’t necessary to reach any higher than shoulder level to adequately work chest, back, and shoulder muscles. For assistance with proper strength training, enlist the help of a qualified personal trainer who is familiar with shoulder joint injuries and how to prevent them.
- Posture up! Studies have shown that poor posture can contribute not only to back and neck pain but also to shoulder pain. The posture you want to maintain to support pain-free shoulders looks like your shoulder blades sitting “down and back” and your chin hovering over the rib cage rather than leaning forward.
Get help for shoulder pain without fear. Our staff and physicians believe in conservative care whenever possible. The first step in resolving shoulder pain is to undergo a thorough examination to uncover what is affecting this joint. To schedule a visit with us, call (973) 942-1315.