Written by: Emilie Smale, Certified Athletic Therapist
The shoulder is a very mobile joint comprised of many muscles, ligaments, and tendons. With so many different structures in a small space, impingement and pain in the shoulder is very common. Your shoulder is made up of three bones; your upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). The three bones are held together with ligaments and supported by muscles. The muscles that are primarily involved in shoulder impingements are the rotator cuff muscles. A shoulder impingement is when there is decreased space between the top point of your shoulder blade (acromion) and the rotator cuff tendons. This decreased space causes rubbing/friction, resulting in pain, decreased range of motion, and often decreased strength due to pain.
his injury is common in all ages. It is seen most often in sports where the arm is overhead, such as volleyball, swimming, and baseball. Have you been remodeling your house during quarantine? It is also seen in people who frequently do activities such as painting and construction due to the overuse of overhead motions. It has also been seen in people who do a lot of computer work caused by a slouched, internally rotated shoulder position.
Things to look for if you suspect a shoulder impingement injury:
This injury can be frustrating for the individual to live with as it may hinder many activities of daily living. Luckily, there is hope. Once you have been diagnosed with this injury, your treatment plan will most likely involve a combination of heat, massage, and postural corrective exercises. See below for a variety of exercises to try to rehab a shoulder impingement. These exercises will help strengthen the upper back and posterior shoulder muscles, helping to keep your shoulders pulled back and out of that impinged position.
Prone I Y T
Laying face down, tuck your chin in and pull your shoulder blades back. Try to keep shoulders out of a shrugged position and away from your ears.
Banded External Rotation
Anchor your band next to your uninjured arm. Reach across your body to grab the band with your injured arm. Keeping your elbow at a 90-degree angle, shoulders pulled back and down, and your elbow tucked into your side, pull the band across your body and slowly return to the starting position.
With your back to a wall, place your shoulder blades, bent arms, and low back flat against the wall. Slowly slide your arms up the wall, maintaining contact, as if making a snow angel. Only lift your arms to a comfortable position, then slowly slide back down to the starting position.
This injury often involves tight chest (pectoral) muscles pulling your shoulder forward into an impinged position. Try this stretch to help increase the flexibility of your pectoralis muscles.
Written by: Taylor Post BA-Kin, CAT(C)
De Quervain's tenosynovitis (dih-kwer-VAINS ten-oh-sine-oh-VIE-tis) is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. In part 1 of this article we explored the signs, symptoms and cause of De Quervains tenosynovitis. Here we look at simple exercises that can be done at home to improve the symptoms of De Quervains Tenosynovitis:
Wrist Flexion & Extension Stretch
Hold the affected arm out if front of you (with elbow straight and palm facing up). Grasp your hand and gently bend your wrist down towards the floor. You should feel a stretch along the top of your forearm but it should not be painful. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and then repeat the stretch starting with your palm facing down. This will allow you to stretch the muscles on the opposite side of the arm. Perform the stretch 3-5 times each direction.
Place your hand on a table or flat surface, with your palm facing up. While keeping the back of your hand flat against the table (as much as possible), attempt to bring your thumb across your palm to touch tour little finger. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat 10 times.
Squeeze a soft rubber ball and hold the squeeze for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 15.
Place your wrist in a sideways position with your thumb up. Hold a small weight (a can of soup or a hammer can be used as a substitute) and gently bend your wrist up, with the thumb reaching toward the ceiling. Slowly lower to the starting position. Do not move your forearm throughout this exercise. Do 2 sets of 15.
Flexion and Extension
Still holding your small weight, place your arm on a table, with your palm facing up. Keeping the back of your arm flat against the table, curl your wrist up towards the ceiling and then slowly lower it back down. After performing 3 sets of 10-15 reps, repeat the exercise with your palm face down.
Try and perform these exercises daily. If the exercises exacerbate your pain, try decreasing the weight or the amount of reps that you are doing. You may also need to take a rest day between workouts. If your pain does not improve, it is necessary to consult a doctor or allied medical professional.
It is also important to remember, that while this article presents many helpful tools to get started, not every injury or rehabilitation process will be the same. Make sure to listen to your body and to consult a medical professional as needed. Your local Athletic Therapist is a great resource for injury advice, and will design a program to suit your needs and fitness goals!
To book an appointment with Taylor please email her at email@example.com subject: athletic therapy appointment.
Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists and Certified Personal Trainers.