A pain in the... shoulder

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					YL W E L L B E I N G

  A pain in the... shoulder
  Shoulder pain spoiling                          ■ poor trunk posture, involving forward
                                                    displacement of shoulder blades and
  your day and cramping                             neck, and increased curvature of
                                                                                                  These exercises will help you to
  your style? Jane Banting                          upper back
                                                                                                  maintain older shoulders.
  explains about ‘older’                          ■ age-related factors such as:
                                                                                                  1. Stretch muscles at back of
                                                    – degenerative changes in rotator
  shoulders and how to                                cuff musculature, increasing risk of           shoulder. Reach arm across
  manage them.                                        muscle tear                                                body, with elbow
                                                    – a reduction in body speed and                                bent. Gently pull
  Shoulder pain is common among the                   mobility, which can adversely affect                         on elbow with
  40-plus age group, and can affect quality           sports techniques.                                           opposite hand until
  of life and our ability to exercise and keep                                                                     a stretch is felt in
  fit. It is commonly musculo-skeletal in         Reducing the risks                                              shoulder. Hold for
  origin, arising from the ball and socket                                                                              10 seconds
  joint of the shoulder, the acromio-clavicular   To help reduce the risk of shoulder                                       and repeat
  joint at the tip of the shoulder or the small   injury, include in your regular fitness plan:                             5 times.
  muscles surrounding the shoulder joint          ■ thorough warm-up routine of neck and
  (called the rotator cuff) We can also suffer      shoulder prior to exercise including:
  referred pain in the shoulder/arm as a            ■ flexibility exercises of neck, upper
  result of problems in the joints and muscles         thoracic spine and shoulders
  of the neck and upper back.
                                                    ■ postural exercises (chin tucks and

                                                       shoulder blade squeezing inwards
  What causes shoulder pain?
                                                       and downwards)
  The main causes of shoulder pain in the                                                         2. Strengthen rotator cuff muscles.
                                                    ■ strengthening exercises of
  40-plus age group are:                                                                             Stand with elbow bent 90 degrees,
                                                       the scapular and rotator
  ■ repetitive loading in sport                        cuff musculature                              and hand across chest, holding
    (e.g. swimming, tennis)                                                                          small weight. Rotate arm
                                                  ■ detailed cool-down routine
  ■ repetitive overuse in the workplace                                                              outwards away from
                                                    after exercise.
    (e.g. high intensity keyboard or                                                                 body, keeping upper
    mouse usage)                                  When to seek help                                  arm close to body.
                                                                                                     Hold 5 seconds and
  ■ trauma (e.g. fall on the outstretched         Seek help from a health practitioner if
                                                                                                     repeat 10 times.
    arm or directly onto the shoulder)            pain affects your work performance,
  ■ degenerative changes in the joints            home activities, sleeping pattern or
    and muscles due to ageing or                  exercise routine. If you ignore pain, and
    previous trauma.                              your symptoms worsen, the shoulder
                                                  will become weaker which increases
  Risk factors                                    the risk of further injury. YL
  Factors that predispose us to suffer
  shoulder pain are:                                   MORE
  ■ faulty movement patterns between the            Jane Banting is a musculoskeletal
    joints of the shoulder and the shoulder         physiotherapist who is a partner at
    blade due to muscle tightness (in               Melbourne Physiotherapy Group.
    posterior shoulder muscles) or                  Ph (03) 9529 2258                             3. Improve control of shoulder
    weakness (in the muscles of the lower           Email
                                                                                                     blades. Squeeze bottom of
    shoulder blades and rotator cuff )              To brush up on the anatomy
                                                    of the shoulder, visit                           shoulder blades closer together,
  ■ instability of the shoulder joint                                                                keeping shoulders relaxed. Hold
    causing too much movement of                    chapters/17.pdf                                  5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
    individual bones

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