Updated: May 20, 2022
Mike Jones Better Happy Founder
Enabling organisations and employees to achieve optimal engagement levels so they can make the world a better place
Shoulder pain is one of the most common pains we see in the developed world today. The shoulder is a complex joint (the most mobile joint in the body) with a wide variety of muscles contributing to it's strength and positioning. Unfortunately for most, as we spend increasing amounts of time in seated and hunched over positions, the muscles in the front of the shoulder become tight and the muscles in the back of the shoulder become weak and long. This leads to the shoulder moving out of it's natural position and creating ongoing pain.
Although the temptation is to rest it and maybe ice it, this won't fix the problem. What you need to do is release the tight muscles at the front of your shoulder, then strengthen the muscles in the back of the shoulder and rotator cuff (shoulder blade). I encounter this problem with working professionals regulary and prescrive the RSS method to fix this issue -
Release - The tight and knotted muscle
Stretch - The tight muscle
Strengthen - The weakened muscle adjacent to the tight muscle
Firstly use a hockey style ball and push pressure into and around the front of the shoulder to increase blood flow to the tight muscles.
Secondly you can stretch the tight muscles in a variety of ways but a favourite of mine is to grab a broom stick, lock your arms out over your head, place the broom stick against a door frame and slowly lean forward - bringing the hands close together increases the intensity of the stretch.
Finally, and this is key, you need to actually strengthen the weak muscles in the shoulder blade to pull the shoulder back towards its natural position. For this you can lie on the floor face down, then create a Y, T and I shape with your arms (like you are doing the YMCA on the floor with your head down but arms off the floor). You can do this up to ten times. As the shoulder blade muscles are weak using the weight of your arms is more than enough to strengthen them.
The worst thing you can do for shoulder pain is avoid moving and training your shoulders. If your pain is intense first see a physio to ensure there's not something more significant going on, but 9.10 a good physio will prescribe similar to what I have above.
On Better Happy training days we take employees and leaders through this process.
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