Shoulder Imbalances

After gardening and playing tennis, Steve came to me with pain in his shoulder and upper arm. Injuries of the shoulder muscles and tendons are among the most common complaints of my clients. The majority of my client’s shoulders are forward due to poor posture patterns and repetitive motion or trauma. The muscles in the back of the body become overstretched and weak, and the muscles in the front of the body become tight and contracted.  This imbalance around the shoulder creates tensions in the joint, causing a neuromuscular attempt to restore balance.  This imbalance makes us more vulnerable to shoulder injuries.   By assessing the restrictions in Steve’s muscles, I was able to create a treatment protocol to address his pain.  I realized that the shoulder pain was most likely from myofacial restrictions and trigger points in the muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder. If left untreated, the pain in the muscles and tendons of the shoulder could continue for a long period of time without resolution. These shoulder problems can lead to joint degeneration and arthritis as the cartilage wears down and causes problems in the joint.

We as humans have a great range of motion and strength in our shoulders; however, the shoulder socket is not deep. Picture the shoulder joint like a shallow dish with a ball attached.  When we strained muscles and tendons, we can cause micro-tears to the muscle tissues. When the muscle tissues tear, matted scare tissue formx to repair the damage. The scar tissue binds and causes pain in motion. Trigger Points form which will refer pain up the neck and down to the back and arm.   The protocol needed to help the body to heal would include massage, myofacial release and multidirectional friction, eccentric scar tissue alignment, and stretching and toning to achieve pain free movement.

Deborah Karlan, LMT

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