Shoulder, Elbows and Wrist
What to do when you begin to shoulder pain?
- Generally speaking most shoulders have pain, but are not injured.
- Injured tissue would mean that something is torn or damaged and will need a surgical solution.
- Hurt: this implies you have hurt the tissue (pain) but not necessarily damaged it beyond conservative treatments
- Pain is not an indicator of severity, only that something happened and it doesn't feel good.
- Overuse or Misuse --> Also called Cumulative Trauma Syndrome
- Poor posture
- Poor control of the shoulder Girdle itself: scapula, thoracic spine, clavical
- Weak Core or an inefficient core function
- Trauma - this is where you may have fallen on an out stretched arm/hand and jammed the shoulder joint pretty good. These are not as common as an overuse type situation, but they do happen.
What to do?
- Stretching: NOT at first. Pain in the shoulder has more to do with a joint or multiple joints that are not working well and not efficiently which causes a break down in the soft tissues and eventually pain
- Stretching, pass throughs and the like are great, once you are out of pain and understand what systems were not working that caused the pain and you have fixed them
- Exercises: Choose the proper ones to fix the shoulder. There are so many out there to do, but it is NOT a one size fits all
- Core, glute and basic stabilization exercise almost always help calm and treat it
- Ice or Heat? This is dependent on you. Try both and which every you thinks help the most, use it.
Shoulder Pass Throughs --> it is about flexibility with the shoulder girdle NOT a muscle stretch.
- Keep your thoracic rib cage depressed and down
- Tummy and glutes active
- Perform 5-10 pass throughs for every 60 minutes you are sitting throughout the day
- Perform sitting down - just keep that rib cage under control
The DO NOT's
- Arch your lower back
- Cause pain in the neck or shoulders or ANYWHERE ELSE!!!
- If you are causing pain or having pain STOP as mentioned above you are not ready yet
- Hold your breath
- Go to fast - perform these at a nice slow rate and feel the stretch throughout the pec
Pec Minor Flossing with the LaCrosse ball
- Placement of the ball on the mid pec muscle
- Move your arm up and down and in multiple directions
- When you find a tender spot - hold the ball still and move the arm more
- Perform 2-3 times a day
- Breath while performing
The DO NOT's
- Bruise your tissues
- Cause pain anywhere and especially the joint
- Do not arch your lower back or elevate your chest
- Hold your Breath!!!!
Wrist/Elbow Mobility - Basic Wrist/Elbow Stretch
- Hold stretches for 30-45 seconds
- DO NOT cause pain in the wrist, elbow or anywhere else!!!
- Maintain a good neutral thoracic spine and ribcage
- BREATH!! DO not hold your breath
- Perform 3-4 times a day especially if you are working at a desk for a majority of the day
Low Back Pain with Disc Involvement
- Pain, deep in the hip
- Pins and needles down the leg, into the calf and/or foot and toes
- Numbness in the lower leg, foot and/or toes
- Weakness: you can not move your toes, walk on your heels or toes
- As above, when the disc becomes involved at this level there have been micro-traumas to the disc over the years and it is finally weakened enough to bulge, protrude or herniate into the nerve root space
What to do?
- Typically this one is an immediate spinal ortho referral, MRI to gauge severity and possible surgery depending on severity. NOT ALL DISC problems are surgical. Quite a few can be handled conservatively.
- Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg
- Usually only one side of the body is affected
- Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
- Hip pain
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
- Irritation of the nerve root of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine
- Muscle spasms in the back or buttock
- Sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone on your vertebrae.
- True Sciatica is generally linked to disc involvement but not usually as intense as far as pain and nerve symptoms (loss of feeling and strength in the lower legs and feet)
- Acute tenderness in the buttocks and sciatica-like pain down the back of the thigh, calf, and foot
- Symptoms often become worse after prolonged sitting, walking, or running and may feel better after lying down on the back
- Lumbar herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Piriformis muscles runs from your lower spine to the top of your thigh bone. When this muscles presses on your sciatic nerve the pain is caused.