Most athletes have had a shoulder complaint at least once in their life. Chances are, if you went to see a doctor or health care professional, you were probably diagnosed with shoulder impingement. Suppose you’re like most people who have received this diagnosis. You’re probably wondering, what exactly is being pinched or impinged? The answer is your supraspinatus (or part of your rotator cuff) rubbing on your shoulder blade.
What can be done about shoulder impingement before it becomes a complete tear and needs surgery? Well, here at Eastside Wellness Chiropractic, the first thing we check is your midback mobility. We must check this first because your supraspinatus will keep getting pinched if you have shoulder impingement and midback mobility. Imagine the little old woman with an extreme curve in her back. She will most undoubtedly have shoulder pain as well. Don’t believe me? Try bending forward in your spine, and then try lifting your arms as high as you can. You should notice that you can only raise your arms about half as high as usual.
Exercises for midback mobility
Klapp Crawl Foam Roll - Shoulder Bretzel Stretch
Once you gain the proper midback mobility, you will almost always have scar tissue and faulty movement patterns because your brain has learned to avoid pain. Therefore, you start overusing your neck muscles to save your shoulder. At this point, dry needling or soft tissue is very important to help stretch out the overworked muscles. Following this, the brain must be retrained using shoulder stability exercises. Here are a few that we like from Dynamic Neuromuscular stabilization.
Quadriped for Scapular Stability Arm Bar