Shoulders can be complicated, but they don’t have to be. At our sold out Love the Life You Lead Shoulder (Not So) Basics Workshops, we educated on some simple strategies to be more mindful about what we ask of our shoulders each day. We have all heard about the strategies to switch sides with your backpack or purse, pick up items with the other hand, or try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant side… but those tricks can get old rather quickly. Here are a few key pieces of information that will help you as you work on maintaining or improving your shoulder health:
- This bone’s connected to that bone… There are lots of parts to the ‘shoulder joint’. Muscles, bones, tendons, etc. Also the back and the neck play a role because those pieces don’t shut off when we pick up our groceries, hold our kids, or do physical activity. Good posture, and strong, well-functioning back, shoulder blades, ribs, and neck also help to keep the shoulders working smoothly. Action Items: visualize the back of your head touching an invisible headrest and spiral your shoulders back and down in order to wake up the lat and serratus muscles that live under your armpit. These muscles, and not your neck muscles, need to be the main movers of your arm.
- Nerve flossing and Carly’s instrument assisted massage were demoed during the workshop. Nerve flossing sounds like an intimidating exercise given by your dentist but it in reality, this physiotherapy trick can help keep shoulders gliding with ease. Also called dural mobility, it’s a creative description of actively moving nerves back and forth within their sheath to help loosen the pathway. It can be done throughout more joints than just your shoulder, so if you are curious to know more, feel free to check in with Nicole, our physical therapist at Lead.
- The shoulders cannot glide easily if the fascia is holding them back as well. Because movements of the shoulder are so dynamic and a combination of many parts, fascial restrictions can limit the freedom of movement. As always, Block Therapy can be one of the untapped positives to help in this area. Releasing the pressure of tight fascia and striving for increased blood flow to the different muscles, Block Therapy classes can help you find out just how much movement you might be missing out on! Deanna Hansen, the creator of Block Therapy recently posted a video about frozen shoulder, click here to watch and learn more about how Block Therapy releases frozen shoulder. Action item: using your Block, a pinky ball or a foam roller you can work to melt the fascia that causes restrictions in the shoulder.
As always, we emphasize how much the integrated, well-rounded approach to looking at pain and injury can help broaden the horizon for improvement and relief. Knowing how the shoulder works and coming at it from many different angles (and therapies!) can also provide opportunity for tackling such challenges as shoveling the snow and many more physical activities we have to look forward to this winter 🙂
Education is power, learning about our amazing body is key to living your best life!