Injuries

Six simple exercises for shoulder pain

Shoulder pain is a common problem affecting more than a third of all adults at some point. There are a number of reasons why your shoulder may become painful and most of these will improve by:

  • Staying active with gentle movements of your shoulder
  • Taking painkillers to allow you to move
  • Trying simple exercises

Isometric exercises are exercises where a muscle contracts but the joint it works on does not move. These could also be called static contractions. Isometric exercises have been shown to reduce pain for a number of conditions and are a good starting point for simple shoulder pain.

Exercises provided courtesy of rehabmypatient.com our exercise programme partner.

It is normal for these exercises to feel uncomfortable or mildly painful but do not push into severe pain.

pendulum ii

1. Pendulum

Lean over holding on to a chair or table, let your arm hang down by your side, and swing your arm gently in circles. Try to let momentum and gravity move your arm. Go anti-clockwise and clockwise. This exercise is a great way to passively mobilise a stiff shoulder.

Hold for 2-3

Video: http://youtu.be/YYvl59eU78M

 

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2. Isometric shoulder flexion wall

Stand facing a wall. Decide If you wish to use a bent arm, or a straight arm. It does not really matter which you choose. Push your arm in front of you, into the wall. This will cause a contraction of the shoulder muscles. Hold the contraction, and relax. Repeat as required.

Perform 3-5s times daily | Repeat 6-8 times | Hold for 2-3

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3. Isometric shoulder abduction wall

Stand with your side to a wall. Push your arm away from your body into the wall. This will cause a contraction of the shoulder muscles. Hold the contraction, and relax. Repeat as required.

Perform 3-5s times daily | Repeat 6-8 times | Hold for 2-3

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4. Isometric shoulder adduction wall

Stand with your side to a wall. Push your arm inwards across your chest, into the wall. You can also use the side of a door frame for this exercise. This will cause a contraction of the shoulder muscles. Hold the contraction, and relax. Repeat as required.

Perform 3-5s times daily | Repeat 6-8 times | Hold for 2-3

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5. Isometric shoulder internal rotation wall

Stand with your side to a wall or a door frame. Tuck your elbow into your body. Push your arm inwards across your chest, into the wall. Keep your elbow tucked in to your side as you perform the movement. This will cause a contraction of the shoulder muscles. Hold the contraction, and relax. Repeat as required.

Perform 3-5s times daily | Repeat 6-8 times | Hold for 2-3

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6. Isometric shoulder external rotation wall

Stand with your side to a wall or a door frame. Tuck your elbow into your body. Push your arm outwards away from your body, into the wall. Keep your elbow tucked in to your side as you perform the movement. This will cause a contraction of the shoulder muscles. Hold the contraction, and relax. Repeat as required.

Perform 3-5s times daily | Repeat 6-8 times | Hold for 2-3

If your shoulder pain is not improving and you would like an assessment or if just want advice on specific exercises then please get in touch on 01236 425661, email at admin@jmcphysiocures.co.uk or contact us on social media.

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Injuries

Snap, crackle and pop: why do joints crack?

There’s a couple of options here, joints crack during normal joint movement and when passively forced within their limits, what we would call a manipulation.

Firstly, normal joint cracking – this happens when soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons rub over bony prominences. If you have some joint degeneration, wear and tear/OA, the joint surfaces are no longer as smooth as they were when you were a teeny bopper and this can result in audible cracking/creaking/rice crispy like sensations, known as Crepitus. Most common in the knee joint when going up and down stairs. This can be painful if the joint is inflamed so if you’re experiencing this, it may be an idea to get checked out by a Physio to look at improving joint control.

Read more: Four simple exercises for lower back pain

Another form of cracking is cavitation, like cracking your fingers, knuckles or neck, this can happen in natural movement but is more so associated with manipulation of a stiff joint.

What is Cavitation? – A manipulation causes the joint surfaces to separate slightly, the noise you hear is the release of gaseous bubbles in the joints synovial fluid when the manipulation causes a decrease in joint pressure. Like a localised stretch at a joint!

Self-manipulation wrists, fingers, necks, backs – we’ve all done it. Feels good doesn’t it? The relief you get is often instant, however it doesn’t last long and that stiffness will build back up. It’s fine to self-manipulate, but it can become a habit, this is where it can cause problems and become less effective, such as the joint becomes too mobile and lacks control.

Read more: What is the perfect posture?

WARNING – be careful if self-manipulating your neck or back, best advice would be to get yourself assessed by a qualified Physio/Chiropractor/Osteopath, there’s a lot of nerves and blood vessels around these joints which if manipulated improperly could do more harm than good!

Clicking, clunking and PAIN associated with a trauma…STOP! If you’ve had a slip, trip, fall or sports injury and feel a popping or clicking or any joint deformity, get it assessed. This is NOT normal.

So, to recap, joints click, its normal behaviour in the absence of any trauma.

The problem occurs when the joint itself is irritated (swollen, red, hot), if this is the case get it assessed by a Physio. Sometimes joints need a manipulation if they’re particularly stiff and this is always best carried out by a qualified professional who has an understanding of the underlying anatomy and joint mechanics but will also provide you with home exercises to help you improve joint mobility and /or control.

If in doubt, get it checked!

If you have any joint cracking related queries, please contact us on admin@jmcphysiocures.co.uk where one of our Physio team will be more than happy to get back to you!