Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shoulder Mechanics

Ok, shoulder mechanics are probably not the most exciting topic for most people, that is, until their shoulder starts hurting. The shoulder joint is a very unstable joint, held together by ligaments and muscles. It also needs to be very mobile, too. This combination of being very unstable and requiring mobility makes the shoulder joint very prone to dysfunction and pain.
Optimal function of the shoulder joint is dependent on the correct positioning and stability of the shoulder blade (scapula) and the correct positioning of head of the humerus (upper arm bone). The humerus and the scapula move together, this is called scapulo-humoral rhythm. The Scapula needs to be able to rotate upward as the arm goes up to maintain optimal position of the head of the humerus.

Since the shoulder is very complicated, there are many things that can go wrong. Let's look at the one issue.

While lying on your back, reach your arm back, over your head. Optimally, you would be able to lay you arm flat on the ground wothout pain. If you can't or if you have pain, like in the picture above, then you have dysfunction. What is wrong? Commonly, tight muscles are to blame. Which muscles? Well, it could be many including: the pectorals (possibly one downfall of perculating pecs), Lats, Rhomboids, etc. Whichever muscle(s) is (are) tight will require stretching to allow proper scapulo-humoral rhythm.

More issues to come.

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