I help a lot of people who exercise; some are casual and others are very serious about their training. In both cases, they want to be pain-free and able to get the most out of their bodies. I am going to talk about the common injuries and problems I see and how they are related to posture (which means they can all be fixed)!
Today I’m talking about shoulders – Pinching pain when lifting overhead, rotator cuff pain/tightness, sudden fatigue during lifting, frozen shoulder, bursitis, catching, clicking, grinding, asymmetry, pain or weakness down the arms, and many others.
The standard advice is to stretch tight muscles and strengthen/mobilize the shoulder with exercises.
I can tell you that this may help your symptoms temporarily, but it is usually not going to fix the underlying problem and can make things worse. For instance, pulling your shoulders back all the time to stop your shoulders rounding makes your back arch. This messes up the biomechanics in that area and makes your breathing worse.
Most often, the true root problem with shoulder issues stems not from the shoulder itself, but from somewhere else in the body. The shoulder complaint is, therefore, a side-effect of the primary pathology.
Here is an example; Shoulder muscles attach from the top of your arm to the neck, mid-back, lower back, and ribs. They all work together as a single-functional unit. So, if one area is not operating properly, the other areas immediately get affected too.
Commonly, the upper/mid part of your spine gets misaligned. It becomes either twisted, too rounded, flat or even stuck in a reverse curve. This misalignment becomes the cause of many shoulder issues and needs correcting or the shoulder never gets better. In fact, the entire body works as a single unit, so any biomechanical issue can affect any other part of your body.
Another example is if you have a lower back misalignment. Commonly, this looks like your lower back is over-arching, your pelvis will tilt forward, your lower abdomen will stick out and your knees will lock out into extension. In order to stabilize the area, a big muscle called latissimus dorsi can get very tight and this disturbs normal shoulder motion as it will overpower all the other muscles. Most people work on this issue by strengthening, stretching, massaging, foam rolling, taping, etc. This does not fix the problem as latissimus dorsi will keep contracting until the lower back is re-aligned. P.s. Foam rolling on your spine makes it worse in the long run as it pushes the spine out of alignment!
What is needed is for all the possible biomechanical causes to be identified and corrected using a full-body correction protocol like the one I use – Advanced BioStructural Correction.
Rounded shoulders? The position of your shoulders is linked to the position of your top-most ribs. What I do is reset the first ribs so your shoulders immediately move back towards their neutral position. They stay there with no effort from you. I also correct the position of any bones in the body that are causing the crookedness. This ultimately improves your posture and massively improves shoulder motion and comfort – allowing you to relax and stop holding your shoulders.
Another great benefit of this is that your nerves work better (due to a decrease in spinal cord tension), increasing muscle strength and feedback. It also reduces compression of the chest cavity, and your active muscle involvement when breathing; improving your cardiovascular ability and reducing overall stress.
All this without any exercises, stretching, painful massage, taping, needles, surgery, and so on.
Remember that posture is passive so if you are having set your shoulders (i.e. actively pull them back), you are wasting energy, changing the normal movement pattern, reducing spinal mobility and not addressing the cause. When I start working with clients, most will notice an immediate and significant difference in their shoulder position and mobility from the first correction.
As we continue through the renewal journey, they can return very quickly to exercises they have been avoiding and make serious gains now that their body functions more like it should.
Ultimately, the entire body ends up working great, feeling light and without complaint. Would you like your body to do the same?