Adelaide West Physio + Pilates | Headache Clinic logo

Do you have shoulder pain? Your shoulder blades might hold the answer!

Lisa Vernon, physiotherapist, writes this week’s blog.  Shoulder blade function is a topic that relates to a course that she attended in Melbourne recently on assessment and treatment of shoulder problems.

 

The shoulder blade (the scapula, if you want to be clever) provides the foundation for movement at your shoulder.

The position in which the shoulder blade rests and the way that the shoulder blade moves is REALLY important for shoulder function.

It can make the difference between the shoulder moving well in the socket and getting a nice balance of muscle activity, and the shoulder not moving well in the socket, overloading certain parts, and the shoulder becoming painful.

Next time you are near the mirror have a look at your shoulders.

If you look at the line from the base of your neck down to your shoulder, does it look like a downhill ski slope or is it relatively level.

It is a rough guide, but if it is relatively level, that is a ‘normal’ resting position.

If your shoulders look like a downhill ski slope…..chances are your upper trapezius muscle isn’t actually doing the work it should be.Shoulder depression and lengthened upper trapezius

 

One possible reason is that for years, there has been a big focus on bringing your shoulders down and back.

 

If your shoulders are normally up around your ears like earrings that advice was probably helpful.

However, it may be that though years of bringing your shoulders ‘back and down’, you have in fact ‘switched off’ your upper trapezius or at least given the message not to work as hard.

Certain muscles get picked on a lot as ‘problem muscles’ like upper trapezius, but it is good to remember that all the muscles in our body serve a role. There aren’t any that don’t have a role to play – they all have to work harmoniously for an outcome.

If we ‘switch a muscle off’ or inhibit its’ function, we change the biomechanics.

In this case, if the upper trapezius muscle gets inhibited, the consequence can be that different structures of the shoulder, muscles and tendons get loaded adversely which can result in a tissue changes, shoulder injury and eventually pain.

The key as always is prehab, not rehab!

If you have any questions about your shoulders or any shoulder pain, give me a call to have a chat.  Call 8356 1000 and ask to speak with Lisa.

 

If you aren’t sure about which physio or even which health discipline is right for you, download our ebook to help answer your questions.  It will give you all the right questions to ask!

Share this article and help someone

About the author

Russell Mackenzie
Russell Mackenzie
Russell is a physiotherapist and clinic owner in Adelaide, South Australia. He received his physiotherapy degree from UniSA in 1994, and has since also become a Credentialed McKenzie Therapist. Russell is the co-owner of Adelaide West Physio + Pilates and more recently, Adelaide West Headache Clinic, which was formed after becoming a Watson Headache Certified Practitioner to show his dedication and passion for headache and migraine treatment. Russell also aims to spread the word about the role of physiotherapy and non-surgical methods of helping persistent pain, low back pain and other conditions. Learn more about Russell on our About Us page.
Russell Mackenzie

Russell Mackenzie

Russell is a physiotherapist and clinic owner in Adelaide, South Australia. He received his physiotherapy degree from UniSA in 1994, and has since also become a Credentialed McKenzie Therapist. Russell is the co-owner of Adelaide West Physio + Pilates and more recently, Adelaide West Headache Clinic, which was formed after becoming a Watson Headache Certified Practitioner to show his dedication and passion for headache and migraine treatment. Russell also aims to spread the word about the role of physiotherapy and non-surgical methods of helping persistent pain, low back pain and other conditions. Learn more about Russell on our About Us page.
Table of Contents
Categories

Recent Articles

Popular Articles

Body area, Conditions and injuries
An ankle sprain is one of the most common sporting injuries. It is also commonly poorly managed. Lachy talks about how ankle sprains happen, and how they SHOULD be managed.