Neck Pain Again!

  
Here are a few ideas to help you manage the type of neck pain that comes every now and then, is more likely to be related to muscular tension. 

3 Common Upper Body Issues 

1. Upper Trapezius Dominance

  
Daily stress can cause your shoulders to ‘hike’ up which increases tension in your neck and upper back.  This can lead to muscle spasms and interrupt the way your shoulder blades move. Which can, in turn, lead to major shoulder problems. 
2. Winged Scapula (shoulder blade)

  
When your shoulder blades stick our or wing away from your back.  

There are many reasons for this – which should be addressed or the pain will remain.  Often certain muscles are in spasm – tests can identify which muscles need to be released to improve function and therefore reduce or remove any pain. 

3. Rounded Shoulders

  
This must be addressed to avoid shoulder problems and neck pain. 

I see this problem quite often in Pilates classes. As the instructor I have the chance to see where my clients have difficulty in moving arms overhead, and through many shoulder movements. 

  
Simple tests can identify which muscles are working too hard, causing limited movement through some joints. Exercises can, if practised regularly, reduce or remove this pain and improve joint mobility. 

It’s important to understand that

Chronic Pain is Common NOT Normal. 

This rule holds true in training OR in Ageing!

So, next time your neck pain occurs consider what you are doing, how you sleep, how you sit at your desk, when on your computer or tablet ……

Stay Healthy! 

Jax

A few reasons shoulder joints are injured in training

A few reasons shoulder joints are injured in training

1. The shoulder joints rely on muscles to support them and that means you must have good strength balance and symmetry anterior to posterior. Unfortunately most fitness enthusiasts only work the front of the shoulder and forget that the back (posterior) of the shoulders is the real deal.

2. Shoulders have the greatest range of motion in the body. As a result when someone loses 25%, it can go unnoticed. However lose 25% of motion in your low back, hip or elbow and you lose big time function. No different in the shoulder except that without noticing the loss, compensate in other areas which is when the problems begin.

3. Rotation and your thoracic spine is where you really help your shoulders out. The problem is very few people train the shoulder in a rotational plane. Therefore the thoracic spine eventually gets tight. Loss of thoracic spine mobility means the shoulder has to do more rotating. Not a good thing for the shoulder long term.

4. The shoulder is a joint that must have a strong integration between the pelvis, trunk, scapular and shoulder joint in order to function successfully and stay healthy. This is lost if all strength training is done in isolation without the other areas getting involved. A shoulder that plays alone is not a happy shoulder.

5. Keeping the Scapula (shoulder blade) stable and mobile is a great place to start protecting the shoulder joint and rotator cuff. Making sure the scapula is loaded before pulling movements are performed is how you get the scapula on board instantly. Performing movements that do not require full ranges of motion is essentially informing the scapula that he is not needed.

1. Don’t always choose just 1 or 2 movements. Hit the shoulders using 4 to 5 different movement variations in a workout

2. Constantly change your base of support to get you pelvis thinking when training – especially easy with bands.

3. Don’t go directly overhead with pressing. Allow your arms to follow a more real life, scapular plane – a sweeping arc – out, up and forward.

4. Work the posterior (back) shoulder twice as much as the anterior (front) shoulder. And Yes… chest training iIS anterior shoulder training. It’s really easy to get the posterior shoulder training with bands

5. Make the thoracic spine rotate by performing unilateral (1 side) training with the shoulders not just bilateral all the time.

6. Anytime you can reinforce getting a good scapular retraction with downward rotation… Go For it. PACK UR SHOULDER BLADES DOWN.

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