EmpowerPT_Protecting Your Shoulders From Injury

MARCH 2020 N E W S L E T T E R Y O U R H E A L T H I S O U R P R I O R I T Y

E M P O W E R P H Y S I C A L T H E R A P Y

PROTECTING YOUR SHOULDERS FROM INJURY It’s a familiar feeling. The ache in your shoulder keeps you up at night and the thought of lifting your arm over your head is torture. So, what do you do with a shoulder injury? If you have tried looking it up yourself you know that those aches and pains you are feeling can be serious. You also know just how many injuries occur within the shoulder area.

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ALSO INSIDE: • Reduce Your Risk of Shoulder Injuries • 5 ways to eat healthy • Exercise Essential

EMPOWERALASKA.COM

N E W S L E T T E R Y O U R H E A L T H I S O U R P R I O R I T Y

E M P O W E R P H Y S I C A L T H E R A P Y

MARCH 2020

EMPOWERALASKA.COM

That’s because this large joint is the connecting point for so many crucial daily actions. Among the most common types of shoulder injuries are biceps tendonitis, rotator cuff tears and sprains, arthritis and shoulder impingement. Injury Causes Many shoulder injuries result from tasks requiring heavy lifting or repetitive reaching motions. Along with manual labor jobs, work around the house such as cleaning gutters or hanging up wet clothes are common culprits. In addition, athletic pursuits like weightlifting, swimming, and tennis can unfortunately lead to shoulder injuries. Along with these activities, passive movements can also be a problem. If you have continuous poor posture, the improper positioning of your shoulders, canmake you extra vulnerable to scapula (shoulder blade) and rotator cuff injuries. PROTECTING YOUR SHOULDERS FROM INJURY

Know the Warning Signs All of us experience occasional aches and pains from doing too much, which does not necessarily mean a chronic problem is emerging. However, when those pains don’t go away, or when the uncomfortable feelings have certain characteristics, it’s important not to ignore them, and seek help. If you keep experiencing shoulder clicking or “popping,” for example, youmay have a ligament tear in your shoulder area. Sharp pain should also be checked out with your physical therapist, as this means the shoulder joint is not moving in good alignment. There are also more easily-ignored symptoms, like a dull pain that runs along the side of your arm, or sudden arm weakness whenever you try to carry something or reach for an object. These symptoms, you should definitely not ignore.

The 2020 Iditarod

REDUCE YOUR RISK OF SHOULDER INJURIES You can certainly ease problems associated with shoulder injury through medical attention and physical therapy. However, protecting your shoulders in the first place is always the best strategy. Make sure your posture is the best it can be at all times, whether it’s while you’re relaxing in your favorite chair, standing in line, hitting the gym, or working long hours at your desk. Think “up and back,” because letting the weight of your head and trunk rest forward puts pressure in all the wrong places, including your shoulders. Positioning yourself before sleep is also crucial; resting on your favorite side when the weight is on your shoulder can definitely create shoulder impingement over time. Avoid any positions where your arm is over your head while sleeping. You’ll additionally reduce wear and tear on your shoulders by being more mindful of how you use them. Does your job or sport absolutely require repetitive lifting, reaching or swinging? If so, it’s helpful to get coaching from a physical therapist -- or even an actual coach -- about how to reduce the strain on your shoulders by shifting your positioning and using correct technique. Along with placing your body more efficiently to perform tasks, it’s also helpful to strengthen your shoulder muscles for light but frequent daily chores as well as strenuous, repetitivemotions. Try to do a combination of some basic exercises a few times a week, in order to strengthen a range of muscles, including those in your rotator cuff region. Doing wall push-ups - essentially a standing push-up in which you “lift off” from the wall rather than the floor - is one classic option. Secondly, consider buying resistance bands, which are inexpensive and portable. Attach them to a doorknob and pull them toward you, holding for a few seconds with each repetition. Do these reps in groups of five, two or three times a day. Lastly, don’t forget that classic “chair push-ups,” in which your arms do the work of lifting off the chair, are great for toning shoulder muscles. If you have questions about an aching shoulder or wondering if you are setting yourself up for injury, give us a call to speak with one of our physical therapists today. Your shoulders will be happy you did!

You can’t compare it to any other competitive event in the world! A race covering 1000 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. She throws jagged mountain ranges, frozen river, dense forest, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast at the mushers and their dog teams. Add to that temperatures far below zero, winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, the hazards of overflow, long hours of darkness and treacherous climbs and side hills, and you have the Iditarod. A race extraordinaire, a race only possible in Alaska.

“They have loosened my frozen neck & back muscles with their dry needling technique.”

“Theyhave loosenedmyfrozenneck&backmuscles with their dry needling technique. I’d recommend them to anyone having short or long term pain issues.” -Sandra O.

WHAT OUR PATIENTS SAY SUCCESS STORY

5WAYS TO EAT HEALTHY 1. Eat More Omega-3s - Getting more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids might just help you keep your blood pressure down. Research suggeststhatomega-3scanhelp improveyour mood, which we all need a little help with in the short, dark days of winter. Aim to get two servings of fish a week, particularly fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and some types of tuna, which are rich in omega-3s. Not a fish lover?Opt forwalnutsand flax,whicharegood non fish sources of omega-3s.

3. Up Your Fiber Intake - Getting enough fiber may help prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancers. And eating more fiber may help you slim down. But the average person eatsabout14gramsaday—the recommendeddaily intake is21 to 38 grams. One of the easiest waystoupyourfiber intake isto eatmorewholegrains.Quinoa, whole-wheatcouscous,bulgur and polenta are all quick-cooking options to add to your weeknight repertoire. 4. Eat Less Meat - A popular reason to cut back on meat is to lose weight, but you’ll be helpingyourhearttoo.Whenyoureplacemeat with soy, you’ll naturally eat less saturated fat. While tofu might not have a real “flavor,” that’s what makes it so versatile—it soaks up the flavors of a stir-fry sauce or marinade like a sponge, making it taste terrific!

2. Pile On The Veggies - The majority of people don’t eat the daily recommended 3 or more servings of vegetables, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roasting vegetables caramelizes their natural sugars so they taste fantastic. It’s an easy way to cook veggies for dinner—pop a pan of them in the oven and make the rest of dinner while they roast.

5. Rein in Your Sugar Addiction - We eat too much sugar. We consume 355 calories—or 22 teaspoons—ofaddedsugarsaday.Luckily,you can still make treats that satisfy your sweet tooth and cut back on your sugar intake at the sametimebychoosingtreatsthatarenaturally sweet like fruit.

SERRATUS WALL SLIDE Place your forearms and hands along a wall so that your elbows are bent and your arms point towards the ceiling. Next, protract your shoulder blades forward and then slide your arms up the wall as shown. Then, return to original position and repeat 6 times.

EXERCISE ESSENTIAL TRY THIS EXERCISE TO RELIEVE PAIN

SHOULDER EXTERNAL ROTATION (BAND) Sit with good posture. Hold tubing in both of your hands. Tuck your elbows against your sides.Rotateonearmoutward,pullingagainst the tubing. Repeat 12 times on each side. Do this 3 times a day.

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