Relieving Shoulder Pain Naturally

Wellness Expert Newsletter

• 3 Ways To Beat Achy Shoulders • Exercise Essentials • Patient Results • Understanding Cycling

Do you find your shoulders aching at the end of the day or when having to lift your arms? Whether your pain is from an old injury or just from moving all day long, try these simple techniques to feel better and stronger. Why your shoulders hurt Your shoulders are the most complicated joints in your body and one of the most easily injured. They have to move through an incredible 180 degrees of motion, while still maintaining stability and strength. Some of the most important muscles in the shoulder are actually the smallest. The rotator cuff is a series of 4 muscles that form a cuff around the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint. Although they are small, they are vital to guiding how the shoulder joint moves. When these muscles are weak or injured, the head of the humerus bone can jam up into the socket of the shoulder blade, causing inflammation and pain.



Try these simple actions to improve the health of your shoulders and alleviate that nagging ache or sharp pain for good. 1. Keep your shoulders aligned by doing postural exercises – The number one reason for repetitive injury and pain in the shoulders is poor posture. With prolonged slouching, the shoulders protrude forward changing the mechanics of the way your shoulders move. This weakens your rotator cuff and shoulder blade (scapula) muscles. It predisposes you to injury. 2. Strengthen your rotator cuff muscles – By keeping your rotator cuff muscles strong, you help guide your shoulder joints throughout the day, lessening the chance for injury and inflammation to occur. A simple exercise to perform is lying on your side with your top arm straight up towards the ceiling. Now slowly lower the arm down towards your hip, but not all the way, then back up to the ceiling. Repeat 10-15 times for 2 sets every other day. Stay within a pain free range of movement. Stop if you have any pain and talk to one of our therapists. 3. Improve your scapula stability – The scapula (shoulder blade) is a part of your whole shoulder complex. It has many different muscles attached to it, pulling at just the right time for proper

shoulder movement. Every time you reach, pick up or pull, you use your scapula. Improve the stability of them by performing scapula exercises. A simple exercise is standing against a wall and gently trying to pinch your shoulder blades together, while keeping your arms relaxed. Perform 10-15 repetitions, holding the contraction for 5 seconds. By working on these 3 simple actions, you can dramatically improve the performance and feel of your shoulders. You should also consider making an appointment with a physical therapist, to evaluate your shoulder mechanics and prevent injury.

Each visit improved my condition! “I came to Canyon Sports Therapy upon recommendation of a running friend who told me she thought the therapists and doctors were “magic”. At that time I needed some magic. I was in a lot of pain. Lots of tears while driving long distances and sometimes in the night. My first visit with Brad was amazing. When I left, I felt there was hope. I drove that day and while the pain was not gone, it was tolerable. Each visit improved my condition. I am so grateful for all the help. The little things that were painful, I now do without thinking. The harder things, I can do knowing I can manage without pain. Thank you so much!” - P.P. PATIENT RESULTS UNDERSTANDING CYCLING

Cycling is a repetitive sport, with a rider averaging up to 5,400 revolutions per hour. This can cause soft tissue breakdown in the legs, pelvis, low back and neck resulting in pain and inability to ride. Causes of overuse injuries and tissue breakdown are numerous and can be multi-factorial including: muscular imbalances (weakness, inflexibility, leg malalignment, leg length discrepancy), improper bike fit, training error and inappropriate pedaling mechanics. Research has demonstrated that as little as a five percent change in saddle height affects knee joint kinematics by 35 percent and knee joint torque by 16 percent. Canyon Sports Therapy is staffed by physical therapists who have specialized training in cycling mechanics. We are uniquely qualified to evaluate your individual cycling anatomy, biomechanics and of course address any associated cycling soft tissue pain. Our focus is specifically on your riding posture, joint mechanics as well as addressing how optimally all your bike’s components are adjusted. This has been found to be an important component for the cyclist interested in preventing injury or returning to cycling after injury as well as the cyclist wanting to enhance their performance. Knee pain in cyclists falls into three categories and is typically associated with inappropriate bike fit or inadequate training. Common causes of knee pain in cyclists: Medial pain is located on the inside of the knee due to friction between the knee cap and thigh bone. This pain may be associated with riding with a seat that is too low or having a

pedaling cadence that is too slow. Decreased hip flexibility can also be associated with inner knee pain. Lateral pain is located on the outside of the knee typically due to friction of the Iliotibial band over the fat pad or bone of the femur. This painmay be associated with inappropriate cleat and pedal position, inappropriate position of bike seat, leg length discrepancy and/or improper ankle position while riding. Anterior pain is located directly in front of the knee due to excessive compression forces between the knee cap and thigh bone. This pain may be associated with a seat that is too low, too far forward and/or riding with a low pedal cadence. Pelvic, low back and neck pain is associated with one or more of the following, poor posture, limited flexibility, postural strength, improper frame size and or excessive crank arm length, misaligned cleat position, leg length discrepancy and seat and or handle bar/stem alignment. If you are a cyclist interested in exploring the limits of your ability without pain or fear of injury a biomechanical cycling evaluation is a must.

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Monitor • Position the top of the monitor at or just below eye level. • Monitor should be directly in front of your body. • Consider a glare guard on your screen to reduce eye strain. Chair • The backrest should conform to the natural curvature of your spine and provide adequate lumbar support. • The seat should be comfortable and allow your feet to rest flat on the floor or footrest. • Armrests, if provided, should be soft, allow your shoulders to relax and your elbows to stay closer to your body. • The chair should have a five-leg base with casters that allow easy movement along the floor. Desk • Desk surface should allow you to place the monitor directly in front of you, at least 20 inches away. • Avoid storing items under desk. • Use a document holder at the same height and distance as the monitor. • The items most frequently used should be within arm’s reach. • Keep your desktop free of clutter. Keyboard • Wrists and hands should be in line with forearms and in a neutral position. • Keyboard should rest approximately 8 inches past the end of the chair. • Mouse should be next to the keyboard and feel comfortable in your hand, • Select a mouse with a roller ball that moves easily. • Use a wrist rest for the keyboard and mouse. Phone Office Space Ergonomics Suggestions and Ideas

• Use a speaker phone or head set for long conversations. • Keep the phone close enough to avoid repeated reaching.

Exercise Essentials Try this simple exercise to keep you moving...

Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.

PRONE THORACIC EXTENSION Helps tight muscles Lie down in a prone position. Squeeze shoulder blades together and lift head and shoulders off table. Repeat 10 times.


Do you have questions about our services?

CAN I GO TO ANY PHYSICAL THERAPY I CHOOSE? As a patient you have the right to receive physical therapy at any place you choose. At Canyon Sports Therapy, you will receive the highest quality care while achieving the results you need. We pride ourselves on providing a positive, encouraging environment with well-trained, friendly staff. We are confident in our ability to help you reach your goals and live a pain-free life. Have another question? Visit our website at to review our list of frequently asked questions we answer!

Call Today! (801) 944-1209 Fax: (801) 274-1180

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