Category Archives for "Shoulder Pain"

Rotator Cuff Related Pain – Strengthening & Testing Rotator Cuff Complex

You can perform this test or exercise with your ankles secured under a bar, on a squat rack or wall bar or have a partner hold your feet and ankles down. Use a yoga mat to make it more comfortable for your knees.

Start by pulling in your inner core and keep it engaged the entire time. With your hands out in front of you, then slowly lower yourself down to the ground in a controlled manner into a push up position. Once you make contact with the ground, then push yourself back up. Repeat this for 5 repetitions. If you don’t have any pain then you can perform this as an exercise to strengthen your shoulder for 10 repetitions 3 sets daily.

If you do have any pain or dysfunction in your shoulder doing this test, it may be an indicator of a rotator cuff related injury and you might want to come into one of our clinics at either the Vancouver or North Burnaby locations to have one of our Physiotherapists check you out. 

Shoulder Rotator Cuff & Ligament Injuries – Strengthening Y-Pattern Muscle Activation

Start by bringing your elbows at your sides and holding the band in a W position.

Make sure there is some tension in the band. Maintain this tension and straighten the arms up overhead into a Y shape. The exercise will get harder the higher that you go.

Try to resist the temptation to bring your arms closer together at the top. Your arms should be directly above your head, not in front or behind. Think about engaging your upper back muscles. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

This progressive strengthening exercise is really good for retraining the activation patterns and strengthening the rotator cuff muscles in co-ordination with some scapular muscle activation when you are looking to rehab your shoulder injury after straining the rotator cuff itself or spraining the ligaments associated with the shoulder joint. 

Shoulder Rotator Cuff & Ligament Injuries – Level 2 Strengthening T-Pattern Muscle Activation

Start by gripping the band a bit further apart. Bring your arms up to 90 degrees with your elbows bent forward. Maintain the tension in the band and rotate your forearms upwards, slowly and with control.

Return back and repeat this for 10 repetitions doing 3 sets.

It’s important that you keep a neutral spine and engage your core. Nothing should be moving except your arms. Since the hands are closed when doing this exercise, it’s really good for retraining the activation patterns and strengthening the rotator cuff muscles in co-ordination with some scapular muscle activation.  When you are looking to rehab your shoulder injury after straining the rotator cuff itself or spraining the ligaments associated with the shoulder joint. 

Shoulder Rotator Cuff & Ligament Injuries – Level 1 Strengthening i-Pattern Muscle Activation

Start by holding the band shoulder width apart, with your hands just far apart enough on the band so that there is some tension. Make sure you maintain that tension through the whole exercise.

Slowly and with control, raise your arms all the way above your head, and then bring them back down with control. It’s important that you keep a neutral spine and engage your core - nothing should be moving except your arms. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Since the hands are closed when doing this exercise it’s really good for activating and strengthening the rotator cuff muscles in co-ordination with some scapular muscle activation when you are looking to rehab your shoulder injury after straining the rotator cuff itself or spraining the ligaments associated with the shoulder joint. 

3 Simple Exercises For Swimming – Eileen Daily Pool, Burnaby

This week we’re at the Eileen Daily Leisure Pool and Fitness Centre up in North Burnaby which is just off of Willingdon Ave. We’re here today for a little work out swim in their pool. Although it’s a relatively smaller pool, the actual pool and pool area are pretty nice and quite clean. The best part is that it’s not super busy in the water lanes, so it’s a good time to do some laps. Since they are 25 metre lengths, I do 8 lengths or 200 metres for at least 5 sets.

After my swim work-out, whether it’s a light, moderate or a heavy one, these are 3 really simple stretches and exercises that I do to stay flexible, strong and injury free!

Rectus Femoris Stretch
Prepare a nice cushion for your left knee to be on and a step stool to place the top of the foot on to have greater knee flexion. This will isolate the muscle stretch. Keep your posture nice and tall and imagine there’s a string pulling your whole spine upwards from your pelvis, right up your entire back and neck and up to the top of your head. Then engage your inner core muscles tight below your belly button and keep your low back flat and contract your left butt muscles. Next, bend the right knee forward and keep your posture nice and tall without leaning backwards. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times for each side.

Lat Stretch
This stretch will help open up the latissimus dorsi muscles. Start by holding onto a bar or pole that is anchored down or a door frame at shoulder height with your right hand. Then, step your opposite foot slightly forward and your right foot back. As you bend your right knee down, lean your body weight backwards and feel the stretch into your lat muscle. Hold it for 30 seconds, doing 3 sets on each side. This is a muscle that becomes overly developed and tight in swimming! It can cause non optimal movement patterns in the shoulder which can then lead to varying degrees of shoulder dysfunctions.

Core Strengthening Ball Walk-Outs
Start by pulling in your inner core by making your waistline skinnier below the belly button. Then roll out into a plank position on the ball in full control with a flat spine. Lift one leg off of the ball with full control while keeping your hips level with each other. Try to keep you toes pointed to the floor as much as possible and lead with your heal. Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions holding for 5 seconds on each side to start. Then progress to 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions holding for 10 seconds when stronger. Plank walk-outs on a ball is great for strengthening your core in coordination with strengthening your posterior hip and gluteal muscles. 

3 Simple Rock Climbing Stretches!

Our Physiotherapist, Simon Kelly said that he was passionate about treating shoulder injuries. So I took him to the Cliffhanger Indoor Rock Climbing gym in Vancouver this week and showed him what a good shoulder work out looked like for me. This is what he had to say after the work out.

Hi Everyone, It’s Simon Kelly. This is my first time here at the gym with Wil. I just want to give you 3 stretches that you want to do for rock climbing. Stretching your forearms are very important, stretching the shoulder and especially stretching out the lats - That’s the most important thing. There will also be videos to follow. Cheers Everybody.

This is stretch will help ease the tight forearms! Start with the elbow in a bent position. With the opposite hand, fully extend the wrist and fingers. Then straighten out the elbow and hold this for 30 seconds and repeat 3 sets. The overuse tendinopathies that occur in the medial elbow can be caused by overly tight forearm flexors. This is very common in rock climbers or golfers.

To stretch out the right rotator cuff muscle, place a non-stretchy strap with your left hand over your head and behind your back. Reach the right hand behind your back to grab the strap. Reach as far up as you can towards your limit but avoid tilting your shoulder forward. Stabilize the front of your right shoulder by placing it against a corner or a door frame and step the left foot forward. Hold tightly with your right hand and pull the strap upwards with your left. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat for 3 sets. Doing this stretch daily can help increase the mobility of your stiff shoulder if you’re experiencing shoulder impingement pain due to a tight overuse Supraspinatus Rotator Cuff muscle. It’s also great to do as a warm down stretch when it’s abnormally tight and stiff.

This stretch will help open up the latissimus dorsi muscles. Start by holding onto a bar or pole that is anchored down or a door frame at shoulder height with your right hand. Then, step your opposite foot slightly forward and your right foot back. As you bend your right knee down, lean your body weight backwards and feel the stretch into your lat muscle. Hold it for 30 seconds, doing 3 sets on each side. This is a muscle that becomes overly developed and tight in rock climbers! It can cause non optimal movement patterns in the shoulder which can then lead to varying degrees of shoulder dysfunctions.

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Strain: Resisted Clock Reaches

If you’ve been doing the “Clock Reaches” exercise and it has been getting super easy without resistance then this progression will help further strengthening the rotator cuff and the shoulder after an injury.

With a light resistance band loop wrapped around your wrists, kneel down in 4 point position with your fists on the ground and keep your spine in neutral posture with your inner core muscles engaged. Imagine there is clock face numbered 9 to 3 O’clock on the ground in front of you.

Begin by reaching the right hand to 9 O’clock and then back to the start position. Proceed to continue to 1O, 11, 12, 1, 2 and then 3 O’clock, and then reverse back to 9 O’clock again. Repeat this for your left hand. Perform 3 sets of 5 for each side.

This exercise is also great to do if you want to increase strength even when you’re not injured. If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Strain: Clock Reaches

This is a great exercise for strengthening the rotator cuff and the shoulder complex muscles after straining the rotator cuff.

Kneel with your fists on the ground and keep your spine in neutral posture with your inner core muscles engaged. Imagine there is clock face numbered 9 to 3 O’clock on the ground in front of you.

Begin by reaching the right hand to 9 O’clock and then back to the start position. Proceed to continue to 1O, 11, 12, 1, and then 2 and then 3 O’clock. and then reverse back to 9 O’clock again. Repeat this for your left hand. Perform 3 sets of 5 for each side.

If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Strain Injuries: In / Out Rotation With Resisted Movement

If you have injured your shoulder rotator cuff but can still move it then this might be the right exercise for you.

With a light exercise band tied at shoulder level proceed to take up the slack. Then placing a folded towel between your side and elbow and place your opposite hand onto your shoulder lightly to prevent it from hiking upwards.

With the thumb up, slowly rotate the lower arm and wrist in towards your body making the upper arm and elbow the pivoting point and then bring the arm back to the start position with control. Prevent the elbow from pinching in towards your side or doing a chicken wing coming out. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each side.

Doing the unaffected side will also help with the neuromuscular rehab of the rotator cuff muscles. If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Do you have weak shoulders & core stability strength?

Begin with a tall neutral spine posture (imagine there’s a string pulling you tall from your pelvis to the top of your head). Then engage your inner core muscles below your belly button. Then Wrap a resistance band around your upper back and position yourself belly down onto the exercise ball. Reach the index finger to the wall in front of you with the thumb pointing up and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this 10 times on each side for 3 sets. To progress the functional core strength, reach the index finger in front and extend the opposite leg and heel back at the same time. Repeat this for 10 reps on each side for 3 sets each. This exercise is great for increasing functional core strength in swimming, climbing, ultimate frisbee, baseball, volley ball, basketball, Lacrosse and any sports that require strong shoulder and core strength.

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