Category Archives for "strengthen"

How to Reduce Interscapular Pain

Persistent pain between the shoulder pains, or interscapular pain, may arise from a number of varying causes. The scapula is the bone that connects the humerus (upper arm bone) with the clavicle (collar bone) on either side of the body. The intrinsic muscles of the scapula include the subscapularis, teres minor, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus, all of which make up the rotator cuff. The major muscles surrounding the scapula that make up the interscapular region include the rhomboids, trapezius, and levator scapulae.

The rhomboids are two quadrate-shaped muscles that originate from the lower cervical vertebrae and upper thoracic vertebrae and attach to the medial border of the scapula. The rhomboids work to retract and rotate the scapula downwards. The trapezius muscle extend from the occipital bone of the skull to the lower thoracic vertebrae and attach to the scapular spine. Its action is to elevate and rotate the scapula upwards. Likewise, the levator scapulae run from the upper cervical vertebrae to the superior portion of the medial border of the scapula and works to elevate the shoulder blades.

CAUSES

One of the common causes of interscapular pain may be due to a muscle strain of one of the muscles described above from poor posture, lifting, or twisting motions from activities such as golf or tennis. Other causes may include trauma such as dislocations or rotator cuff tears, cervical or thoracic herniation, arthritis, heart conditions, cancer, gallbladder disease, scoliosis, or gastroesophageal acid reflux.

TREATMENT

Treatment begins by identifying possible underlying causes contributing to the pain between the shoulder blades. Poor posture occurs when the head is forward and shoulders are rounded. This stretches the rhomboid muscles excessively and causes the muscle to weaken. Correcting poor posture by taking frequent breaks from sitting, bringing your shoulders down and away from the ears, as well as evenly distributing your body weight to all sides may help relieve upper back soreness.
Active release, moist heat therapy, and intramuscular stimulation with a physiotherapist are effective ways to release tension in the back muscles.
Consult a physician or specialist to assess for gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and cardiac-related conditions as they may cause referred pain in the upper back region.
Watch the following videos below on how to stretch and strengthen key muscles in the shoulder region:

Rotator Cuff / Shoulder Impingement Rehabilitation:

Advanced Strengthening for Weak Shoulder:

Scapular Muscle Strengthening / Activation:

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

How Can Flat Feet Lead to Poor Posture?

Prolonged sitting in front of a computer, in a car, or at a desk can result in poor posture habits that ultimately cause a wide range of problems such as chronic back or neck pain.

Flat feet is a key risk factor for poor posture. This foot condition can be caused by genetic factors, weak arches, injuries, arthritis, tendon ruptures, or poor footwear. It occurs when there is a collapse in the foot arch which causes the feet to overpronate, or roll inwards. This places high stress loads to the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back, which lead to pain and stiffness throughout the body.

A few tips to keep the body in alignment is to bring your shoulders down and away from your ears to not hunch the upper back. Evenly distribute your body weight to the front, sides, and back of the feet. Remember to take frequent breaks during long periods of sitting or staring at a screen. Lastly, proper footwear or orthotics, and strengthening or stretching of the deep neck flexors, trapezius muscle, abdominal muscles, and hip muscles may help correct poor posture.  
Watch the videos below for some quick and easy exercises to help alleviate pain and strengthen muscles for good posture:

Chronic Neck, Shoulder, Elbow Pain or Stiffness: Ulnar Nerve Flossing

Strengthening Hips, Pelvis and Low Back: “Psoas March”

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

5 Effective Exercises for Tennis Elbow

What is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)?

Tennis elbow is a widely common soft tissue condition characterized by pain and inflammation on the lateral and outer aspect of the elbow. It is typically due to overuse of the extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon through repetitive actions such as improperly playing tennis, operating machinery, typing or other gripping activities. Symptoms may include weakness in the arm, stiffness in the elbow, and difficulty performing common hand actions such as holding an object. While ice packs and braces can assist with pain control in the early stages of tennis elbow, improving one’s fitness is very important in the long-term management and prevention of this elbow condition. Try these five exercises to strengthen the arm:

BALL SQUEEZE (to improve grip strength)

1) Hold a tennis ball (rolled up sock or towel can also be used) in your hand.
2) Squeeze the ball for 5 seconds and then relax the hand for 10 seconds.
3) Repeat 8 – 12 times for 3 sets, then alternate to the other hand and repeat exercise.

WRIST TWISTS (to improve forearm supination)


1) Place your elbow on a table so that your hand and wrist are just off the edge.
2) Hold a very light dumbbell (around 2 lbs) in your hand.
3) Rotate the arm outward and turn the dumbbell up. Then rotate the arm inward so that the dumbbell will point back down.
4) Repeat 15-20 times for 3 sets on each arm.

WRIST FLEXION (to strengthen flexor muscles)

1) Place your elbow on a table so that your hand and wrist are just off the edge.
2) Hold a very light dumbbell (around 2 lbs) in your hand so that the palm is facing up.
3) Flex your wrist by curling the dumbbell towards the body and then back down to starting position.
4) Repeat 8 – 12 times for 3 sets. Alternate to other hand and repeat exercise.

WRIST EXTENSION (to strengthen extensor muscles)

1) Place your elbow on a table so that your hand and wrist are just off the edge.
2) Hold a very light dumbbell (around 2 lbs) in your hand so that the palm is facing down.
3) Let your wrist slowly drop down and then lift your wrist back up to starting position.
4) Repeat 8 – 12 times for 3 sets. Alternate to other hand and repeat exercise.

HAMMER CURLS (to condition your forearm muscles)


1) Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
2) Hold a light dumbbell (5 to 10 lbs) in a hammer grip position (dumbbell is vertical) in both hands.
3) Keeping the elbows close to the body, flex your forearm upward to 90 degrees, then back down to starting position.
4) Repeat 8 – 12 times for 3 sets. Alternate to other arm and repeat exercise.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.