• 3 Great Shoulder Stretches To Keep Your Shoulders Healthy

    May 03, 2017 | By Brian Coughlan

    The shoulder joint is a complicated joint with many important components. In order for the shoulder to function properly, all of the components have to work together to maintain stability and range of motion around the shoulder. April’s article outlined the importance of establishing muscular balance around the shoulder to prevent shoulder pain and ensure proper functioning of the shoulder. Muscle imbalances occur when certain muscle groups are overactive and tight while others are weak and underdeveloped. So how do we correct muscular imbalances around the shoulder? The simple answer: stretch what is tight, and strengthen what is weak (although it does get a little more complicated than this!).

    Why Stretch?

    Stretching the muscles around your shoulder is important for a number of reasons. First off, stretching helps improve flexibility and helps maintain full shoulder range of motion. Stretching also allows you to obtain proper posture around the neck, shoulder blades and shoulders, which can help prevent the development of shoulder pain.

    Finally, stretching allows for muscles to operate at their ideal length, thereby increasing the efficiency of the muscles and decreasing the risk of injury. Some common patterns of muscle tightness around the shoulder include tightness of the pectorals, upper trapezius, latissimus dorsi and levator scapula.

    3 Easy Stretches

    To help address some of common patterns of muscle tightness mentioned above, try these 3 easy stretches!

    1. Posterior capsule stretch
    2. Levator scapula stretch
    3. Thoracic rotations

    In addition to these stretches, the sleeper stretch described in April’s article is a great stretch to include in your shoulder stretching routine.

    Don’t Forget to Strengthen!

    As mentioned, both strengthening and stretching are key in addressing muscle imbalances around the shoulder.  The mid and lower trapezius, rhomboids and rotator cuff muscles are often weak compared to other muscle groups in the shoulder. Having a shoulder exercise program that includes strengthening of these muscles will help establish proper muscle balance around the shoulder.

     

    If you are dealing with a shoulder injury or want to learn more about how to prevent shoulder pain, call us at one of our 3 Edmonton locations (Riverbend, Namao, or Belvedere) or at our new Sherwood Park location today!