Shoulder pain is a common problem that I treat in my practice on a daily basis. Many shoulder problems can start out with no apparent injury or cause. Some shoulder problems are past injuries that have not been properly treated or rehabilitated and other shoulder problems are due to bad habits or poor posture. Alot of the shoulder problems I have encountered lately have been due to poor postures when at computers and side sleepers that do not have the correct size pillow for the width of the shoulders.
Since the shoulder is a ball and socket joint, it puts the shoulder at a bigger risk for injury and can be very frustrating if not treated appropriately and quickly.
Shoulder problems are treated a variety of ways depending on the nature of the injury to the shoulder. In most cases an adjustment to the shoulder is applied if the shoulder is not articulating properly in the joint. Often the neck is also involved with the shoulder and I will always check the relationship between the two to make sure they are working together appropriately.
Stretching, massage and strengthening are a must for the proper healing of the shoulder and this treatment is done on a case by case basis for my patients.
Some general recommendations are to sleep on your back. This will help decrease the impact on the shoulder until you can have a professional check for the right size pillow for you.
Also, strengthening of the musculature on the upper and middle back is essential to prevent forward rolling or “rounding” of the shoulders. This is a common presentation when someone has a job with a lot of computer work. Seated rowing machine and lat pull downs are a great exercise to do if you have access to a gym.
Stretches that are helpful are to include stretching of the pectoral or “pecs”. These are stretches that you perform by laying face up on a foam roller with the foam roller running the length of the spine, making sure that the head is supported by the foam roller. Then put the arms up in the “goal post” postion to stretch the pec muscles. Hold this position for 30 seconds and do this twice a day 2-3 times a week.
If you would like a no charge consolation for me to check the proper sizing of your pillow, please contact my office. I can also show you stretches that may be more tailored to your needs and address your current problems.
I look forward to taking great care of you!
Dr. Lynn Miller