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Movement of the arm requires joint mobility and muscular stability. Moving the arm requires appropriate muscle facilitation and mobility in the shoulder joint, the scapulo-thoracic joint (which is not a "true" joint, more of a physiological joint), the acromioclavicular joint (AC) and the sternoclavicular joint (this is the only joint connecting the arm to the axial skeleton).
Take a look at the pics on the left. There are a lot of muscles that can affect the movement of the arm, the scapula, the shoulder, and the clavicle. So... basically what I am pointing out here is that optimal muscle function of the shoulder girdle is key to a healthy pain free shoulder joint, neck and arm.
Muscle, bone and connective tissue adapt to how we use them. And typically during a day our arms are positioned out in front of the body: computing, driving, pushing a stroller/walker/cart. This positioning, along with all of our other daily habits of grasping, clenching and tensing can lead to shortened muscles, winged shoulder blades and internal rotation of the shoulder joint which can lead to impingement and eventual rotator cuff tendonitis/tear.
Susan McLaughlin is a physical therapist who specializes in the management of pelvic floor and orthopedic dysfunctions. She is the owner of ALIGN integration|movement in Salt Lake City, UT. Helpful tips and other self care strategies can be found at www.alignintegrationandmovement.com.
5/31/2013 12:41:30 pm
I needed this reminder. I will put this exercise back into my morning Res. EX routine.
6/1/2013 06:13:08 am
Should I feel a stretch in my pectoral muscle? I feel it mostly in the deltoid. I have a really bad case of winging, I think it is worse since having a baby and carrying him around all day. I am going to try this out and see if it helps, any other suggestions? ;)
6/4/2013 12:41:29 am
9/15/2013 11:28:27 pm
Even though I've read Katy's blog for years and own some of her classes and DVDs, I find your explanations and all the photos to be SO helpful. Thank you!
9/15/2013 11:51:58 pm
4/11/2014 02:17:04 am
Could this stretch be done lying on the back with the arm pinned under?
4/11/2014 11:51:12 pm
5/21/2014 07:14:54 am
I have crazy wings (like I might start flapping away any second). I wanted to echo Erin's previous comment and say that your images really break down RE really well - thank you so much. This stretch is very difficult for me to do with a "flat" scapula and I'm hoping that I can make some progress by doing these exercises.
5/21/2014 09:02:42 am
1/19/2015 02:47:23 pm
Would this imbalance lead to shoulder "popping" like its coming out of the joint a bit? In addition, the pain I had originally was in the back shoulder area, but now is on the side more?? Its moving. Strange...
1/20/2015 01:42:42 am
7/3/2015 10:47:50 pm
I think some kind of massage or massage ball is great for the shoulder area. A lot of knots form there.
Question: I saw this on Katy's blog too-- or in one of her snacks.... For me-- when I do this with compensation for the winging I feel barely any stretch at all-- a TINY bit in my deltoid. I don't feel like much is happening. What I am I missing? (I have a hard time using this in my teaching because I'm not sure that I have it correctly.-- whereas when I do a typical yoga version of this stretch with the winging allowed, I feel a much better stretch in my deltoid).
4/8/2021 04:42:25 am
Shoulder joint stiffness is one of the major concerns that so many people are tackling in their day-to-day lives. Shoulder stretches can help relieve muscle tension, pain, and tightness in the neck and shoulders.It also helps to increase mobility.Thank you for this informative read. Keep sharing more!
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