Shoulder issues?

19 Oct Shoulder issues?

Do you suffer from shoulder problems?


Limited mobility, or maybe you suffer like I do, with subluxation? This means that the shoulder partially comes out of the joint, but it doesn’t completely dislocate. If so, I highly recommend getting it looked at by your doctor to see how you can treat it, instead of dealing with an unstable or annoying shoulder like I did for so LONG!


I injured my shoulder almost 15 years ago in a skiing accident. I was told that strengthening my shoulder muscles should help to hold the joint in place. However, years later, I’m still having issues and I feel like my shoulder is pretty strong??


My issue, if I just overextend my arm while placing force on it, it basically slides out! I was told my posture also plays a role, since my shoulders roll forward this pushes on the joint and explains why it tends to slip out towards the front. So the physical therapist told me it’s important to work on posture as well, and rolling those shoulders back as much as I can. My last incident was during a bootcamp class that I teach,  when I threw my arms back into a stretch and it slide out! In front of the whole class… tad EMBARASSING!!

Now, when this happens, I can’t even describe the pain, it’s HORRIBLE!! Actually the dreaded moment of knowing I have to roll it back into place is probably worse! I can see the bone sticking up, totally freaks me out, so I build up the strength to roll it back into place. This is usually followed by me sweating uncontrollably and then passing out. I can’t even tell you how many times this has happen. Let’s just say, A LOT.

Sounds fun right?? Needless to say, I had enough and finally got my shoulder checked out once again.


I don’t have a lot of mobility in my shoulder. SURPRISE SURPRISE!  I can’t extend it upright next to my ear, I can’t lift heavy when doing chest flys, or something where the weight is extended away from my body. Even shoulder presses are hard with heavy weights. I pretty much have to baby it. 


Watching my daughter on the monkey bars makes me CRINGE!!


So, I got my x-rays and a MRI and it showed a small tear, but the doctor wanted to start with rehab to see if we could strengthen my rotator cuff muscles first.  I agreed 100%… who wants to jump into surgery right away!?????? NOT ME.


Your 4 rotator cuff muscles work as the stabilizer muscles in your shoulder joint.

Check it out…

Most people when they work their shoulders tend to focus on the anterior and posterior deltoid muscles, which is what I did, causing me to have muscle imbalances in my shoulder.

Day 1 at rehab, we go over some mobility issues, and then I get a 20 minute massage on my shoulder and upper traps! WHICH FELT AMAZING!! The doctor explained that my posterior deltoids we’re very tight, and could be causing a lot of my issues, since they have been compensating for my weak rotator cuff muscles for some time now.  Made sense, and I was excited that I knew exactly what he was talking about, from all my new knowledge as a Personal Trainer!! I wanted to throw out some terminology to him, because for ONCE I understood exactly what a doctor was talking about!!


At the end of the visit, I got a printed list of exercises that I need to be working on daily. Not surprising, they are exercises I rarely EVER do!! Explained why I had such weak stabilizer muscles.


Day 2 of Rehab, an hour of doing exercises and then a 15 minute massage on my shoulder. Loved all the exercises that they taught me, and plan to incorporate more of them into my workouts. Just after 2 rehab sessions, I’m blown away by how much MORE mobility I have in my shoulder!!


So I wanted to share some of the exercises, since I think a lot of them are great to do even if you don’t have shoulder issues. Certain muscles tend to get ignored when working your shoulders. If you are confused, google the name of the exercise to see exactly how this move should be performed.


Shoulder Caption  2 sets 10 reps. With thumbs upward, raise arms up at a 45 degree angle to shoulder level and then slowly lower. Using light weights, I started with 2.5lbs.

(This exercise does not need to be done with heavy weights to be beneficial)


Shoulder Abduction, 2 sets 10 reps. With palms down, raise arms out to the side then slowly lower, do not go higher than your shoulders.  Using very light weights.


TB external rotation (you will need a band for this exercise), 2 sets 10 reps. With elbow at the side, rotate hand away from body in a pain free range. Keep elbow at a 90 degree angle and keep your elbow tucked in at your side.


TB Internal rotation (you will need a band for this exercise), 2 sets 10 reps. With the elbow at the side, rotate hand towards stomach this time. Keep elbow at 90 degrees and keep elbow tucked in at your side.


Foam Roll Tspine 15-20 times. (foam roller is needed for this exercise, if you don’t have one… GET ONE! They are awesome!!) Lying perpendicular along foam roll, roll from mid back to top of shoulder blades. I place my hands behind my head to support my neck and open up my back more.


Upper Trap Stretch 2 sets and Hold for 30sec each. Looking forward tilt ear to shoulder to feel stretch on opposite side. Use hand to gently apply pressure and bring head closer to shoulder.


Sidelying ER 2 sets 10 reps. Lying on unaffected side, raise hand up keeping elbow at 90 degrees and tucked into your side.


Exercise Ball A’s, V’s, T’s and W’s. 20 reps each. Lay your chest on the stability ball, place your feet up against a wall. With your back straight, make a A shape with your arms, palms down and lift up for 20 times slowly. Then lift your arms in a V shape in front of you thumbs up, then out to the side in a T shape, then back towards your side with your elbows in towards your side making a W.

Adding a lot of these into my daily workout, I have already noticed a huge change!!

I know this isn’t the most exciting blog, but I fear that sometimes people rush into having surgery. And sometimes that can lead to more issues, and more pain! I had a lot of people telling me that I needed to get surgery, but I just wasn’t ready for that, and all the rehab that follows. Shoulder surgery is pretty painful and the healing process can take awhile!!!


I feel pretty lucky that the exercises seem to be helping.  Muscle Imbalances, if not corrected can lead to other issues, so it’s always important to get it checked out & corrected.

I’m happy to share what I’m learning at rehab, so please comment if you have any questions!! I do HIGHLY recommend talking with your physician though to see what’s best for you!!

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