There is one thing that I see over and over again with people that have shoulder pain. It’s one of those things that is so prevalent that you can pinpoint it (with pretty good accuracy) before even looking directly for it.
So what is it? Lower trapezius weakness.
The trapezius (or trap for short) is a very large muscle as a whole but when you break it down into its component parts, the lower trap is actually pretty small in comparison. But don’t let that fool you because this is an extremely important muscle when it comes to shoulder health.
Not only does it help with proper motion of the scapula, it also helps with stability.
And without a proper ratio of mobility and stability, you start to see some issues pop up.
With weakness, we see the scapula (shoulder blade) start to ride upward and tilt forward which depresses or lowers the coracoid process. The coracoid is a small bone that sits on the front of your shoulder and is attached to the scapula. Several muscles and ligaments attach to this bone including the pectoralis minor, coracobrachialis, and short head of the biceps brachii. The ligaments that attach here are the coracocalvicular, coracohumeral, and coracoacromial and transverse scapular ligaments. Long story short, this is an important part of the shoulder.
When the lower trap is weak and we get elevation and a forward tilt of the scapula, the muscles on the front can get in a short and tight position. We see this a lot, especially in people that sit at a desk for extended period of time.
All of this together can lead to a problem called scapular dyskinesia and is often times accompanied with scapular winging, or an outward tilt of the shoulder blades. When this happens, people often times get pain in the front or side of their shoulder, especially when reaching or lifting overhead.
So how do we fix this and prevent it from coming back? It's important to strengthen the lower trap in a variety of positions as well as with open-chain and closed-chain exercises. We also want to focus on a few other key muscles including the middle trap, rhomboids and serratus anterior.
Here are just five examples of great exercises to get you started:
Shoulder pain can be frustrating and stressful, especially if you have seen other providers in the past and only had temporary relief or even if you have been told to stop doing things. If this sounds like you, know that there is hope and you aren't doomed to have shoulder pain for the rest of your life. The shoulder is complex and you need an expert that knows the shoulder and can work with you to develop a plan that fits your unique needs and goals.
Here at Kaizen, we have worked with hundreds of patients just like you who have had shoulder pain and are concerned, frustrated and don't know what to do. We utilize the Kaizen 3 step process:
The Kaizen 3 Step Process
Step 1: Find The Source and Relieve Your Pain
Step 2: Fix The Root Cause Of The Problem
Step 3: TeachYou How To Keep It From Coming Back!
We offer 60 minute sessions, working one-on-one with Dr. Ladd to determine your problems, set goals and develop a personalized plan of care. This hassle-free process reduces the number of needed appointments, saves you time and saves you money.
It's time to get you back in the game and keep you there.
Give us a call at 515-339-2906 or fill out a contact request at the link below:
There are many things that can impact your ability to squat. From mobility to stability, there is a lot that can impact not only the depth but the overall quality of your squat. Hip mobility is a big factor with this.
When you squat, your hip needs to be able to flex (bend up) and externally rotate (turn out to the side) to reach an appropriate depth (hip crease below your knees) .🏋️♂️
When a person is missing one of these two movements, you often hear them say that they have “pinching” sensation in the front of their hip as they get to the bottom of a squat. 😬
There’s a number of reasons why this “pinch” can be there, but a big one is either a tight hip capsule or a lack of hip external rotation...which will cause a portion of your femur called the greater trochanter to cram up into the a portion of your hip called the acetabulum ☠️
Good news...this drill can help address both hip capsule or external rotation tightness and is an absolute go to when working on healthy squatting. 🙌
Pro Tip: Do this for about 2 minutes on each side and then follow it up with some active mobility work. 🔥
Questions? Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment below. I'm happy to help in any way I can! 👏
Lets address the 🐘 in the room
One of the most common questions that we get is “do you take my insurance?’
There are a few ways we could answer this but the short answer is no. However, we can provide you with a receipt so that you can file with your insurance to get reimbursement (depending on your insurance benefits).
There is a good reason why we do this! 💯
You see, as hard as it is to accept, insurance companies aren’t worried about you, they are worried about their bottom line. And as we trudge along here, reimbursements continue to go down while co-payments are going up.
So what does this mean for you, the patient? It means that clinics are overcoming this by having their therapists see more and more patients every day to keep their revenue steady. And then you will be asked to come back multiple times per week so they can get the most out of your insurance plan.
This means that therapists aren’t focused on you. They are taking care of multiple patients at once and trying their best to keep their head above water. They can only tread for so long before they start to feel overwhelmed and burnt out. So then you get pushed off to an assistant or tech but still pay the same price like you were working with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. 🤔
Doesn’t sound ideal, does it? You’re wasting your money to get subpar care. And it’s not the therapists fault, the system has forced their clinics into a tough situation.
THIS is why we are a cash-bashed practice. We work for YOU! Not insurance companies. YOU determine the course of care, not some guy sitting at a desk at corporate in NYC.
We believe that this gives you the best environment to reach your goals. 60 minutes, one-on-one with a Doctor of Physical Therapy, unhindered by what insurance says we can or can’t do. Free to go after your goals and achieve success. To get you moving confidently again!
We understand that being in pain is no fun and that life is too short to avoid the activities you love. Don’t be a hostage to pain any longer. Get the help that you deserve!
Schedule an appointment today to get started down the road to success!
Dr. Ladd's views on performance improvement, injury prevention and sometimes other random thoughts.