July/August 2000 Alternative Health
by Todd Pennington
When the shoulder hurts, it is because sensors are saying
danger; caution is needed to protect the body. When people say that
they want the shoulder worked on, it is common to work the painful
area. Much of the problem is caused by muscles in areas that normally
do not get worked for this problem. My clients walk out without
the pain that they walked in with. Many clients report that the
improvement lasts for many days, frequently many months or longer.
Normally it does not matter if the problem is recent or has been
there for years. Each condition can be helped. After Control Muscle
Release Therapy most of the people that others say could not be
helped, are substantially improved. They report that they are more
comfortable and have greater freedom of movement.
Look at people as they walk and notice how many hold the
head and shoulders in front of the body. This is so common that
it is not noticed. It is a sign of tightness in the chest, neck
and shoulders. This position progressively makes the upper back
and shoulders feel tight. In time this can cause numbness in the
hands and arms. Later it can contribute to restricted blood flow
to the head.
To check yourself for shoulder problems:
- Do your shoulders pull forward?
- Can you lift your hands straight over your head?
- Do you have upper back pain?
- Is it easy to see traffic when driving?
- Can you turn your head to look straight over your shoulder?
- Can you pull your head down to your shoulder without lifting
- Can you pull your shoulders back by three inches or more?
- Are your shoulders level
The shoulder, arms, neck and rib cage all work together. This
means that pain in any of these areas can be caused in one of the
others. Longer lasting results occur when the region is considered,
instead of only the location of the pain. Check grip strength, can
you carry heavy objects easily and comfortably? When lying down
can you lift your arm over your head so that it is lying next to
the ear and on the surface that you are lying on?
Can you pull your shoulders back three inches or more?
The ribs pull together pulling the spine forward. The upper
back becomes stiff and the neck pulls the head forward. This pulls
the shoulder forward. The arm muscles tighten and grip strength
drops. It is easier to have strong arms when the shoulder is relaxed.
Chiropractic adjustments are great at helping the spine to
straighten side to side. The small muscles in the front of the rib
cage can pull the ribs and force the spine position front to back.
It is easier to relax the shoulders when the rib cage is relaxed
first. If you have to go back for chiropractic treatment each week
then it is likely at least one muscle is constantly pulling the
bones out of place.
Shoulder injuries can last for many years. Throwing a ball
hard (play or sports) years ago may still be causing shoulder pain.
Work is frequently a major cause of muscle spasm. People seldom
relax completely when at a tense work task. Rotator cuff muscles
can lock up shoulder movement and restrict motion. Sometimes shoulder
muscles can make life miserable. These problems can be helped. The
pain can diminish and in many cases be let go. The range of motion
can normally be returned to that of youth.
In some people the shoulder can force the spine in the upper
back and neck. The shoulder and neck muscles work with each other,
frequently tightness in either one will affect the other area. Working
both areas as a group helps the work to last longer and get more
done with less effort.
Can you easily turn your head when driving?
When the ribs are tight in front, they pull on the spine.
If a rib is forced out of its normal position either in the back
or in the front, it can produce massive pain and restrict breathing.
When the rib cage muscles are tight, it is much easier to force
the shoulder out of its preferred position. Relax the whole region
and life becomes easier.
Conclusion: It is important to release each area that can
control the shoulder. If even one muscle is left tight it increases
the chances for upper back problem to show up again.
Control Muscle Release Therapy looks at the muscles that
control bone and muscles at a distance. The goal is to release the
structure easily and gently. The easiest way to release the whole
body is to relax the key regions of the body.
Free testing: If you are experiencing any of these issues
in your body or just want to be tested call for a free 10 minute
appointment. I work on and in many cases take care of all the issues
that I have talked about. For more information on this and many
other subjects check out the web sites. If any of this interests
you, call and schedule either a 10-minute consultation or a regular
Take care of your body now and it will take care of you later.
For more information or an appointment call
Todd Pennington, LMT