July/August 2000 Alternative Health
Shoulder Pain

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 your shoulder?
  • 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 one-hour appointment.

Take care of your body now and it will take care of you later.

For more information or an appointment call

Todd Pennington, LMT

(503) 244-4427

www.communityconnexion.com/pennington

www.penningtonmassage.com

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