My Shoulders Click-What Is It & Should I Be Worried?

 Pain in the shoulders. The shoulders are one of the most important joints in our body as they play a role in almost every single movement that we perform.

They have a fundamental role in supporting the head and supporting the arms for movement all the way from below the hips to above your head. They are ball and socket joints similar to the hip, which is why they are prone to problems.

In this blog, we will discuss some of the main issues people face with their shoulder joints and how you can remedy shoulder pain in the short term and prevent reoccurrence in long term.

The shoulders are fundamental in our posture. Posture is how we hold ourselves and due to the last two years with a lot of people spending time at home and working at desks that are unfamiliar to them, our postures have changed. With the emergence of iPhones, more people working at desks, we’re seeing more of a flexed or a hunched and forward posture. When the shoulders are in their perfect position, the shoulder blades should be drawn back and in together and the shoulder joint itself is set back close to the thoracic spine and the chest tall and proud.

What we’re seeing now is the opposite of that. Shoulder blades wing and flare out to the sides, which causes the shoulder joint to move forwards and often down. This can compress the chest, and parts of the rotator cuff muscles and stresses the upper trapezius muscles which are the muscles on the top of your shoulders that go into the neck, often very tense in people when they’re stressed.

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Types Of Shoulder Problems

  • Tension in the upper trapezius muscle. As mentioned, these are the muscles that run from the base of the skull all the way to the top of the shoulder blade and across to the shoulder. They’re a triangular-shaped muscle and when the head goes forwards with the posture or the shoulders rotate forwards, these can become stretched and tight. They never get a chance to relax, causing them to tense up. If you ever find that you’re stressed, these are often the muscles that will bear the brunt of it.

One way to remedy this is try and bring your shoulder blades back as much as you can, taking the pressure off the shoulder joints and allowing the muscle to relax.

Another way is to tuck your chin back in, doing chin tucks, to allow the neck to come back in a good position and remove the stress on the upper trapezius muscle.

  • Rotator cuff injuries. The rotator cuff are tendons around the shoulder joint. They hold the ball and socket in place. There are four rotator cuff muscles, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor.

These are often overworked with someone who has got a shoulder dysfunction where the joint is not moving properly. The rotator cuff tendons are small and become overworked, causing tendonitis. In more of a long-term shoulder injury, they can get tears and if there’s a complete rupture, this will require surgery.

One way to remedy rotator cuff injuries is to do some of these exercises. Trying to use a lacrosse ball across the top of the shoulder will help to remove some of the inflammation around the tendon. Bringing the shoulder blades back and doing strengthening work with a theraband will also help remove the shoulder dysfunction by correcting the muscle imbalances across the shoulder joint.

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  • Clicking shoulder. Often when people move their shoulders up to 90 degrees and rotate them, there’s a clicking in the joints. This is often not the joint itself but the muscles under tension sliding over each other, snapping, crunching, and cracking. It can be the rotator cuff muscles. It can also be the latissimus muscle where it attaches into the shoulder joint.

You want to remove the tension and address the imbalances using some of the exercises above plus a hanging raise as well is also good from a doorframe to try and restabilise the shoulder joint.

  • Problems elsewhere in the neck. If there’s any referred pain coming from a disc issue or a compression in the neck, this can cause some referred pain into the shoulder. It’s important that you check the neck plus also the elbow, the wrist, as you can get entrapments there, mimicking pain through the shoulder.

If you feel like you have a problem with any of these areas please give us a call on 01932 355529 and we can send some more information out to you.

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