Let’s talk about the top two tips to have a healthy shoulder from an OT’s perspective. Shoulder is a very important joint and for us to keep them healthy, we have to let our arms elevated when doing a lot of tasks. For example, reaching the dishes in the overhead cabinet, or switching a light up over your head.
Also, reaching back while putting on clothes or bras for ladies. For musicians while playing musical instruments, or for a lot of different types of workers who use a lot of tools throughout the day. You need a range of motion of the shoulder.
A lot of the shoulder diseases can really be debilitating, especially if the shoulder range of motion is compromised. For example, a frozen shoulder is a very common condition.
We sometimes heard that the rotator cuff muscles and tendons cutting flame or even got torn. So, it's very important to keep our shoulders healthy.
Have a good amount of spinal mobility, especially the top part of thoracic spine.
In order to have a normal range of motion in the shoulder and meet the required elevation overhead activity. I would like to personally recommend to use a PVC pipe when doing an exercise. It's a good thing to do to facilitate the spinal movement to give you good feedback.
To facilitate a spinal movement required for the shoulder range of motion, just simply put that stick behind your back and hold it right there. Then put your arms to your side. You don't even have to move because you will feel like the PVC pipe is giving you a very good feedback.
Then, you're doing different exercises and directions from here. It will usually promote a better spinal movement during shoulder range of motion exercises. Proper spinal movement should happen when shoulder exercising or any type of shoulder movement is happening.
You need to constantly activate the muscles around the shoulder blades at the back part of your shoulder. Also, activate the rotator cuff muscles connecting the shoulder blade into your humerus bone, the upper arm bone and the rotator cuff muscles, to stabilize the shoulder joints.
That's how a healthy shoulder should be having. It's the constant stabilization while you are moving the shoulder and the arm. Most of the time, people don't have the proper stabilization.
They have the PEC muscles jumping in to compensate, and once they got compensation from the neck and the top of the shoulder, they got a lot of other muscles that are not designed to jump in and activate during shoulder range of motion. And that's why most of the shoulder conditions are happening.
These are two tips from an occupational therapist’s perspective to prevent any types of shoulder condition, non-traumatic condition or just to promote the general health of your shoulder.
You have two things to focus on like mentioned earlier, the spinal mobility especially the upper thoracic region, as well as the proper shoulder stabilization.