There are roughly 8 muscles that attach to the shoulder joint itself and 17 muscles that attach to the shoulder blade. Aside from the ligaments attached here, you can see how complex this joint can be.
The real thing that needs to occur with our shoulder is a rhythm between the shoulder blade and the arm. The rhythm keeps things smooth, and the timing of how these things move also plays a role.
When these things go haywire, many symptoms like impingements, strains, rotator cuff injuries, etc., can occur. This can be due to tightness within certain muscles pulling the shoulder blade and/or shoulder in undesirable positions or from a poor ability to move the ribcage. The ribcage is where the shoulder blade sits and glides. If the position here is compromised, then the rhythm of your arm movement is compromised. The end result for any of these scenarios would be your arm trying to move in a space that is not available and you trying to jam or twist around the area.
As you can see, the complexity of the shoulder itself and other parts of the body can all be factors as to why the shoulder may be hurting. The solution does not have to be incredibly complex.
If you feel stiffness when the arm is starting to lift from the side of the body, then it can be a sure bet you have a compressed ribcage that cannot keep a smooth shape for the shoulder blade. If you have pain and pinching when the arm is parallel or near parallel to the ground, then it may be stiffness and restrictions from the front side of the shoulder and chest. As you go higher, it is more in the backside and higher part of the shoulder as a restriction.
Below is a video on how you can create some restoration in motion at the shoulder by creating more space and addressing the shoulder position and the ribcage at the same time.
Certainly, there are conditions where many positions are painful or stiff and could be a rest. This is when you may need to get these checked out to rule out any serious injuries.
If you need help with addressing your shoulder issues. Call/text us now: 401-702-0293
Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.