MATRIX Personalized Fitness
More than just your muscles


Relevant Links:
Tip #4: Assess & Reassess
12a: Opposite Joint Opposite Movement (OJOM)
Better Movement Through Sensation
Tip 12b: OJOM for the Spine
Tip 12c: Advanced OJOM
Tip 10: Low Back Pain
Pain 101: The Threat Neuro-Matrix
Another Pain Handling Trick
Correcting Knee Pain


Hey out there, it's Shane from MATRIX Personalized Fitness. Do you have shoulder pain? If so, then today's video is for you! We're going to talk about some unique ways to help you get rid of your pain.


Shoulder pains can be some of the trickiest ones to deal with. Because your shoulders are a very complex joint, it does a lot of different things. I've talked about pain in a number of different videos and blogs, you can find links to all those below, and some of them are going to pop up above as well.


One of the first things you need to do when you're having shoulder pain, and you want to start getting it better, is that you need to have some type of assessment that you can use to figure out which drills are working and which drills are not. I have done a whole video on that before. But for today, we're just going to pretend that you have some range of motion in your shoulder where when you go a little bit further, you begin to have pain in a certain spot. What you're going to do is assess by moving, noticing how far we go before the pain starts. Then, after we should do some different exercises, see if that range of motion gets bigger. This gradual increase in range of motion is how you'll eventually start to get rid of the pain that you're experiencing.


Now that you have your assessment, let's start with our first Neuro-"trick" of Opposite Joint Opposite Movement. For the shoulder, say it's a left shoulder issue, you would go to the right hip joint. That's the opposite joint. As far as the movement goes, if you're having trouble in shoulder flexion, then you will want to work with hip extension. So, very simply, to play with this, if you're going to your opposite hip, you're going to focus on creating movements in the extension range of the hip joint. Hopefully, after doing a few reps of hip extension, you'll come back and check your shoulder flexion and find your range of motion gets a little bit bigger before you feel any pain. If that's the case, perfect! That's a drill you're going to want to do before any of the other movements that we get into.


Number two, sensation. Sensation always comes before movement. And sensation information is super important for your brain to make good decisions. I've done videos on this before. You have a number of different types of sensation you might want to check in and around the shoulder. The first one is light touch. If you're doing light touch, you want to use another object, so you're not getting too much sensation from your hands. You might just rub it around the area that hurts or explore the entire shoulder. If you notice anything that feels a little bit off, put some extra awareness there. Or, sometimes, just bringing the sensation in general will do the trick. Reassess. If you get better range of motion, great! If not, try out some other types of sensation. You can use a pinwheel or something sharp to get a sharp sensation. You can use vibration. You can also use heat or cold. After applying those to the areas, each one separately, reassess and find out what sensations produce the best results for you.


Now, once you've done that work, you can start to actually create motion in the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is very complicated. In the joint itself, we have the ability to flex, extend, abduct, adduct, and rotate. Huge ranges of motion. So when you have shoulder pain, take a little bit of time and actually figure out exactly where (and how) the pain is caused. What can complicate this is that in addition to the movement of the shoulder, you also have rotation of the arm bones. So, sometimes, the pain doesn't show up when the hands facing one way, but it shows up when it's facing another way. Explore those and start to figure out which ones are okay, and which ones are not. When you find the ranges of motion that are causing you a little bit of problem, slowly start to work into them. Using some of the other things we've done so far in this video, see if you can slowly begin to increase that range of motion through good clean movement.


Once you've gotten your range of motion increased, the next step is to start to strengthen into that range. Now, there's also a ton of muscles that affect the shoulder. So we don't want to get too into detail with that. More simply, what you can do is take some type of strap or even use a wall. Hooking yourself up, move toward the range of motion that you can comfortably get. And then with resistance, start to create an isometric squeeze. Right now, I'm trying to pull forward against the band. It doesn't let me move, but I can feel the muscles engage. Then if I turn this way, I can pull across the body. If I turn this way, I can push my arm away from the body. If I turn this way, I can start to pull back. By starting to build strength in this area, in each of these different directions, you're beginning to engage all the different musculature around the shoulder. Teaching the shoulder that at this range of motion, it's safe to engage all of these muscles. By doing that type of work, it's a really powerful way to tell the brain that the range of motion you've achieved is safe and that there's no need for pain.


The last little thing I wanted to mention about range of motion with the shoulder is in addition to how far you're moving, the shoulder blade plays a role as well. So, you're going to want to hold the shoulder blade in one place while you're playing with your movements. Realizing that shoulder blade position could be another cause that your shoulder pain. If that's the case, you don't have to worry about moving the shoulder as much. You can actually begin to play with motion of the shoulder blade, making sure that it is clean and natural. If it's not, you might find places where it's hard to control, things accelerate, or it's a little bit choppy as you try to move through them. You'll want to smooth those areas out. And then, once you have your shoulder blade under control, you might find that the pain in the shoulder goes away.


There are a number of other things that we can do neurologically, they get way too complicated to go into in this video. But, in recap of what we've done, the first thing is Opposite Joint Opposite Movement. From one shoulder, go to the opposite hip and take the opposite direction of movement to see if creating some movement at that opposite joint in the opposite direction reduces some of the pain that you're experiencing the shoulder. From there, play with sensation. All different types. You never know, maybe it's vibration that's the issue. When you give it that sensation, the pain might go away. From there, begin to create clean motion at the shoulder. Exploring what areas actually have pain. And don't forget to figure out if the shoulder blade is involved, or if the positioning of the arm bone matters. Once you start to create some new range of motion by assessing and reassessing all of this, then you can start to bring in a little bit of strength training isometrically in the position that you find the gain, so that it sticks.


Give this all a shot. If you're still having some issues, recognize that here at MATRIX, we have our free Tune-ups program. You can sign up for a 15-minute session to come into work on specific issues like this. And that's where we might get into some of the higher order Brain Stuff, to really help you solve problems that aren't going away just based on the content of this video. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out, call, email, or message. We'd love to hear from you.