Remember in Rocky III when the reporter asked Clubber Lang his
prediction for the fight?
Mr. T glared at the camera and said, “My prediction?….PAIN!”
Rocky & Clubber inflicted some serious pain on each other, but
don’t do it to yourself voluntarily.
Here are some tips to bulletproof your shoulders. They are the most
commonly injured body part in the gym and if they get banged
up you’re pretty much out of commission, which is depressing.
Real quick before the tips, I need to tell you that today is the last day
that you can grab the entire Fix My Shoulder Pain system with all
of the launch bonuses for only $20. There, don’t say I forgot to remind
Top 5 Tips To Bullet Proof Your Shoulders
1. Build Tension in Your Lats – The lats are the most ignored muscle when
it comes to the shoulder. It is thought that it is only a back muscle but it
provides stability and protection to the shoulder. When doing shoulder exercises,
activate your lats and keep your shoulders happy.
2. Prime Up Your Muscles – Most people do a warm up that just lubricates
the joint. You need to activate and turn on all the muscles in the upper body
so the smaller muscle groups in the shoulder can help protect the shoulder.
3. Technique, Technique, Technique – This is the number one reason why
people injure their shoulders. You can’t go to the gym every day and work on
your max lift. Your warm up sets are the perfect time to perfect your technique.
Also get feedback from a training partner or a trainer.
4. Watch Out for Fatigue – Cooking your smaller muscles in your shoulder
muscles can lead to a shoulder injury. If you do a lot or very heavy exercises
that target the rotator cuff, the rotator cuff may not be able to do
its job throughout the day, which increases the risk of shoulder injury and pain.
5. Work on Your Shoulder Blade Muscles – Many strength coaches will say
you are wasting your time on this but if you want to have a bullet proof shoulder,
you need to work on them.
If you feel like you’ve been going in circles with the doctors and rehab places
and don’t want to waste any more time or money on temporary solutions, check
out Fix My Shoulder Pain. For $20 you’ll learn more from Fix My Shoulder
Pain than anyone else will ever take the time to tell you about.
Today I want to show you a cool new rotator cuff exercise that I have been doing.
I call it the Rotator Cuff Side Plank Exercise.
I am always looking for ways of doing exercises that are simple and fun for my clients. It might be a modification or a regression on a common exercise we do. Plus I always like to do exercises that use common equipment that people already have or can get at a low cost.
This exercise is perfect for fitting the bill.
Rotator Cuff Side Plank Exercise is very easy to do and it doesn’t require any equipment other than a wall.
I love using the wall. It is an easy piece of equipment everyone has access to and almost any bodyweight exercise that you do on the floor, you can regress the exercise and perform it on the wall.
Looking at how we set up for the Rotator Cuff Side Plank exercise.
Move up against the wall. In a traditional side plank, bring the arm just below shoulder height. Having it in a position just below shoulder height keeps it away from any pinching in the shoulder joint and decreases the activation of upper trapezius.
For the rotator cuff side plank exercise, I bring my arm out to the side to about 45 degrees from the body, with my forearm up against the wall and the upper arm in line with the body.
My body is at a light lean. If I want to increase the resistance of the exercise, I can increase the angle that my body is at.
After I have my shoulder set up, I make sure that the rest of me is set up. I have my head, trunk and the rest of my body in good alignment (straight line) and activate those scapular muscles.
Here is a Video of the Rotator Cuff Side Plank Exercise:
Start by slowly lifting yourself away from the wall using your arm to move yourself away from the wall until you are about 70 degrees of shoulder abduction (arm to the side). Then you will return back to the starting position.
In the exercise I am concentrically working the shoulder muscles and also the rotator cuff from the start to end position. And then when I go from the end position to the starting position, I am eccentrically working the shoulder muscles (deltoid) and rotator cuff muscles (specifically supraspinatus).
It looks like a very simple and easy exercise and it is, but it really targets the shoulder muscles and rotator cuff muscles.
Give it a try. It will end up working on strengthening your shoulder and strengthening your rotator cuff muscle.
I’ll have him introduce himself and then will get to the questions. All right, thanks Rick, take it away.
(Throughout the interview, I will put up a few videos that complement the interview. Here is a scapular exercise with the foam roller.)
Rick Kaselj: Thank you very much, Kate. My name is Rick Kaselj and I am an injury and exercise expert. That means that I help people overcome their injuries and pain utilizing exercise. I’m a personal trainer / exercise physiologist / kinesiologst in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Early on in my career, what happened was I would have people come to the gym and everyone that I saw had some sort of lingering injury that needed to be dealt with.
A lot of times they would say “I have this, do you know of some exercises that I can do for this injury”.
And as I kept seeing more and more of these clients it kind of forced me to head out there and do more research and better understand injuries and what exercises to do for different types of injuries and pain.
It ended up evolving from the training and then teaching other trainers and coaches out there on what exercises to do. And now I have ExercisesForInjuries.com where I write, do videos and create injury workouts on a wide variety of injuries (neck injuries, shoulder injuries, back injuries, hip injuries, knee injuries, etc.).
That’s kind of who I am, Kate.
Kate Vidulich: Wonderful Rick, this is fantastic. I know your website has been going for quite some time. It has been very beneficial to me and to my clients. You have a fantastic product that you have created especially on scapular stabilization which has helped me and my clientele.
Can you tell me primarily who the product is targeted to?
Rick Kaselj: Maybe for those who don’t know I will explain what scapular stabilization is.
(Here is me talking about the importance of scapular exercises with frozen shoulder.)
Kate Vidulich: Yeah, you got it.
Rick Kaselj: If we look into the shoulder there are 3 groups of muscles that end up playing a role.
There are the superficial muscles, those are the kinds of muscles that we can see. For example chest (pec major), shoulders (deltoid), and then the back which (latissiumus dorsi). These superficial muscles end up providing gross movements for moving the arm.
The second group ends up stabilizing the bone into the shoulder, whenever you do any type of movement. They end up turning on, pulling the upper arm into the shoulder joint, in order to keep it nice and fixed, whenever you move the arm and those end up being the rotator cuff muscles.
The third group that is often talked about is the shoulder blade muscles or scapular stabilizers. These are all the muscles that are around the shoulder blade. What that shoulder blade muscles do is move the shoulder blade whenever we move our arms. And work most effectively and efficiently.
What often times ends up happening is because those shoulder blade muscles are stabilizers, if there’s any type of pain, injury, or poor posture, these muscles end up being turned off and not working properly and increasing your risk of injuries. It could be neck pain, shoulder impingement, frozen shoulder, plus it ends up increasing your risk of rotator cuff injury because since the scapular muscles are not doing their job, the rotator cuff muscles end up having to work even harder and eventually they can’t take it anymore and get injured.
That’s the little story on what those scapular muscles are and why they are so important.
Kate Vidulich: Yeah, absolutely. I mean this kind of issue affects so many people. Any kind of neck pain, shoulder pain – really this information can apply to anyone in the general population.
Rick Kaselj: Definitely.
One thing that has an effect on the shoulder is here in North America, we do a lot of sitting. It can be driving or going on the subway to work. While we are at work we are sitting and when we are at home we are sitting while watching TV or checking email. It all ends up being in the sitting position.
And if we end up being rounded forward in the shoulders what that ends up doing is lengthening those scapular muscles and putting them in a poor position so they can’t work properly and that puts more stress on that rotator cuff muscle.
Poor posture puts the shoulder in a poor position and the head in a poor position, increasing the risk of pain in those 2 areas, the shoulder and the neck, and also increasing the risk when it comes to neck and shoulder pain.
It’s important addressing those scapular muscles and the common mistake that people make when it comes to working their shoulder blade muscles or their scapular muscles is they end up focusing on rowing movements.
(This is a video on if scapular exercises are bad for the rotator cuff.)
And that’s good, it’s important to work on those rowing movements. That’s one of the movements for one of the muscle groups that you want to work on, but it’s very much like just living on a one type of food.
Just like only eating vegetables and not eating everything else. There are other movements and muscles that you need to focus in on when it comes to targeting those scapular muscles.
Kate Vidulich: Very interesting because it also sounds like you need to get some activation happening as well.
And I think that’s what a lot of people forget about when they try to do workouts like you say and they start to row.
You also talked about pre-rehabilitation right now and rehabilitation. Can you explain a little bit about the difference between the two and how they can be incorporated into an exercise program?
Rick Kaselj: If we look at the difference between pre-rehabilitation and rehabilitation, rehabilitation is recovery from an injury and pre-rehabilitation is doing things to prevent injuries.
That’s the definition of the two.
When it comes to rehabilitation and pre-rehabilitation, a lot of people think that that’s all they have to do.
They have to go and do 30 minutes or an hour and a half of all these low level exercises that aren’t really very exciting and are not helping them reach their fitness goals, fat loss goals or their performance goals.
In that case what I end up doing is intertwining those pre-rehabilitation and rehabilitation exercises into someone’s program so that they end up spending maybe 5 to 10 minutes just working on these specific exercises.
Kate Vidulich: Excellent. I mean this is great because I also feel like a lot of people bypass all these kinds of movements because they are often not the most exciting in an exercise program.
(Here are a few kind words on my Scapular Stabilization Exercise program.)
Rick Kaselj: Yeah, definitely.
I had this experience. I’ve gone to physical therapy for my back pain. I injured my back and when I was at physical therapy, they gave me a whole bunch of random exercises. I remember sitting in there for 45 minutes doing these very boring exercises that helped a little bit but it almost put me to sleep.
~~~End of Part 1~~~
That is the end of part one of the interview. I will be back with the second part in a few days.
It you would like to check out my Scapular Stabilization Exercise program, you can here:
I went to the weight room and did a workout yesterday. While in there, someone caught my eye. It was a person performing rotator cuff exercises.
As I went from exercise to exercise, he went from rotator cuff exercise to rotator cuff exercise. Everything he did, in my mind I was saying why he should not be doing that.
Let me share with you what my mind was saying as this patron was doing things to injure his rotator cuff and how he could tweak things so he is helping his rotator cuff.
#1 – Start Off with the Right Kind of Warm Up
He should have taken 5 minutes and warmed up the upper body and rotator cuff.
I am not talking about going on the treadmill and walking for 5 minutes.
I am talking about a warm-up targeting the upper body.
An example of an upper body warm up that he could have done before he got into his rotator cuff exercises is:
Jump Rope – 2 minutes
Push Ups – 10 repetitions
Shoulder Bridges – 10 repetitions
Tubing Face Pulls – 10 repetitions
Thread the Needle – 10 repetitions
These exercises serve to warm up the shoulder, activate the muscle in the shoulder blade area (scapular muscles), and improve the mobility of the mid-back, which all decrease the stress on the rotator cuff.
I will pass on writing about this and let myself explain things in this video:
(Resent research is Teyhen 2008.)
#3 – Stop Doing the Wrong Stretches Between Sets
It is common to see people stretching after they do an exercise.
For example, after doing a bench press you would see the person stretch out their chest.
Does this help or make things worse when it comes to the rotator cuff?
I would say it hurts the rotator cuff, and decreases your performance.
What he should have done is stretch the antagonist muscle (the muscle or muscle group that performs the opposite action or movement).
For example, if you are working the back by doing a rowing exercise, after the exercise you would stretch out the antagonist, which is the chest. Doing this will help decrease tension in the chest, lengthen the chest muscles, and allows you to get greater range of motion and less resistance from the chest muscles when performing the rowing exercise.
#4 – Don’t Make Your Rotator Cuff Weaker by “Strengthening” It
Doing too many rotator cuff exercises can lead to injuring the shoulder.
The patron in the gym. (Ya, at this gym, they call gym members, patrons. I don’t know.)
The patron in the gym was doing a standing tubing external rotation exercise. He was not doing it for sets or reps, but to fatigue. Not a good idea.
Often times, you will see people focusing on working their rotator cuff in an exercise. They will be performing repetitions with their maximum weight and going to fatigue. This leads to the rotator cuff not being able to do its job which is to hold the head of the humerus (upper arm) in place in the shoulder. With the rotator cuff fatigued, the upper arm will move upwards and increase the risk of impingement in the shoulder (Teyhen 2008).
You can do rotator cuff work in the warm up at a low load to warm them up, or you can do your rotator cuff work at the end of your workout, but doing it to fatigue is not a good idea.
#5 – Shoulder Blade Muscles are the Key to Rotator Cuff Health
When it comes to shoulder health and rotator cuff health, focus on the scapular muscles (Başkurt 2011).
Exercises like seated rows, diagonal pulley pull ups, straight arm deltoid rows, and bent over rows all hit your back and the muscles around your shoulder blade. That is, if you are at the level to do them.
The scapular muscles work to keep the shoulder blade in a position so the rotator cuff muscles can work at the best position possible. If the scapular muscles lack the activation, endurance, and strength, this leads to them not doing their job, which leads to great stress and risk of injury on the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff can do the job for a little while, but eventually micro-tears occur which could lead to a full blown rotator cuff injury and shoulder pain.
#6 – Focusing on Eccentric Contraction of the Rotator Cuff
The patron was doing side lying dumbell external rotation exercises with a 2.5 weight plate. This is a good exercise but he only focused on one of the contractions in the exercise.
He would externally rotate the weight plate, and then let gravity lower it back to the start position, avoiding the eccentric contraction. Not a good idea.
Many times when patrons work on strengthening their rotator cuff, they end up focusing on the wrong type of contraction for their rotator cuff. Let’s step back and talk about the different types of contraction a muscle has.
A concentric muscle contraction is when the muscle is shortening and the joint angle is decreasing. For example, look at biceps curls. If I take a dumbbell in my hand and go from straight arm and curl up until my elbow is bent to maximum, this is the concentric contraction of the biceps muscle.
An isometric contraction is when the muscles are activated and working but there is no joint movement. Let’s go back to the biceps curl. At the start of the biceps curl, my elbow is straight and my hand is holding the dumbbell. The biceps muscle is active but the elbow is still straight and there is no change in the joint range of motion. This is an isometric contraction.
Eccentric contraction is when the muscles are activated and the joint angle is increasing. Continuing on with the biceps curl example, this is when you go from the end position to the starting position. When working the rotator cuff, focus on the eccentric contraction (Holmgren 2012). This will help when it comes to overcoming a shoulder injury, especially shoulder impingement.
The guy in the gym could have got a lot more out of the exercise if he focused on lowering the weight plate by using the eccentric contraction of the rotator cuff, compared to using gravity.
Last Word on Helping and Not Hurting Your Rotator Cuff
There are a lot of things we can avoid and tweak that will decrease risk of injury and help protect the rotator cuff. Starting the workout right, stretching correctly, avoiding working the rotator cuff to fatigue, taking the time to work on the scapular muscles, and working on the eccentric contraction of the rotator cuff are just a few of the things that you can to help prevent and overcome a rotator cuff injury.
Now I did not tell this to the patron, but I hope he reads the blog — or he can book a training session with me and I can help him out.
Where to get more information:
Başkurt Z, Başkurt F, Gelecek N, Özkan MH. (2011). The effectiveness of scapular stabilization exercise in the patients with subacromial impingement syndrome. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2011;24(3):173-9.
Holmgren T, Björnsson Hallgren H, Öberg B, Adolfsson L, Johansson K. Effect of specific exercise strategy on need for surgery in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome: randomised controlled study. BMJ. 2012 Feb 20;344:e787. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e787.
Teyhen DS, Miller JM, Middag TR, Kane EJ. (2008). Rotator cuff fatigue and glenohumeral kinematics in participants without shoulder dysfunction. J Athl Train. 2008 Jul-Aug;43(4):352-8.
Can you tell me how to cure elbow pain? Basically it hurts if I do chin ups, lying dumbell skull crushers (I think that’s where I hurt it and a little on bench press). Also, can you tell me the other types of elbow pain there is (if any other) and if the treatment for curing would be different for each one?
Of the MIRU crew, Dr. Jeff Cubos took on the question. Just a reminder that the MIRU crew will be holding a seminar this June on Spinal Health & Core Training. We hope to see you there.
“Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to answer clinical conditions online.
There are many components to the elbow proper and far more components to pain itself.
I will say this, unless there was an acute trauma or structural deformity, the tissues surrounding the elbow may likely be overloaded. Aside from training that progresses too quickly or with too much load, I’d look to the thoracic and shoulder girdle regions.
Often the scapulothiracic joint complex lacks requisite dynamic or static control causing the muscles that cross the elbow to do more work. I’ll often start by addressing mobility issues, then go after control.
I really like quadruped both on elbows and hands for scapulothoracic control ensuring that the scapula is properly positioned or centrated throughout the movement. The hand should also have good contact with the floor in a slightly external rotated position with load being put at the 1st and 5th mcp and base of the palm. The fingers should be spread out.
It may also be worthwhile to seek the help of a clinician who does soft tissue therapy to address the quality of the local tissues and mobility of the distal tissues.
I hope that helps. Sorry I couldn’t be specific but you are more than welcome to email me.”
– Dr. Jeff Cubos
It is back to Rick. I would say, get it looked at and get an accurate diagnosis and approval to start an exercise program. If what you have is lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, I will suggest this program:
Since I do this injury stuff, I have been getting all kinds of nicknames, here is another one to add to the list:
I am Very Weak in the Push-up?
A question from Quebec:
Harold, I know you have both the Upper Body and Lower Body of Muscle Imbalances Revealed.
I would take the time to work on the scapular stabilizers. You can do this in a plank position – Dr. Jeff Cubos talks about above or you can do this in an open chain fashion with exercises targeting the middle fibers of trapezius, lower fibers of trapezius and serratus anterior as I go through in the Scapular Stabilization Exercise Program.
I would also check out Tony Gentilcore’s Component #1 – Corrective Exercise Strategies for Athletes (and Meatheads, too) with Tony Gentilcore that is in MIRU. He goes through some great exercises that you can do to help with upper body strength exercises.
My Shoulder Cracked?
A question from Brazil:
Sergio, I want to help you out but there is not enough to go on. My advice would be to get it looked at. Get an accurate diagnosis, clearance to start an exercise program and written guidelines on what you can and can’t do. Then we can go from there. My big advice: take the time to rehab your shoulder or you will get injured again.
Nice Stuff on Facebook
I am so glad to help fitness professionals and people with injuries. Very motivating to get comments like this:
“I would describe the Scapular Stabilization Exercise program as very comprehensive, foundational and exceptionally accessible for clients, with a wonderful explanation for the “why” behind all exercises / approaches.
Exceptionally well laid out, with a great background review of the scapular, shoulder movement, and involved muscles to provide a holistic approach.
The exercises are very well described, LOVE the “errors” section to assist with improving accuracy of each exercise. Love the handouts and the E-book. Overall, the best thing is the ease of lay out/presentation of material, so all is easy to understand and implement immediately.”
“I currently work with clients who have past or present shoulder injuries due to overuse or athletically related. Because of Effective Rotator Cuff Exercises, I have a more in depth knowledge of the functions of the rotator cuff and it’s vulnerability to injury.”
What exercises to do, how often, how to progress… I like having an action plan and this is going to help me for sure!!
Thanks so much Rick, you’ve given me hope that I might be running (at least part of it!) my Ironman in August instead of walking like I was starting to resign myself to!
It is awesome to help people overcome their injury and get them back to doing what they want even when you are in bed sick.
That is More Than Other Companies
Thanks for the reply. That is more than I usually get from most forums, companies. Thank you.
I train for “life” since I currently sit behind a desk all day at work. It beats getting crippled by not moving. haha.
I train my oldest 17 y.o. son and one or two of his team mates for their high school varsity soccer team in the off season. They put on some muscle and got a LOT stronger in the seven months we trained last year. They made it to state, and had a good season. We will be starting to train again in a couple of weeks as I felt it would be good for them to just relax and be kids and do anything besides soccer or training for a month.
Thank you for the gift. I believe I will select the rotator cuff exercises program since I recently injured mine falling through the attic hole and catching myself in a bent elbow iron cross. Beat hitting the concrete floor. My PT has been working on it and it is doing OK. I still can’t do hand stand push ups, but I will get my party trick back with time. Patience.
Which program is it that you think will help my knee pain?
Your programs are good simple basic advice that will help the majority of people with their injuries.
I look forward to your response.
I just sent you the rotator cuff program.
Great attitude on the “Training for Life”.
Very cool that you train your son. I hope I get that chance when my kids grow up.
When it comes to the knee program, I like what Bill Parravano talks about. I have an interview with him that I will put up soon.
The release of your new tennis elbow course is just in time for
me. However, my issue, which has come and gone and come again
over nearly four decades of lifting weights, is medial instead
of lateral epicondylitis. Will your new course help with that,
too? I’m hoping so! Otherwise, you need a golfer’s elbow course
I would have to say the Tennis Elbow Pain Solution would not help you with your medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow.
In the next few months, I will work on putting together an exercise program for golfer’s elbow.
As you know, this month’s Injury of the Month is shin splints. The program will be coming out next week. Then the next injury that I will focus in on will be frozen shoulder.
To Push or to Pull for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Dear Rick Kaselj,
I am 32 years old from Israel (so sorry on my broken English). Anyway I’m
struggling/ suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome more than 2 years..I tried almost everything although I had better times, so I am trying to get there again with a new rehabilitation program.
My question is about the squats on the study (*The effect of closed-kinetic chain exercises and open-kinetic chain exercise on the muscle activity of vastus medialis oblique and vastus lateralis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1256-62.)
On the study they perform a squat with a pillow between knees to work on the hip adduction too, but most of the programs include your Patellofemoral Syndrome Solution suggest to do the squats with band around the knees which mean the opposite ( hip lateral rotators group / obturator)
Can you tell me which one is better for patellofemoral pain syndrome?
Thanks for emailing me.
Very cool that you have dug in the research to see what is best for yourself.
My suggestion would be to do the the tubing around the knees.
If you want more details, have a look at my articles:
Wondering if you might like to look back at your superb research post on best glute medius exercises for hip replacements and look to do a video post on each of the selected, effective exercises.
As you know there are lots of ways to execute each of these individual exercises and we also sometimes call different exercises different names.
I think a lot of your readers would find this most useful and helpful in order to make sure that we are giving the correct exercise and that the exercise is done in the manor that the research shows was most effective.
I am still away on sabbatical touring North America and enjoying it immensely…will look forward to touching base with you in the spring when I am near Vancouver or in the summer when I return home, as I would like to purchase a few of your products. All the best to you…out for a dessert hike with the dogs…we are in southern Texas on the Mexico border…very desolate countryside, but beautiful. Thanks for considering my glute medius request.
CN, great to hear from you.
Thanks for taking the time to contact me and give me some feedback.
A few people have mentioned this to me. I will work on getting this done.
I have seen your website and saw your Spinal Fusion Exercise Program.
I am waiting to be called for spinal fusion surgery.
I have been on a specialist’s list for just over a year now, and I waited 14 months to get in to see him!
I see you have a lot of exercises for post surgery.
Do you have some specific exercises for pre-surgery?
I would appreciate hearing from you
Excellent point, M. At this time, I do not have any specific to pre-surgery.
A lot of what is covered the the post-surgery is what I would give someone for pre-surgery.
I would suggest you take a look at the Spinal Fusion Exercise Program.
The fitter you can have yourself enter the surgery, the faster your recovery will be. That is one of the reasons why professional athletes have such fast recovery times compared the the regular population.
It has been a few weeks and I am starting to get feedback on the program. One person has been having issues with their tennis elbow pain and the program has made it worse. She has asked me if I could help. We have been emailing back and forth. Here are some clips from our email conversation.
“I think my pain has increased a bit so I’m cutting back in intensity but I’m hoping that if I keep at it, it will eventually go away. Bursitis in my shoulder really flared up after starting the program. Not sure if it is related but that is the only thing different that I was doing.”
This brings up a number of points to remember about injuries. They apply to tennis elbow but to all injuries when you are using exercise to help them recover.
4 Key Things to Remember when Exercising for an Injury
Intensity – How aggressively you do the exercises has an effect on your injury recovery. I always suggest to be conservative when staring an exercise program for an injury. Go easy and light. See how things feel after the exercises, a few hours after the exercises and the next day. You should feel like you have done something but your symptoms should not increase.
Resistance – Once again, the resistance you use will determine the stress put on the injured area. We want to stress the injury but not irritate it. It is a fine balance. Once again, start off light and see how it feels.
Cumulative Stress – If you are doing exercises for an injured area, you are adding more stress to that area. If you do not decrease or eliminate other things you are doing that add stress to the injury, this will lead to more irritation and pain. Make sure to look at things that are putting stress on your injured area and decrease or eliminate them.
Pain Techniques – Do the pain techniques in the evening. Doing the ice, stretching and self massage are most effective before you go to bed or a few hours before you go to bed. It relaxes the tissues and then the tissues get a chance to heal while you are sleeping.
Nutrition – Staying hydrated, properly fueled and focusing on inflammation lowering food is important as well. This will help you in your injury recovery.
When it come to tennis elbow pain exercises leading to shoulder pain, I cover this in the video presentation of Tennis Elbow Pain Solution but also Stasinopoulos 2011 says it well:
“If the affected arm is not supported, our experience has
shown that patients complain of pain in other anatomical
areas distant from elbow joint, such as the shoulder, neck,
I would suggest you do the tennis elbow pain exercises with your arms supported. You can look at the exercise descriptions and videos for Exercises 9b and 10b in the program.
“Regarding my bursitis – I took a break this past weekend from exercise and the tennis elbow program and it seemed to be less painful.
I am doing mostly stage 2 exercises but am sticking with a modification of scapular exercises #6.”
It has only been a week or two since you have got the program. You might not be ready for stage 2 exercises.
If you are getting elbow pain from the exercises, look in the exercise descriptions and I give you ideas of what you can do if you get pain from the exercises. Here are a few things to remember:
Conditioning – If you are getting elbow pain from doing the exercises, do exercise #3 for two to three weeks. This will help work on the conditioning of your elbow muscles. By being in stage 2 so early, you are getting pain because of the points that I covered at the top of this article.
Posture – Look at your posture when you are doing the exercise. Make sure it is ideal which is ear-shoulder-hip in a straight line. Being out of alignment puts greater stress on the shoulder.
Technique – If an exercise is irritating, go back and make sure you are doing the exercise correctly. Look at the exercise description and watch the video of the exercise.
“My left elbow and left shoulder are super tight. When I do the tennis elbow program my arm feels worse. Should I work on my shoulder first? Should I stop? Would be happy to have your feedback!”
Follow what I wrote above.
What caused what: What I have seen in many people is a shoulder injury leads to your tennis elbow pain.
I know you have the Shoulder Pain Solved program of mine. Make sure to the pain techniques that I talk about in that program for your shoulder but remember the key points that I talked about above. They are very applicable to all injuries.
“Does my tennis elbow cause my shoulder pain or does my shoulder pain cause my tennis elbow? Is it possible to work on both at the same time or should I focus on one first and then the other? If so, which should I focus on first? Which program would be most helpful – tennis elbow, shoulder, scapula?”
From my experience, one injury often times leads to others.
I feel you can do both but follow what I said above in the article.
If what I said above does not help, go get your diagnosis confirmed by a qualified health professional and have them rule out that there is something else going on. Then take the programs to someone that can help you with the program. You can go to a fitness professional that focuses on injuries or another health professional. The key thing is that they will spend the time with you to go through the exercises.
Remember the points that I said above.
These would be your priorities:
Work on your scapular stabilizing exercises as this will provide stability for your shoulder and decrease the stress on your elbow.
Work on improving your posture as this will decrease the stress on your shoulder and elbow.
Work on the pain techniques in order to relax the muscles around the shoulder and elbows.
Work on strengthening the shoulder and elbow as per the Shoulder Pain Solved and Tennis Elbow Pain Solution program.
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