Once the pandemic hit in 2020 I could no longer use my favorite gym due to restricted hours and Covid safety protocols. This was frustrating to say the least. What did I do? I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and purchased a yoga mat along with several sets of dumbbells. It was time to […]
Rotator Cuff or Rotator Cup?
I often hear people refer to the muscles that encircle the shoulder at the “rotator cup.” This of course is a misnomer. The muscles that surround the shoulder are correctly referred to as the “rotator cuff.” The definition of a “cuff” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is as follows: “Something (such as a part of […]
Allowing Tendonitis To Heal
I hate tendonitis and the misery that it brings. The loss of function, the psychological frustration that comes with having pain with motion, and visits to health professionals are annoyances that many of us who have tendonitis must endure. Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon that usually stems from repetitive stress or overuse. We commonly […]
Shoulder Surgery: When Can I Get Rid of My Shoulder Sling?
Rotator cuff repairs, shoulder labral repairs, acromioplasty, humeral fractures, and other shoulder surgeries inevitably require the usage of a shoulder sling as a means of protecting the surgeon’s work and allowing early healing of the involved tissue. I have yet to meet a surgeon who does not prescribe the usage of a shoulder sling immediately […]
Managing Expectations When Recovering from a Labral Repair
I have seen many clients with post-operative shoulder labral repairs. It is a frustrating injury that takes time to recover from. Being the recipient of two labral repair surgeries myself, it is my opinion that the key to recovery with a labral injury is managing expectations. The shoulder labrum is a fibrous, or rigid type […]
My Shoulder Blades Are Not Even!
Take a look at anyone’s resting shoulder blade position from behind the next time you are at the pool or at the beach. If you look closely, you may notice that many people’s shoulder blades, or scapulae, do not sit evenly. Two common observations to see are one shoulder blade sitting higher than the other […]
What Does a Shoulder Labral Tear Feel Like?
From personal experience I can attest that labral tears can hurt quite a bit. What we will be discussing today in this blog post are a few ways to differentiate between shoulder labral tear pain and pain associated with other shoulder problems. For the sake of brevity, we have already described the basic anatomy of […]
When Can I Start Working Out After Shoulder Surgery?
At PhysioDC, we hear this question all of the time. It is a vague question, because it depends entirely on what type of procedure/repair you had on your shoulder. IN GENERAL, here is a basic protocol for many types of rotator cuff repairs, labral repairs, bankart repairs, and acromioplasty. It goes without saying that you […]
Sleeping Comfort after Shoulder Surgery
Rotator cuff repairs, labral repairs, acromioplasties, and shoulder replacement surgeries are performed on countless patients every day in the United States. Although rehabilitative protocols differ depending on the surgery, there is one common complaint shoulder patients have regardless of the type of surgery. Most patients are not equipped to deal with the pain associated with […]
How Do I Stabilize an Unstable Shoulder?
A significant percentage of the population has “unstable” shoulders, or shoulders that have the ability to move into ranges that place one at risk for orthopedic injury. Also known by the medical community as “multi-directional instability,” loose shoulders are fairly easy to identify. If you suspect that you have an unstable shoulder, ask yourself the […]
How Obesity Affects Your Joints
Most of us have heard the warning about obesity as it pertains to general health. Diabetes, coronary heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, and osteoarthritis are all common health concerns that are all associated with overweight patients. Here is one additional reason to lose weight that you may not have considered: Obesity, particularly as it pertains to […]
Why Won’t My Shoulder Rotate?
Deficits in the shoulder’s ability to rotate both internally and externally occur in patients with shoulder pain all of the time. Today we will be talking about internal rotation deficits. This is clinically referred to as “GIRD” (Glenohumeral Internal Rotational Deficit). The following photos illustrate how GIRD presents. Note that with the patient’s attempt to […]
What Exactly Is the Rotator Cuff?
The Anatomy Ah, the infamous rotator cuff. Nearly everyone knows someone who has injured it, but what is a rotator cuff? During my physical therapy career, I have heard individuals call this a rotator cup, rotary cuff, rotor cup, and many other alternatives, but do not worry because we understand what you mean. First, a […]
Is Sleeping On My Side Bad For My Shoulder?
Especially for those of us who already have to deal with shoulder pain, the answer is a resounding “yes.” As a quick experiment, lie on your side. Think about the positioning of your shoulder as you lie on top of it. Most people will unconsciously position the body so that the bottom shoulder is forced […]
Strengthen Your Scapular Muscles!
The scapula, otherwise known as the shoulder blade, plays a vital role in shoulder mechanics. If the shoulder blade is not controlled well via the muscles that attach to it, problems ranging from neck pain to rotator cuff tendonitis are often the result. Scapular strengthening is often overlooked both in patients that are trying to […]
Shoulder Pain With Yoga? Adjust your “Downward Dog”!
The bones and tendons of the arms are not anatomically equipped to bear the brunt of our weight. If they were, we would still be walking around on all fours. The yoga “downward facing dog” position places us “on all fours,” placing abnormal stress on the tendons of the rotator cuff as the shoulder joints […]
What Does a Partial Rotator Cuff Tear Mean?
The rotator cuff muscles provide stability to the shoulder joint and are responsible for coordination of the fine movements of the shoulder. The rotator cuff muscles originate on the scapula (aka shoulder blade) and taper down into tendons as they attach onto the head of the humerus. When we hear the term “rotator cuff tear,” […]
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
The “thoracic outlet” is the anatomical space through which vital nerves and arteries exit the neck and enter the arm. (See illustration below) You can see from the illustration that there are many structures that have the potential to get in the way of, clamp down on, or otherwise disrupt the nerves as they pass […]