Gym Exercise and Shoulder Pain

It’s funny how you don’t notice a certain part of your body until it starts giving you problems. Picture this: you use your arms every day. Connected to your arm is your shoulder which mostly moves with your arm. Somewhere along the line you hurt your shoulder, and you’re not exactly sure when or why, but something is different. A nagging pain is nibbling on your nerves, and you can barely pick up your fork to take a bite of your supper.

Sounds familiar?

We only notice that we can’t be without the functionality of a certain part of our body as soon until that part of our body starts acting up.

When it comes to the subject of shoulder problems, many a person will tell you about the pain and suffering that their shoulder problem caused them. According to research, it seems that shoulder problems are common in the general population, with up to 47% of adults complaining about their shoulder/s.

Before going for surgery, many will go to physical therapists, massage therapists, or their primary care providers to help them sort out the problem of their pain. Effective methods used to help alleviate shoulder pain include physical medicine, anti-inflammatory medications, prescription pain medications, and cortisone injections.

One of the very popular treatments for shoulder pain is therapeutic exercise. In contrast to this, shoulder pain can actually be caused when hurting oneself while doing gym exercises. Exercise is a  relatively normal activity for many people, but it has the ability to cause your shoulder problems or aggravate an already existing shoulder problem.Thus, certain exercises are beneficial to the shoulder, but there are others which may place the shoulder at risk for injuries and pain.

The following are four gym exercises that you should watch out for because they might just be the cause for your shoulder problems:

  1. Bench press: because the shoulder is “loaded” with the weight of the bar, there may be an association between bench press and arthritis of the shoulder. Strictly speaking, the shoulder is a hanging joint. Such heavy loading may cause early wear of the cartilage.
  2. Acromio-clavicular (AC) joint: the AC joint (the joint between the collar bone and the shoulder bone on top of the shoulder) is also referred to as weight lifters shoulder. Lifting heavy weights may lead to wear of this joint, but the incidence is so low that one probably should not be too concerned about this.
  3. Overhead exercises like military press: doing military presses loads the rotator cuff while it is in a position that can lead to rotator cuff injuries. There are other exercises with equal benefits and less risk such as lateral raises, horizontal row, and others.
  4. Contagious exercises: one of the most common contagious exercises is seated rowing. When the weight is pulled back it also squeezes the shoulder blades together – this does not only exercise the rotator cuff muscles but also the stabilizers of the shoulder blades.

As mentioned above, there are therapeutic exercises that will help treat your shoulder problems. Therapeutic exercises usually consist of motion, strengthening, and conditioning exercises.

Isn’t it ironic how the same thing, exercise, can either heal or harm you? So next time you go to the gym, be sure to watch out for potentially dangerous exercises.

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