Many of us hold our shoulders up to our ears, also known as shrugging. Why do we shrug our shoulders?
Regardless of “why” we shrug our shoulders, we should try to focus on “unshrugging.”
Unshrugging is the opposite of shrugging. It’s all about lowering your shoulders - think about hanging your arms by your side, making a fist with each hand, and punching down toward the floor. If you feel a stretch across the top of your shoulders and into your neck, then you probably shrug your shoulders more often than you think.
Unshrugging will stretch the upper trapezius muscles (one of the muscles across the top of the shoulders). This is important because...
As a Wisconsin resident, I have seen some serious snow this past week. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I have also seen quite a few injuries related to some serious snow fall. The most common injuries I see are back pain and shoulder pain from shoveling.
People will arrive in my office 1-2 months following a heavy snowstorm and say, "Do you remember that real big snowfall 1-2 months ago? Yeah, that's when I started hurting."
I created a video on Facebook on how to shovel snow without back and shoulder pain for this reason.
I encourage you to watch the video and learn how your legs should do most of the work so that your back and shoulder don't have to.
Other tips for snow removal:
I recently had a patient ask me where a flu shot should be administered. This may seem like an odd question since I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy and not a family physician. However, the reason she asked is because she had received another type of shot 2 weeks prior and her left shoulder had been painful since. She was due to have a flu shot and was concerned that her shoulder would be re-aggravated.
With flu season quickly approaching and because my patient asked me about this, I felt compelled to address an unfortunate situation that has occurred at least 3 times in recent years. I have cared for patients who received a flu shot only to discover shoulder pain within minutes to hours after the injection. Their pain persisted and ultimately resulted in a trip to the orthopedist and a prescription for physical therapy.
Flu shots are typically administered in the meatiest or thickest portion of the deltoid muscle of the upper arm. However, on rare occasions, the person administering...
I had a guy stroll into my office and exclaim, “Dr. De Witt, you got to fix my golf game!” This man took me a bit by surprise because he was boisterous and very confident that I was the one who could help him. The truth of the matter was that I had never met the guy.
I replied by saying, “Sir, how can I fix your golf game? Are you having pain or feeling weak?”
He said, “Well, you see, this buddy of mine came to see you to fix his shoulder and you shared with him 4 exercises. He said after he started doing your 4 exercises that not only did his golf score improve but his shoulder and his back pain went away. I’ve had back pain for quite a while and I want to learn those 4 exercises you gave him.”
I asked him how long he had back pain and he informed me “all my life.” I shared with him that I specialized in treating patients with back pain for “all their life” then I asked him what his golf score was.
He laughed and...
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