It’s your PT buddy Mike, Clinical Director at NYPT Elmhurst. Today’s topic is the shoulder. The shoulder is a very important body part that is designed for motion, speed, and mobility. We can see this demonstrated when we watch sports such as baseball, when the pitcher cocks his arm back and then releases the ball with such great velocity. Another athletic example would be a gymnast. Think of how a gymnast maneuvers around the high bars; they need that flexibility in their shoulders in order to perform at such a high level. Our shoulders are designed to do amazing things, but sometimes when we push the limit we get hurt. Then you come to physical therapy…hopefully!
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint just like our hip but is designed for mobility, where as our hip is designed for stability. We need to take care of our joints by exercising, stretching, strengthening, and consuming the right nutrients to maintain our health. The shoulder has an important group of muscles called the rotator cuff…. not the rotary cup as I have heard many times before! The rotator cuff is composed of 4 muscles including infraspinatus, supraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. These muscles are very crucial to a healthy, functioning shoulder, and if torn one can experience pain, lack of motion, as well as inflammation. If one is experiencing these symptoms it is important to seek medical advice on a treatment plan.
Exercises we can perform:
Side lying external rotation: lay on the affected side up and place a towel roll in between their elbow and rib cage while keeping their elbow at 90 degrees. One will start with their arm at their belly button and bring their arm up to the ceiling, while keeping pressure on towel. The towel helps us activate one of the rotator cuff muscles just a little better. Exercises will be performed 3x 10reps.
Door way stretch: one places their elbows flush against the framing of door while standing erect and placing one step forward. This exercise is designed to stretch our chest and to help fight against forward head posture. This will be held for 3x 30seconds.
Things to pay attention to:
What am I doing at work, home school?
How far forward am I leaning when I am staring at the computer?
Are my shoulders rounded?
Can I reach behind my back into my wallet?
Can I put on my bra?
Can I wash my own hair without help?
Do I have trouble reaching into that top cabinet at home?
If you find yourself having some of these issues come into PT, get better, and resume your normal life. We want to keep function up and make sure we are not declining. Be smart and seek out help before the problem gets worse. We as physical therapists are here to help, so please come see us if you’re hurting or losing function.
Speak to you soon,
Your PT buddy Mike
Dr. Michael Kuzniewski graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition from Queens College in 2010. In 2012 he began to pursue the pre-requisite qualifying courses for entering DPT school and went on to graduate from NYIT with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy in May 2015. After completing his degree, Michael began work as a PT in an outpatient orthopedic practice, and most recently was promoted to Clinical Director at NY Physical Therapy & Wellness. He is currently pursuing the OCS certification to further his PT skills. He is a published PT with an article in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, “THE IMMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF KINESIOTAPE® ON BALANCE AND FUNCTIONAL PERFORMANCE.” Michael enjoys treating a variety of clinical cases but finds his niche in sports physical therapy and post- surgical rehab. His passion has always been patient driven and he constantly strives to become a better PT.