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06 Wed

Do you have full shoulder range of motion?

Do you have full shoulder range of motion?

Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CGFI


The other day, I had a young athlete come in complaining of shoulder pain.  She had pain with overhead movements at her end range of motion.  Her sport requires that she have pretty strong and flexible shoulders that can stand up to repetitive movements, so we took a look at how she was moving.

It turned out she was pretty hypermobile in her joints, her shoulder range of motion was pretty good, but the big thing was HOW she moved her arm.

When she raised her arm, she was able to get her arm straight overhead with her upper arm close to her ear, but her lower back had totally arched and extended. From the joint standpoint, she was fine.  But from a soft tissue flexibility and control standpoint, she had some major deficits.

We did some joint mobilizations to free up her first and second ribs to allow for greater scapular and clavicle movement at end range, and did some soft tissue Graston Technique on her latissimus and subscapular areas.  This increased the flexibility of the soft tissue and fascia that connects her arm to her shoulder blade and her shoulder blade to her trunk.

With increased mobility and control in these areas, we were able to abolish her end range pain by the time we were done for the session.

The point is that even though you feel like you have full range of motion in a joint, but still have pain, you have to look and assess the quality of movement to rule out what exactly is the cause of your issues.

Physiotherapists are movement experts, so if you’re having pain with movement, we can assess and treat your deficits and be able to get you moving pain free in no time.  Give it a try first before going to see a physician for some medication.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417. We are located in the Madison and Summit area YMCAs, you do not need to be a member to come see us.




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