09
October 2013
At Fix Body Group we are bombarded weekly by injuries and trauma to the shoulder, especially the rotator cuff muscles. Most people have heard of injuries and tears to the rotator cuff. Whether you are a Crossfit athlete, baseball fan, desk jockey or weekend warrior in a local gym, everyone fears the rotator cuff and the pain and suffering an injury there is supposed to coincide with. However, as we will describe below, often these injuries are extremely treatable and have a very high success rate, if the proper approach is taken. While by nature, especially compared to the hip or other joints, the shoulder in naturally less stable, these type of injuries are often very preventable and can also be healed very successfully with conservative physical and manual therapy methods. We employ a mix of sports therapies, A.R.T. , massage, and chiropractic work to help re-balance the shoulder by strengthening weak muscles and relieving tightness and scar tissue buildup in tight muscles, ligaments and tendons. Lately, we’ve encountered a number of problems that have to do with one rotator cuff muscle in particular, the subscapularis. The subscapularis, or “subscap” as it’s often called in short, is extremely important for both normal function of the shoulder joint, and also the healing of an injured shoulder. Because it lies beneath the scapula (and thus derives it’s name), and posterior to the rib cage it is very hard to access and treat, except by the most skilled and knowledgeable of therapists. Many doctors, massage therapists and PT’s don’t really know how to access it for manual therapy, and there are few ways to really create a positive response in this muscle otherwise. The subscapularis will become very tight in swimmers, ballplayers, surfers, boxers, Crossfit athletes, and anyone who uses a mouse, keyboard, or steering wheel for long duration. You might know this muscle is affected if you have trouble bringing your arm up overhead and rotating externally, as if winding up to throw a baseball. If you have trouble with these motions please consider getting an assessment to find out if this muscle, or another rotator are compromised. This muscle is not easily stretched or lengthened at home, and is best treated using an advanced manual therapy technique such as Active Release Technique as we do here at Fix Body Group. Many of our desk jockies, Crossfitters, and professional fighters can attest to the powerful change that can be made on this muscle, and ultimately the entire shoulder joint.