Painful Shoulder Relief

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Shoulder Joint Pain, Shoulder Pain

Surgery Is Not the Only Option

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

painful shoulderI was at my sailing club and a man was sitting watching the water, rubbing his painful shoulder.  I asked him what was wrong and he said he had a sore shoulder for the past three months. He told me he desperately wanted to find some pain relief. He loves to sail and this sore shoulder pain was preventing him from going out on the water.  He’d already been to a massage therapist, a physical therapist, and a chiropractor. He finally went to an orthopedic surgeon and was told that surgery was the only way to get relief from his painful shoulder. However, he had decided that he didn’t want to take that path…yet.

Why Muscles Can Cause a Painful Shoulder

I use an analogy that makes it clear why muscle spasms in your shoulder will cause joint pain.  If you pull your hair, your scalp will hurt. But, you don’t need to massage your scalp or take aspirin for your headache, and you definitely don’t need brain surgery.  You simply need to let go of your hair!

pull hairYour shoulder has more muscle attachments than any joint in your body.Each muscle pulls your shoulder in a different direction. As any of the muscles get tight it puts pressure on the bone. Your painful shoulder is the end result – just like pulling your hair hurts your head.

To get relief all you need to do is release the tension in the muscles.

Stretching WON’T Help Ease a Painful Shoulder!

It is important to untie the knots (spasms) in the muscles before stretching. Think of what happens if you take a 12″ length of rope, tie enough knots in it so it is 11″ long, and then try to stretch it back to 12″ without first untying the knots.  This is what will happen to your muscle fibers if you stretch without first releasing the spasms.

flexibility dvdI’ve worked for years with people who not only have sore shoulder pain, but also have pain in every joint. Frequently pain is caused by repetitive muscle strain while working or playing sports and it needs to be released. Working with athletes it was vital to teach them how to do self-treatments they could use during a race or competition. And my other clients have found self-treatments give them permanent relief from aches and pains.

This has led to several books and DVD programs, including Focused Flexibility Training.  On one DVD I demonstrate how to self-treat every muscle, from your head to foot. And then, on two DVDs (1 Upper Body and 1 Lower Body) Ana Johnson, a fantastic yoga instructor, leads you through self-treating the muscles you will be stretching followed by a 30-minute yoga program.  It works to quickly eliminate a painful shoulder, as well as pain and stiffness throughout your body.

pain free dvdFocused Flexibility Training has a foundation of self-treatments that come from my book, Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living. The exciting part is people from all over the world have confirmed that the treatments really work!

There are several treatments for sore shoulder pain. Each addresses a different group of muscles that move your shoulder and arm. There are uncountable motions you make every day without even thinking about it, and each muscle can be strained.

Treatment for a Painful Shoulder

shoulder pain treatmentThe photo to the left show you how to treat your infraspinatus muscle. This muscle brings your shoulder back, like you’re taking a tennis serve. When your Infraspinatus muscle is in spasm, it causes shoulder pain as you try to bring your arms forward.

Place the Perfect Ball as shown in the picture, and lean your weight into the ball.  Look for the “hot spot,” which will be tender.  As you lean into the ball take the pressure off, and then lean again. You’ll find the painful shoulder becoming less and less painful each time you again add pressure.

Move the ball to different areas of your shoulder, finding the various painful points.  Each one is a spasm that is causing your sore shoulder pain. You can enhance this treatment by slowly drawing your arm across your body while you are still pressing into the ball. Since the spasms have been released, this movement will safely stretch the muscle fibers. As you release each spasm, and then stretch, you’ll find pain relief and you’ll know how to stop pain quickly and easily should it return.

As for the man mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I taught him how to do the self-treatments.  I’m happy to say that today he told me he slept through the night for the first time in weeks. He’s getting better every time he does the self-treatments and he’s back to sailing again.  That is so fulfilling — I LOVE my work!

With some knowledge of how to find spasms, how to self-treat them, and how to stretch properly, you can Stop Pain FAST!  This, of course, goes for a painful shoulder as well.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

julie donnellyAbout The Author

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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One of the Little known Causes of Headaches

Posted August 15, 2017 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Your Sleeping Position May Be Causing Your Headaches!

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

 

Can sleeping position be one of the causes of headaches?  

A Sleeping position that has your head tilted puts pressure on your spinal cord and will cause headaches. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times, and the reasoning is so logical it’s easy to understand.

causes of headachesYour spinal cord runs from your brain, through each of your vertebrae, down your arms and legs. Nerves pass out of the vertebrae and go to every cell in your body, including each of your organs. When you are sleeping it is important to keep your head, neck, and spine in a horizontal plane so you aren’t straining the muscles that insert into your vertebrae.

The graphic above is a close-up of your skull and the cervical (neck) vertebrae. Your nerves are shown in yellow, and your artery is shown in red.  Consider what happens if you hold your head to one side for hours. You can notice that the nerves and artery will likely be press upon. Also, since your spinal cord comes down the inside of the vertebrae, it will also be impinged.

In 2004 the Archives of Internal Medicine published an article stating that 1 out of 13 people have morning headaches. It’s interesting to note that the article never mentions the spinal cord being impinged by the vertebrae. That’s a major oversight!

Muscles merge into tendons, and the tendons insert into the bone.  As you stayed in the tilted position for hours, the muscles actually shortened to the new length.  Then you try to turn over, but the short muscles are holding your cervical vertebrae tightly, and they can’t lengthen.

The weight of your head pulls on the vertebrae, putting even more pressure on your spinal cord and nerves.  Plus, the tight muscles are pulling on the bones, causing pain on the bone.

Your Pillow is Involved in Your Sleeping Position and the Causes of  Headaches

sleep left side

The analogy I always use is; just as pulling your hair hurts your scalp, the muscle pulling on the tendons hurts the bone where it inserts.  In this case it is your neck muscles putting a strain on your cervical bones.  For example, if you sleep on your left side and your pillow is too thick, your head will be tilted up toward the ceiling. This position tightens the muscles on the right side of your neck.

sleeping in car and desk

Dozing off while sitting in a car waiting for someone to arrive, or while working for hours at your desk can also horizontal line sleepcause headaches. The pictures above show a strain on the neck when you fall asleep without any support on your neck. Both of these people will wake up with a headache, and with stiffness in their neck.

The best sleeping position to prevent headaches is to have your pillow adjusted so your head, neck, and spine are in a horizontal line. Play with your pillows, putting two thin pillows into one case if necessary. If your pillow is too thick try to open up a corner and pull out some of the stuffing.

 

sleeping on stomachSleeping on Your Back & Stomach

If you sleep on your back and have your head on the mattress, your spine is straight. All you need is a little neck pillow for support, and a pillow under your knees.

Stomach sleeping is the worst sleeping position for not only headaches, but so many other aches and pains. It’s a tough habit to break, but it can be done. This sleeping position deserves its own blog, which I will do in the future.

 

Treating the Muscles That Cause Headaches

sleeping position causes of headachesAll of the muscles that originate or insert into your cervical vertebrae, and many that insert into your shoulder and upper back, need to be treated.  The treatments are all taught in Treat Yourself to Pain Free Living, in the neck and shoulder chapters.  Here is one treatment that will help you get relief.

Take either a tennis ball or the Perfect Ball (which really is Perfect because it has a solid center and soft outside) and press into your shoulder as shown.  You are treating a muscle called Levator Scapulae which pulls your cervical vertebrae out of alignment when it is tight.

Hold the press for about 30 seconds, release, and then press again.

Your pillow is a key to neck pain and headaches caused by your sleeping position.  It’s worth the time and energy to investigate how you sleep and correct your pillow.  I believe this blog will help you find the solution and will insure you have restful sleep each night.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

 

About The Author

julie donnelly

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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