Shoulder Joint Pain Relief

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

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

shoulder joint painShoulder joint pain was preventing a father from throwing a baseball to his son and he was very distressed.  He needed should joint pain relief in the worst way.  He was complaining to a friend of his who is a client of mine. Even though he had been recommended to go for surgery, his friend convinced him to give muscle therapy a chance. So yesterday “Frank” came in to see me.

He demonstrated throwing a ball, but he could barely lift his arm, and he definitely couldn’t bring it back. He said that his time with his son is precious to him, and that their favorite pastime is throwing a baseball.  If I could just help him do that, he would be happy.

Why Muscles Cause Shoulder Joint Pain

shoulder jointYour shoulder has more muscle attachments than any other joint in your body.  A muscle pulls in only one direction, muscles never push. When you consider all the movements you can make with your shoulder and arm, you can see why there are so many muscles involved.

The important fact is when a muscle is shortened from spasms, it will cause pain at its insertion point on the bone at the shoulder joint.

The reason is evident when you consider an analogy I frequently use to describe joint pain. If you pull your hair at the end, it hurts at your scalp.  However, you don’t need to massage your scalp, you don’t need to take aspirin for the headache, and you definitely don’t need brain surgery!  You just need to let go of your hair!

The exact same thing is true to stop your shoulder joint pain. You just need to let go of the tight muscles that insert into your shoulder.

The Muscles That Cause Shoulder Joint Pain

Perhaps you’ve heard of the rotator cuff muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. However, my experience has proven that there are a lot of other muscles that aren’t considered shoulder muscles, but that will cause shoulder joint pain. Those muscles are your biceps and triceps, your levator scapulae, and your latissimus dorsi (among others).

While not rotator cuff muscles, your biceps and triceps both originate deep within your shoulder joint. The other two muscles will move your shoulder blade (scapula). When they are in spasm, which shortens the muscle fibers, it will cause a strain to be placed on the muscle tendon, which will then cause a strain, and pain, on your shoulder joint.

How To Release Shoulder Joint Pain

shoulder joint pain reliefThere are so many muscles involved in shoulder joint pain that I couldn’t show all of them here, that’s why I wrote Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living.

However, I do want to show you how to do one treatment for your infraspinatus muscle.

But first, back to “Frank.”  I treated each of the muscles mentioned, and then using Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living, I showed him how to treat each of the muscles of his shoulder.  He was thrilled!  He could easily, and painlessly, throw a baseball.  In fact, he went outside and tried it just to make sure.

The key is self-treatment.  Muscles will again shorten up until you train them to be their normal, longer, length. You can’t go to a therapist as often as necessary to make the muscles return to their proper length. However, you can treat yourself every day! That’s how you really stay flexible and pain-free — frequent self-treatment.

An Easy Treatment For Shoulder Joint Pain

The following pictures are from Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living

shoulder joint pain treatmentStep 1: To treat your left infraspinatus, put the Perfect Ball in your right hand and bring it under your arm, going back as far as you can so you are on top of your infraspinatus muscle.

 

Step 2:  Lean into a wall.  Find the “hot spot” (the spasm).  You’ll know you’re on it because it will hurt.

shoulder joint pain relief equipmentStep 3:  Stay still for 30-60 seconds, then move a little bit to roll the ball back and forth on the muscle.

Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living will explain this further, and will give you pictures and descriptions of how to self-treat the other muscles that cause shoulder joint pain.

It just takes a little bit of direction and effort to learn how to self-treat. But, I’ve seen so many times that you CAN stop shoulder joint pain!

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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Comments (2)

  • Ruth

    |

    Will any of the treatments when there is little bone left due to arthritis. The muscle are definitely impared

    Reply

    • Dr. Steve Chaney

      |

      Dear Ruth,
      If there is little bone left, you should consult with your physician and use a trained therapist they recommend. In that situation, self treatment could be dangerous.
      Dr. Chaney

      Reply

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Latest Article

High Protein Diets and Weight Loss

Posted October 16, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Do High Protein Diets Reduce Fat And Preserve Muscle?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

Healthy Diet food group, proteins, include meat (chicken or turkAre high protein diets your secret to healthy weight loss? There are lots of diets out there – high fat, low fat, Paleolithic, blood type, exotic juices, magic pills and potions. But recently, high protein diets are getting a lot of press. The word is that they preserve muscle mass and preferentially decrease fat mass.

If high protein diets actually did that, it would be huge because:

  • It’s the fat – not the pounds – that causes most of the health problems.
  • Muscle burns more calories than fat, so preserving muscle mass helps keep your metabolic rate high without dangerous herbs or stimulants – and keeping your metabolic rate high helps prevent both the plateau and yo-yo (weight regain) characteristic of so many diets.
  • When you lose fat and retain muscle you are reshaping your body – and that’s why most people are dieting to begin with.

So let’s look more carefully at the recent study that has been generating all the headlines (Pasiakos et al, The FASEB Journal, 27: 3837-3847, 2013).

The Study Design:

This was a randomized control study with 39 young (21), healthy and fit men and women who were only borderline overweight (BMI = 25). These volunteers were put on a 21 day weight loss program in which calories were reduced by 30% and exercise was increased by 10%. They were divided into 3 groups:

  • One group was assigned a diet containing the RDA for protein (about 14% of calories in this study design).
  • The second group’s diet contained 2X the RDA for protein (28% of calories)
  • The third group’s diet contained 3X the RDA for protein (42% of calories)

In the RDA protein group carbohydrate was 56% of calories, and fat was 30% of calories. In the other two groups the carbohydrate and fat content of the diets was decreased proportionally.

Feet_On_ScaleWhat Did The Study Show?

  • Weight loss (7 pounds in 21 days) was the same on all 3 diets.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused almost 2X more fat loss (5 pounds versus 2.8 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused 2X less muscle loss (2.1 pounds versus 4.2 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • In case you didn’t notice, there was no difference in overall results between the 28% (2X the RDA) and 42% (3X the RDA) diets.

Pros And Cons Of The Study:

  • The con is fairly obvious. The participants in this study were all young, healthy and were not seriously overweight. If this were the only study of this type one might seriously question whether the results were applicable to middle aged, overweight coach potatoes. However, there have been several other studies with older, more overweight volunteers that have come to the same conclusion – namely that high protein diets preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss.
  • The value of this study is that it defines for the first time the upper limit for how much protein is required to preserve muscle mass in a weight loss regimen. 28% of calories is sufficient, and there appear to be no benefit from increasing protein further. I would add the caveat that there are studies suggesting that protein requirements for preserving muscle mass may be greater in adults 50 and older.

The Bottom Line:

1)    Forget the high fat diets, low fat diets, pills and potions. High protein diets (~2X the RDA or 28% of calories) do appear to be the safest, most effective way to preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss in a weight loss regimen.

2)     That’s not a lot of protein, by the way. The average American consumes almost 2X the RDA for protein on a daily basis. However, it is significantly more protein than the average American consumes when they are trying to lose weight. Salads and carrot sticks are great diet foods, but they don’t contain much protein.

3)     Higher protein intake does not appear to offer any additional benefit – at least in young adults.

4)     Not all high protein diets are created equal. What some people call high protein diets are laden with saturated fats or devoid of carbohydrate. The diet in this study, which is what I recommend, had 43% healthy carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats.

5)    These diets were designed to give 7 pounds of weight loss in 21 days – which is what the experts recommend. There are diets out there promising faster weight loss but they severely restrict calories and/or rely heavily on stimulants, they do not preserve muscle mass, and they often are not safe. In addition they are usually temporary.  I do not recommend them.

6)    This level of protein intake is safe for almost everyone. The major exception would be people with kidney disease, who should always check with their doctor before increasing protein intake. The only other caveat is that protein metabolism creates a lot of nitrogenous waste, so you should drink plenty of water to flush that waste out of your system. But, water is always a good idea.

7)     The high protein diets minimized, but did not completely prevent, muscle loss. Other studies suggest that adding the amino acid leucine to a high protein diet can give 100% retention of muscle mass in a weight loss regimen – but that’s another story for another day.

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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