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Sunday, December 04, 2022

How to know when to stop exercising if your shoulder hurts when you raise your arm

  • Shoulder pain when lifting objects overhead can be caused by a variety of factors.
  • Could be due to lack of core strengthsaid personal trainer Luke Worthington.

When we experience pain in an area of ​​the body like the shoulder while doing something as simple as reaching overhead, it can be hard to know whether to rest or work through the pain.

Whether it’s in a sport like tennis or doing an overhead barbell press in the gym, the overhead reach is a characteristic of many people. physical aptitude regimens.

While every case will be different, it’s worth evaluating your pain and your body to make sure you don’t have a serious problem. injuryorthopedic surgeon Dr. David Geier and personal trainer Luke Worthington told Insider.

“Normally, pain that comes from above the head, whether it occurs during weightlifting exercise or daily activities, like reaching into a cabinet, is caused by shoulder impingement,” Geier said. “This is irritation of one of the rotator cuff tendons as it passes under the bony part of the shoulder tip.”

Shoulder pain can also be muscle soreness due to poor recovery after exercise, due to a lack of core strength, a mobility problem or injury, Geier and Worthington said.

Discomfort is normal during exercise, pain is not

While it’s normal to feel some discomfort when you exert yourself during exercise, persistent or sharp pain is a red flag, experts said.

Exercise needs to be challenging to get results and can lead to delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which typically peaks 24 hours after a workout and feels like a dull ache in the back. muscle.

“When it comes to exercise and training, particularly if our goals are to change body composition, we’re really trying to create tissue damage, just in a planned and controlled way,” he said.

It can be awkward, but it’s okay to fix it, Worthington said, however, this is different than joint pain or acute muscle pain, which should not be ignored.

Pain is the nervous system’s defense response when its current state is under threat, Worthington said.

If something isn’t working right in your body, pushing it, particularly with weights, can make small problems become big ones, Worthington said.

If the shoulder discomfort goes away after training or the next day, you’ll likely be able to continue training, Geier said.

“If the pain doesn’t get better, or if it gets worse and makes exercise difficult, then a more serious injury could be possible,” he said.

A clicking or popping shoulder could be serious

If you notice a clicking or popping sensation deep in your shoulder when you raise your arm, it could be a labral tear, which is serious, Geier said.

“The labrum is the cartilage cap that lines the shoulder socket,” Geier said. “A labral tear would be potentially more serious, as it often doesn’t heal without surgery.”

However, that sensation does not necessarily mean a labral tear.

Shoulder pain above the head can be caused by a weak core

Shoulder pain when performing an overhead press could also be caused by a lack of core strength, since no joint works in isolation, Worthington said.

The shoulder is made up of two joints, and if they don’t work together, they can damage the connective tissue around and within the joint, Worthington said.

One of these joints is the scapular, which relies on the ribcage sitting in a neutral position to function. This, in turn, is largely determined by the position of the pelvis and the core muscles between them.

If the core doesn’t provide balanced tension around the bottom of the ribcage, it won’t anchor in place and this will affect the shoulder blade, Worthington said.

“This means that the movement of the upper arm will seem restricted, or if we try to force the movement of the upper arm without addressing everything below, then we damage the joint,” he said.

Most people don’t need to do shoulder presses.

There are many factors involved in safely and comfortably raising an arm overhead, which is why Worthington prefers to think of shoulder pain more broadly as an “overhead range of motion” problem rather than just a “shoulder mobility” problem.

If your range of motion is limited and you’re in pain, Geier recommends avoiding overhead presses and focusing on rehabilitation, perhaps seeing a physical or physical therapist. If your pain doesn’t improve after a few weeks, she suggests seeing an orthopedic surgeon to check for an injury.

While overhead presses help build upper-body strength and stability, there’s no reason you need to do them if you’re not a competitive athlete who needs them, Worthington said.

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