The shoulder is a unique and complex structure, capable of seven movements. An injury to it can often be challenging to riddle because the muscles are so closely related it is difficult to  isolate one muscle.

Apart from trauma, some of the biggest reasons for pain can be because of overusing the shoulder, or not using it correctly. Sometimes stiffness of the shoulder and neck, or even too much mobility in the shoulder without enough stability, can also cause pain.

Here are some tips to help improve your shoulder health:

  • Good mobility

Mobility is the ability of a joint to actively move . This is affected not only by the joint, but also by the muscles surrounding it. Moving the shoulder is important because this allows for lubrication, which helps the shoulder move better. We need good movement in order to do daily tasks like reaching to the top of the cupboard, driving, or getting dressed.

  • Strengthening

When we have enough movement in the shoulder, it is important to get stronger to help keep it that way. There is a group of four muscles, called the rotator cuff, which  are the driving forces of shoulder movement. For many people, the rotator cuff is implicated when they have shoulder pain.

Strength training must be done correctly. So, if you are a beginner, start with body weighted shoulder strengthening first, and only later move to higher resistance training.

  • Diet

Eating foods which help decrease inflammation and improve bone density is very important in good shoulder health. Some of the pain symptoms associated with  conditions like arthritis can be managed when coupled correctly by a diet. It is important to consult with a dietician regarding this, since it is not one size fits all!

Whether you are desk bound, an athlete or elderly, it’s easy to take our pain free shoulders for granted. So don’t wait until it’s too late, rather start boosting your shoulder health today.