If you are someone who enjoys functional fitness, maybe even bodybuilding, powerlifting, CrossFit, Olympic weight lifting, you name it. If you touch a barbell and if you’ve ever touched a barbell… You have developed shoulder pain at some point along that journey. These are my top three tips to make sure that you know how you can manage shoulder pain as well as, understanding when to seek help and ultimately how to prevent future injury.
1. Be aware of the acute phase of your injury
– Now, we’ve all had shoulder pain, maybe like a little tweak here and there, and it goes away, right? Miraculously! There are often other things that just linger. It just doesn’t go away by itself. The most critical is from zero to 72 hours. It sets up everything with your healing timeline. If not, it continues to cascade into something chronic. Now, is there anything beyond six weeks? Absolutely. Then it’s three months. After that phase, you can set yourself up for success by avoiding irritating it in the first 72 hours.
2. Use the “Traffic Light” system
– I want to give you something called a red, yellow, and green light system that we developed at Sports Performance. If a clean and jerk or a bench press or a shoulder press bothers you during the activity and it persists after the activity, that’s a red light. That exercise needs to be switched or modified. If the shoulder press or bench press bothers you after the activity and it continues the next morning when you wake up, that’s a yellow light. Now, if it only bothers you with the movement and immediately after you discontinue exercise and it doesn’t bother you throughout the day, that’s a green light. Continue going! If your shoulder bothers you, but only during the activity, nothing else, it’s a green light no matter what. Again, keep moving! There are many modifications and alternatives for exercise so don’t be married to specific exercises.
3. Seek out a healthcare provider you trust
– Recruit your trusted healthcare team. Now, I say recruit because you’re the captain, it’s your body and nobody tells you what to do, right? You’re the captain. You will have a lot of choices when it comes to who you seek out and how you want to do that. Make sure you understand how to push and pull and not have to depend on anybody else. You might need some guidance along the way to give you feedback, but ultimately, you will now know how to manage your own pain with the prior two solutions. You can work on barbell exercises, snatches, cleans, bench press, shoulder press and do all the things that you love without ever stopping. That’s the key to achieving your goals.
If you want to know more information about how we can help, get started with a FREE discovery phone call.
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– Dr. Jason
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