Shoulder Mobility

This week at PPC we are thinking about shoulder pain. Some of you have shoulder injuries and some of you don’t (and want to keep it that way!). According to Kimberly Burke of Colorado State University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, we need shoulder strength to help support the joint and decrease risk of injury, and we need shoulder flexibility to maintain a pain-free range of motion. With many people now in sedentary jobs, they can experience a tight upper back or shoulders from that regular posture. We want to teach you a little bit about the importance of shoulder mobility and give a couple quick tips for improving it. 

The National Library of Medicine explains that the shoulder joint, also known as the glenohumeral joint, is a ball and socket joint with the most complicated range of motion in our bodies. The shoulder muscles have a wide range of functions, including abduction, adduction, flexion, extension, internal and external rotation. Where your scapula and head of your humerus meet is a space called the glenoid cavity, which is surrounded and reinforced by ligaments and rotator cuff muscles. There are four rotator cuff muscles which include the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. Other muscles that support the shoulder include the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, the deltoids, trapezius, and the serratus anterior. With such a wide range of movement and so many muscles and ligaments involved, you may start to get the picture of the complicated nature of our shoulders. 

Because it’s so complicated, injuries to the shoulder are unfortunately quite common. According to Gregory Nicholson, an orthopedic surgeon at Rush University Medical Center, almost everybody will experience some kind of shoulder issue between the ages of 18 and 88. Unlike with an injury to the foot, ankle, knee, etc., there’s no visible limp or sign that you might be experiencing discomfort in your shoulder, but we’d love to hear your experience and see if we can help. Lots of things can cause pain in the shoulder. Here’s a list from the University of Pennsylvania’s Hospital website of some things that could happen to a person’s shoulder throughout his or her life:

  • Arthritis in the shoulder joint
  • Bone spurs in the shoulder area
  • Bursitis, which is inflammation of a fluid-filled sac (bursa) that normally protects the joint and helps it move smoothly
  • Broken shoulder bone
  • Dislocation of the shoulder
  • Shoulder separation
  • Frozen shoulder, which occurs when the muscles, tendons, and ligaments inside the shoulder become stiff, making movement difficult and painful
  • Overuse or injury of nearby tendons, such as the bicep muscles of the arms
  • Nerve injury that leads to abnormal shoulder movement
  • Tears of the rotator cuff tendons
  • Poor shoulder posture and mechanics

If you’re experiencing any of these things, please reach out so we can meet with you and help correct the issue. We can examine your strength and range of motion, check your functional abilities, and ask you your goals so we can come up with a personalized treatment plan to relieve your shoulder pain and restore your mobility. This personalized plan might include stretching, strengthening, and joint mobilization/stabilization. 

Not everybody will experience this pain in their life, and if you haven’t, that’s awesome! Like we mentioned before, shoulder mobility is important both from a strengthening and stretching perspective. We need strength to help support the joint and decrease risk of injury. We also need flexibility to maintain a pain-free range of motion.


Almost everybody will experience some kind of shoulder issue between the ages of 18 and 88. Don't worry, there are some things you can do to correct or prevent this!

Peak Performance Care

in Sonora CA

13949 Mono Way

PO Box 4143

Sonora, CA 95370


(209) 532 1288

Fax: (209) 230 9529

Monday/Wednesday: 8am-5:30pm

Tuesday/Thursday: 6am-5pm

Friday: 6am-2pm

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