We’ve already discussed in the previous blog The real reasons your shoulder aches how pain and dysfunction begins and continues in the shoulder joints. The next logical question is usually then “How can I fix it?”.
Some typical measures taken to rehabilitate or improve joint function are foam rolling, massage and stretching. Let us delve into each of these a bit more and understand why they do not represent the full picture of what effective rehabilitation should look like.
📌 Foam rolling
Although simulating massage and trigger point therapy, the foam roller is a broad tool mainly used for the back and legs, which have large muscles surrounding the joints such as the Latissimus Dorsi and the four Quads, for example. When using a tool to help us release trigger points, the tool needs to be accurate enough to target the exact spot needing attention. A foam roller is not accurate enough to get into the nooks and crannies we want to access around the shoulder joint, whilst a massage ball however, is. The massage therapy ball allows us to find a position which is conducive to pacifying the nervous system and let gravity do the work, as well as being specific enough to give the pinpoint pressure we need for recovery.
This is not to say that massage doesn’t work – on the contrary it’s the most sensitive and accurate way to work on tissues manually. It has great benefits to us – the issue is more that the relief from the massage lulls us into a false sense of confidence where we hope the issue will now end and never come back, never acknolwedging that it is our own habits and patterns that cause those issues in the first place. So what needs to be fixed? The tissue, or the faulty patterns and habits? Clearly the latter, which is the cause, not the injured tissue (the symptom). This requires much more than just tissue release and relaxation. In fact, release is only the first stage of a long process of retraining, redefining and regrooving new, efficient patterns into our body, known as corrective exercise. This is actually more about training the nervous system, than about training any particular tissues. When we train the nervous system to adapt, the rest of the tissues eventually follow in line as the body has been holistically designed as such to accomodate growth and evolution within one lifetime.
📌 Doctors and Therapists🩺
While I clearly would not say anything to suggest that these roles and services are not hugely important, I would say that there is a whole load of new sport science and methods of the last 10 years which has not filtered down to the academic curriculum at Universities for those roles. Scientists such as Helen Langevin, Khan & Scott, Threlkeld and more have contributed such progression to the science that we have now made leaps and bounds in better understanding the way the body moves and works over the last decade. The medical industry is failing to provide sufficient customised solutions to the average person, and even less so to the athlete. That is why private therapists and doctors are now in abundance, but at the same time it’s not viable that everybody can afford those services regularly enough to help fix the issue. If we consider how long we may get a massage for versus how many hours a day we spend using faulty patterns, you can see that more is needed than just a weekly massage. Not just daily release of unwanted tension and overactivity, but also a host of other corrective work that progresses on from this to truly help retrain the nervous system and support a permanent solution to the dysfunction. It’s been the subject of focus for me to help upskill therapists in how to offer that deeper, customised rehabilitative process by putting them through my certifications.
📌Online mobility programmes
Finally we come to the increasing popularity of mobility courses. Mobility is the 2019/2020 buzzword or trend in fitness. From 2015-2019 it was calisthenics. Before then, yoga. Unfortunately the rise of social media and influencer type roles has led to an increasing number of coaches claiming to teach mobility but having no prior anatomy knowledge or training in the subject. They want to jumo on trend but cannot tell you what is happening at a cellular level in your body when they give you these programmes. They also cannot fully describe why and how one should go about assessing oneself to understand issues at a deeper level. Finally, they often perform and prescribe movements incorrectly without articulation, which negates the impact of any such training drastically. They are passing on that faulty knowledge in order to appear influential and knowledgable, and muddying the water in the process.
Putting all of that aside, this piece is not intended to put down other professionals, but to create space for education, truth and integrity in the industry.
There are many actual experts in this across the world, who get lost in the noise of influencers on social media. As experts we reject disinformation, falsities and wolves dressed as sheep. We want to provide that information which is rarer, harder to understand but proven effective, in such a way that people can understand it in their personal terms and make their health a ritualised and enlightened part of their lives. By taking a fragmented approach to recovery we cannot fully heal ourselves – the above mentioned methods usually fail to take into account the full depth of science and process available to us with corrective exercise, thus usually failing at satisfactorally solving the patient’s issue.
How can we identify the causes of pain and dysfunction? What is the system to fix it? How do the techniques work scientifically and have they been proven? How does one do it accurately and correctly? How does one programme and progress through the rehabilitation?
Keep an eye out for our new online mobility course “Bulletproof Shoulders” coming soon to TMA, which will include all the things I’ve mentioned above which are not usually addressed.
Get first access to this course soon and:
- 👉 Assess your shoulder joints for health and document your progress
- 👉 Follow a robust and detailed programme, module by module
- 👉 Learn the principles behind how to take care and maintain your own biomechanics and joint health
- 👉 Self-rehabilitate joint dysfunction and improve your athletic performance across the board
👊I have used this system personally to rehabilitate my own dysfunctions from over 28 years of multi-disciplinary training, as well as having massive success using it with plenty of high profile and general public clients. In the last 5 years I’ve also certificated over 1000 trainers and therapists in my accredited systems to offer this service to their clients and patients.
Ricky Warren, Founder of Bodyweight Gurus