Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

By Ross Ashcraft

Ever reach for the remote, swing a bat, throw a ball, swat the dog, pick up a pan and feel a numb or burning sensation in your shoulder?  Were you an athlete when you were younger?  Specifically, were you a swimmer, pitcher, quarterback, tennis player, or golf officianato and you tried to pick up the sport again and your shoulder just wasn’t the same?  Ever wake up and your shoulder hurt for hours and you thought you just must have slept on it wrong?

 Consider this:  All of the above instances were not the reason you are in pain.  Oh, you are hurt but they are not the cause.  Those instances are just the final damage on an already injured shoulder.  They are the straw that broke the camel’s back.  We spend our lives injuring and re-injurying our bodies.  We put it through so many stressful not to mention painful situations that it is a wonder that it can recover at all. 

The two most common reasons that I have found for chronic shoulder pain are:

1.  Sleeping on your shoulder

2.  Damaged muscle from a recent or long-term injury that has never properly healed

Many people sleep on their shoulder.  All night long you crush and cram your shoulder denying it the proper blood supply.  It cannot heal under these circumstances.  Think of your body as a construction site.  You could have the most amazing equipment and tools; but if you don’t have a skilled labor force that can make proper decisions, there is not much that you can accomplish. 


Wall Walking 10x Before Bed

1.  Stand about one foot away from the wall with your elbow bent

2.  Place your index and middle finger on the way and walk up.  Reminds me of the old yellow pages add.

3.  Walk up the wall until your reach your discomfort and hold there for 3 seconds

4.  Let your fingers drag down the wall

5.  Do this 10x with the intent of getting higher and higher as you go.

Stretch before going to bed

Change your sleeping habits—sleep on your back.  

Change your pillow to a cervical neck pillow.  Thank you Kerstin Byrd-Trotter  a CCC alumnus for this great suggestion!  She says, “they are kinda pricey but sooo worth it.  I never use to sleep all the way through the night now I have never slept better!!!!”

Without proper care a shoulder can very quickly let you know that it is annoyed with you. However, we have an amazing machine.  It can take years of repetitive motion and still bounce back.  IF it gets the proper training and support, it can recover.  A skilled massage therapist can help retrain your shoulder and get you back to your life.  Consider trying these options before making any drastic decisions like surgery.

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