Lifting causing shoulder pain: Infraspinatus.
The Infraspinatus is one of the main troublesome rotator cuff muscles. It is a dynamic stabilizer and assists external rotation. It is located behind the lower part of the shoulder blade.
How do Infraspinatus injuries happen:
Keeping the arm in overload: driving a car, working on the computer.
Reaching back repeatedly: eg swinging your arm back, tennis, serving volley ball, controlling computer mouse.
Some people train quite vigorously in the gym and concentrate too much on contraction of muscles instead of eccentric contraction which is the lengthening the muscle whilst loading it. Things like doing an overhead exercise without proper stabilisation can cause strain on shoulder muscles such as the infraspinatus muscle.
Pulling exercises : these exercises are great to correct posture however by releasing the weight too fast during the exercise such as the lat pulldown , seated cable row or dumbell to be only stopped by the shoulder joint will cause unnecessary strain on the the rotator cuff muscles , especially the infraspinatus muscle. Please concentrate on releasing the weight slowly down . This will make the exercise more effective and prevent you from injury.
Pushing exercises : exercises like bench press , push ups or movements that are similar will promote strengthening of the opposing muscles of the infraspinatus muscle that is dynamically trying to correct your posture . Be sure to pull your shoulder blades back to correct yourself whilst training and balance the back muscles to help stabilising the posture muscles.
Symptoms of infraspinatus injuries:
Front shoulder pain: pain around the biceps, the pain is deep inside the joint or the side of the shoulder blade.
Stiff / weak shoulder: shoulder or arm tire out more easily or arm goes numb.
Restricted mobility: turning your arm out, eg putting your jacket hurts.
Treatment: Fix posture: Infraspinatus is a dynamic stabilizer it’s normally strained from posture as well. Habitual movements are main culprits of straining this muscle. Weight training: exercises such as Barbell rows or bench press make sure it is a training exercise in itself to pull your shoulder blades back and back down. Hunching over the computer or desk for long periods of time can be very stressful on the muscle , to conteract this stand up and do a quick stretch of the chest or pull the shoulder blades back together and hold it for 10-20 seconds.
Rehabilitation/ correction exercises:
Shoulder dislocations : improve shoulder mobility 3×10 reps
Doorway stretch: tight chest muscles overly strain the infraspinatus muscle as well . Having tight chest muscles will cause your body to hunch over and is quite taxing on the infraspinatus muscle. This stretch will loosen up the pectoral muscles.
Pelvis / hip alignments: leaning to onside or misalignments have a big role in shoulder problems. See your local chiropractor for assessment.
Use a foam roller or ball (tennis / lacrosse) to massage out trigger points.
Infraspinatus massage: do about 20 strokes whilst having the ball under your shoulder blade lying on the ground.
Rhomboids: this the same thing as the infraspinatus massage but the massage is between your shoulder blades.