Shoulder Impingements Fixed with Thera-Band Exercise Program & Massage

SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT SURGERY MIGHT BE AVOIDED WITH A THERA-BAND EXERCISE PROGRAM

Quick anatomy lesson about the Rotator Cuff 

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles and tendons (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) that attach to the bones of the shoulder joint, stabilizing it and allowing it to move about freely.

As kids, we got a quick skeletal anatomy lesson with the song Dem Bones stating that “the arm bone’s connected to the shoulder bone.” The shoulder joint is in fact a ball and socket type joint where the top part of the arm bone (humerus) does form a joint with the shoulder blade (scapula). The rotator cuff holds the head of the humerus into the scapula, thus controlling the shoulder joint’s movement.

The rotator cuff tendons pass underneath a bony area on their way to attaching the top part of the arm bone. When these tendons become inflamed, they can become more frayed over this area during shoulder movements. Sometimes, a bone spur may narrow the space even more.

What causes a Shoulder Impingement (Rotator Cuff Tendinitis)?

According to PubMed Health, years of poor posture, as well as the usual fraying of the tendons that occurs with age may lead to rotator cuff tendinitis.  There are several ways this could happen…

What are signs and symptoms of a Shoulder Impingement?

Pain can occur doing overhead activities and lifting your arm to the side such as hair brushing, reaching up for objects, or playing an overhead sport.

The pain may be mild at first when performing only certain movements of the arm.  However, over time, the pain may be present at rest or at night, especially when lying on the affected shoulder.

 Good News for Shoulder Impingement Sufferers!

A recent Swedish research study suggests that therapeutic exercise using Thera-Band elastic bands and tubing combined with massage therapy is as effective as surgery for patients with subacromial shoulder impingement (Haar et al 2005, Brox et al. 1993).

The Study:

The 12 week study focused on 102 patients with chronic subacromial impingement syndrome (SAIS) lasting greater than 6 months. The strengthening program included dumbbell and elastic tubing exercises including eccentric rotator cuff and scapular stabilizer strengthening.

All patients attended physical therapy once a week for the first 2 weeks, and once every other week for the next 10 weeks, and performed their exercises once or twice a day.

The Results:

65% of the participants using Thera-Band elastic tubing reported successful outcomes with a 20% need for subacromical decompression surgery after the Thera-Band exercise program.

For the complete exercise protocol, just ask for it at your next massage appointment.

Sources: PubMed HealthThera-Band Academy Blog


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I have gone to Morgan many times and have always been thrilled with the results. He really knows his art. He has been trained in many techniques, and has extensive certifications (unlike other massage practitioners who have very little training at all). Morgan is a true professional. He asks the right questions, has a calming and friendly bedside manner, and really knows how to effectively help me with the pain and discomfort I was having. When on vacation, I’ve tried spa massages and there is no comparison, they haven’t even come close to Morgan’s work. I recommend Morgan highly, he’s the best of the best.

During this visit, I walked in with a sharp pain/kink in my neck and upper shoulder which I had had for over a week. By the end of the session it was gone, and has not returned a day later, even after I worked out today and then did a lot of gardening. I feel much better all over.

- VANESSA SCHAEFER