Monthly Archives

January 2017

Why does my shoulder hurt when I reach overhead?

By | Pain Relief | No Comments

Shoulder pain with reaching overhead is a complicated and often misunderstood issue. People will begin to compensate by using the other arm, changing where objects are located, or simply not trying to reach overhead. While these substitutions can be helpful during the initial painful phase, these are not solid long term strategies to live your life by.

If you have ever been told “Well, just stop reaching overhead and everything will be fine” keep reading!

The most common cause of shoulder pain when reaching overhead is shoulder impingement, which is a space issue. You see, the acromion (bony sticky-outy part) comes off the shoulder blade and forms the roof. The humeral head (the big, long arm bone) forms the floor. There are some ligaments in the front that form the sides. So, there is limited space due to bony and ligament limitations. Now, going through this space you have tendons (attaches muscle to bone), bursa (fluid filled sacks), and the joint capsule that is surrounding that humeral head. One wrong movement in that limited space and something can get pinched. OW! That pinching may lead to inflammation which makes the tendon/bursa/capsule puff up = more stuff in the same limited space! This increases the chances of the pinching happening again the next time you lift your arm overhead.

Now, some people have the pinch happen once, are able to “rub it out”, and never have that problem again. This is ideal! But, for people who continue to suffer from pain after 3-5 days, there may be a further problem. Some people may have their shoulder blade sitting in the wrong spot due to prolonged computer use. Others may have started a heavy weight lifting program and have too much stress on the joint or improper form. Someone else might have a muscular imbalance between their front and back muscles. These issues can all put the bones in the wrong place and further decrease that space causing further pinching, pain, and inflammation. This is when a complete evaluation is required of not only the painful structure but the entire upper body to see if there are other contributing factors.

If you suffer from shoulder pain or find yourself limiting your activities due to pain/loss of motion, we can help! Please contact Amy at (360)367-0970 so we can discuss your BODY.

That is NOT normal!

By | Pelvic Floor | One Comment

No, that is NOT normal!

Ladies, today I am talking to you! Gentlemen, I appreciate your patience as we divert towards a “female issue” for this blog. I do hope the men folk will read this as you may be able to provide some helpful information to the women in your life.

Far too many times in my career I have been told by women that urinary incontinence after giving birth is normal. This may include leakage while coughing/sneezing, inability to run / perform jumping jacks / jump on a trampoline due to concerns of leaking, or keeping track of where the nearest bathroom is at ALL times! Well, that depends on your definition of “normal” is and what your definition of “quality of life” involves.

What is “normal”? It is true that nearly 50% of women experience some form of incontinence (lack of urinary control) immediately after giving birth. The research also indicates that 30-70% of these symptoms spontaneously resolve after 6-12 months. So, if you continue to suffer from loss of urinary control one year after giving birth, you are in good company. There are many, many women in your boat who are avoiding certain activities due to a lack of pelvic floor control. You are “normal”.

However, I would argue that your quality of life is affected as you limit participation in activities such as bouncy houses with your children, playing on the trampoline, or perhaps training for that 5K you have always wanted to try. I would further argue that this is not “normal”. Studies show that 50-75% of women who continue to suffer with urinary incontinence can benefit from Physical Therapy treatment of the pelvic floor to improve urinary retention during stressful activities (coughing, sneezing, jumping, running).

You may have heard of the infamous “Kegel exercises”. Your doctor may have told you to do them twice per day and that will solve the problem. But, how do you know that you are doing them right? Or why haven’t they worked for you? The truth is that there is more to the pelvic floor than just the sling of muscles holding everything up. The pelvic floor works in conjunction with abdominals and the low back muscles to provide urinary and fecal continence. Also, the pelvic floor attaches into the femur which means that a limitation in hip mobility may be affecting pelvic floor control.

At Physical Therapy for EveryBODY, I perform a complete core evaluation of the hips, low back, all appropriate muscles, as well as a complete history to formulate a plan that will work for your body. No two bodies are the same which means that no two plans are the same. However, many patients can be treated with just a few visits and a comprehensive home exercise program that is not difficult and does not involve special equipment. I hope you will contact me today and begin your path to the quality life you and your body deserve!

Oh, and don’t get me started on pain during intercourse! That is NOT normal and can have a significant impact on your relationship. Call me, let’s talk!