T Nation

strechting-2


#1

I did not want to hijack the other thread but other than ART, which the closest practioner is 4 hours away, what have any of you done to get full range of motion back in your shoulders. In the same theme as King's Out of Kilter article on shoulders, when my left arm is at 90 degrees while I am lying on the floor, it will not lay flat like my right arm. I do all the stretches he outlines in the article but it has not helped. The tightness feels almost like it runs down into my left pec also. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

Sand.


#2

As TT suggested in the other thread, if you're having ROM trouble look into getting a book or two or video from Pavel Tsatsouline. Here is a link to a site that pretty much has everything he's done http://www.dragondoor.com/cgi-bin/prod_list.pl?pauthor=Pavel%20Tsatsouline


#3

Sandman, I got the same problem too. I got my shoulder treated by ART, and my ROM does increase, but not fully. My right and left shoulder doesn't have the same ROM.

If you find something that works, please let me know... :slight_smile:


#4

OK. I have personally found King's static stretching recommendations useful for preventive maintenance, but not the best for increasing ROM where there is stubborn tightness. Pavel's techniques have been far more effective for stubborn muscles.

Since ART is so far away, I would try this new technique and different stretches for a couple weeks. If, after a few weeks, you still don't see improvement, go get the ART. Might as well try the cheap and easy way first.

  1. Order Relax Into Stretch.

  2. In the meantime, read about a similar stretching technique at
    http://www.coventrypainclinic.org.uk/treatment-exercises-beforeyoustart.htm#MuscleEnergyTechnique

  3. Try the above technique with this stretch (which is in Pavel's book):

Kneel in front of a bed or bench so that you can stretch your arms in front of you at 45-degrees and rest your hands on the edge of the bed. Let your body sink and relax down till you feel a major stretch in the pecs. Contract the pecs hard, isometrically pressing your hands into the bed for 5 seconds, then exhale and relax for 3 seconds. Repeat a few times.

  1. Another technique I've found helpful is isometric contraction at the end of the ROM I'm trying to increase. For example, bend over with arms stretched out as if you're going to do rear-delt flyes. But instead, hold in your hands the ends of a rope you're stepping on. Contract the rear delts and pull on the unmoving rope, while trying to relax the pecs. Hold for awhile, like 30 seconds.

  2. Do the scapular wall slides in Mike Robertson's articles, such as
    http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/278back.jsp

  3. Perform what you think is the most effective stretch several times a day for a couple weeks. For example, I would do the kneeling stretch once every hour or two, from lunchtime till bedtime.

If after a couple weeks, you don't see a HUGE improvement, go get the ART. You likely have an adhesion that will not allow the muscle to lengthen properly. Bring a smart friend to watch the way the ART is done; your friend can probably duplicate the treatment at home.


#5

kurnia38, I can think of a few possibilities.

One, since your shoulder pain HAS improved with ART, then you may need more treatments. And you may need them close together (every other day) until you get where you want to be, then maintain that ROM with faithful stretching.

And remember, you don't want your shoulder to be TOO flexible.

Two, you probably need to address other spinal alignment issues that contribute to tight traps (or is it other neck muscles?). Your tight traps (I might have read this on another thread) are almost certainly an effect rather than a cause. Do you have a head-forward posture? i.e., when viewed from the side, are your cheekbones lined up with the collarbones or way ahead? If your head is forward, you're going to have chronic tightness in the neck. But this is often caused by spinal alignment problems lower down, like kyphosis/lordosis/pelvic tilt. If this is the case, you can easily address the true cause.

Third, tension in the neck could be caused by mental stress. No, really, it could. Or a combination of stress plus other, correctable postural mechanics described above.

Fourth, you may have a more difficult problem like scoliosis. When I say "difficult," I mean that I haven't found any exercises or stretches recommended to fix scoliosis (yet).


#6

andersons,

I did get the ART treatment for about a month and a half, monday, wednesday and friday. At the beginning, my condition improves quickly. I can't touch my lower back without being in pain before. Now I can touch my upper back, although not as far as my left shoulder.

After a month though, then there's no improvement at all. I drop by couple of times after that, and they're saying they couldn't find anything wrong.

I think I might have a head forward posture. What can I do about it?


#7

Try Ian King's 'Lazy mans guide to stretching'

Do your left arm first, and again after your right.

Stretch pre-workout, post-workout (between your drink and your shower) and again 4 hours after your workout (a John Bracadi reccomended time, I believe)

The ROM of my right anterior shoulder rapidly increased from near nothing to beyond normal with this. Just an option besides traveling 8 hours a day for ART.


#8

Head-forward posture:

Head-forward posture is generally caused by problems lower down. Other curves in the spine and the position of the hips are going to be out of whack (pelvic tilt, for example). So, you've got to fix those. I had good results with Don Alessi's lower abs and "inner abs" workouts. (Issue 200 Iron Dog, and The Lost Secret of Ab Training article.) Add to that the great program in "Heal That Hunchback" and you're going to see big changes in overall posture that will put your neck at ease. The steps I listed in my post above also helped me a lot.
I strongly urge you to read those 3 articles carefully and see if you think any of it applies to you.

It sounds like you've gotten all you need from the ART on your shoulder. Using ART to eliminate adhesions is really only the first step. Once adhesions have been dealt with, faithful stretching should EVENTUALLY get you where you want to be. Stretching does take time and patience. And don't stretch those shoulders too much! For greatest strength and stability, just a bit more ROM than you need to maintain perfect form on all your lifts, and no more.