Rock climbers and shoulder pain
I have recently had a client who is a keen rock climber and is suffering from shoulder pain… so I have done some research on what the cause might be and how to improve it.
Your shoulder – meet the “rotator cuff”
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons which stabilise the shoulder. The four muscles are Teres minor, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus and Subscapularis. All these originate from different areas in the scapula (shoulder blade) and insert at the humerus (upper arm). As well as keeping the shoulder stable, they help with shoulder joint movement.
The rotator cuff gets a good work out during rock climbing, especially during overhanging routes which require lots of pulling power from the shoulder and arms. The root of the problem is often these muscles are not strong enough to take you to the next level. If you are feeling general weakness on your shoulder and pain when lifting your arm above your head, you should pay some attention to your rotator cuff muscles.
So, what can you do?
1. Have a massage. Remedial massage is a brilliant first step! Not only massage helps you to recover after exercise, also encourages faster healing of any injured tissues. A good pre-massage assessment will help to locate the source of the problem and a deep tissue massage will help relieving inflammation and helping the muscles to relax, allowing them to heal faster.
2. Strengthen your rotator cuff muscles. You can do some simple strengthening exercises using a resistance band.
3. Stretch, stretch, stretch. You should aim to stretch these muscles after each climbing session, it should only take a few minutes!
I currently have a special offer at Leith Therapy Clinic (within Tiso shop – handy for climbers!) – a one hour ‘sports massage’ for £35 (new clients only)
This offer is valid up to the end of November and all you need to do is mention ‘Leith’ when you make your booking. Just get in touch by using the website contact form or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org