If you’ve ever hung your shirt, reached for the cookie jar or high-five’d your buddy after a great workout you've had the pleasure of using your body's ability to reach overhead.
The shoulder has the most range of motion (ROM) out of any other joint in the body.
This vast ROM comes with a price.
The anatomy of the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint and the intricate positioning of tendons leave a structurally low margin for error.
This means that when there is an imbalance in the musculature the bones sit in an area of space which may irritate these tendons when moving.
This may cause discomfort for some.
But hey, that's just one more reason to make the effort to properly train it.
Once properly functioning the shoulder complex is a beautiful piece of biological engineering that allows us to perform a great number of overhead tasks.
Issues with the ability to overhead press can be traced to a multitude of factors.
Because of the body’s awesome ability to adapt, when the arm is raised either to the side or overhead it may overuse certain muscles to compensate for other weaker ones.
Muscles are like a sports team. If all players are contributing equally and properly doing their job there is usually great success but the moment certain players begin to slack off trouble ensues.
Due to modern-day luxuries like smartphones and 9-5 jobs, which melt most of us to a chair for hours typing away, cause certain muscles to become weak and stretched. *
The constant pulling from these muscles may cause tension that may manifest side effects up and down the arm as well as around the head in the form of headaches and pain. *
Its simple. If you cant get it from somewhere, you will look for it somewhere else.
As it pertains to overhead mobility if the shoulder can’t get you to reach you will start looking for the movement somewhere else ie. low back
This compensation pattern may not be ideal when performing any loaded overhead exercises since the spine is not properly aligned for optimal structural integrity.
It is also wise to never disregard this overactivity of certain muscles as being a guarding mechanism for pain.
This is where a trainer may suggest to the athlete to visit the physical therapist or chiropractor.
These patterns tend to be either a motor control issue or an imbalance in the muscles surrounding the joint.
Both fixable with proper movement reeducation and strengthening exercises.
This is a perfect example of a complex issue and as with any complex issue you need to take a look at the system as a whole.
So, find your nearest movement provider *cough* Performance & Recovery *cough* and get your movement checked!