Following on from this overview on rotator cuff function and what we can do about it, I felt it was worthwhile to talk about how important it is to always look and think big picture, particularly when it comes to smaller structures.
I want to caveat this piece by saying that taking the musculo-skeletal route to shoulder function is not ‘wrong’, and that any health or exercise professional who has prescribed specific cuff strengthening exercises has done so with the very best of intent. However, if we want to assess and address the function of the shower joint then we do need to be taking a step (or two) backwards and looking at the big picture.
If we understand that the role of the cuff is to keep the ball centred in the socket, then it makes sense that we need to look not only at where the ball is, but also the socket (scapula), if we’re looking at where the socket is, then we need to be looking at what the socket is positioned on (the ribcage), and if we’re looking at ribcage position then we need to be looking at breathing mechanics, diaphragm position and pelvic alignment. In other words the big picture!
If they say a picture paints a thousand words, then a video paints ten thousand – so this is a little clip I put together introducing the idea of how and why when we think shoulders we need to be thinking his (and everything else )