My shoulder rehab

Last summer, I tweaked my left shoulder when I overdid it on the monkey bars.

Certain odd movements like pulling the covers up in bed would cause me shoulder pain and lifting my arm up high enough to hang from my chin up bar made my shoulder very unhappy. I gave it lots of rest but the discomfort lingered. Turns out rest wasn't enough. 

Now I'm experimenting with moving it more. Gently, mindfully and gradually moving it more and gently, mindfully and gradually building the strength in it. The good news? I'm noticing I can do more with less discomfort. Progress!

Part of what led to this injury was doing too much too fast. Even though I could go across the monkey bars, doing it multiple times in a row proved to be the straw that tweaked my shoulder.

However, what really led to my shoulder tweak is all of the movement nutrients my shoulders had been deprived of leading up to that point. Turns out that years of practicing craniosacral therapy and typing on the computer didn't do much to create a healthy, functional upper body.

Now I have the opportunity to create a stronger, more functional, upper body. Which means I'm reaping benefits like:

  • better breathing
  • more core strength
  • improved bone density in my wrists
  • decreased hyperkyphosis aka the hunchback look

What a great gift to myself! What a great gift to give yourself!

How to get started

Take a look at some of the simple ways I'm boosting my shoulder nutrition in this video using the playground of our local elementary school. Give them a try!

Don't have a playground near you? Just grab onto a door frame or a door knob instead.

Things to be mindful of when you hang from a door frame or a pole:

  • keep a slight bend in your elbow
  • keep the inside of your elbow, your elbow pit, facing up rather than forward which helps place the shoulder joint in a more neutral position
  • as you progress, add another layer by keeping your shoulder blades spread wide so they're flat against your rib cage vs. winging

As for the monkey bars, learn from my mistake and progress slowly and gradually :) It's no fun to be forced on the sidelines while your body heals.

Other tools I'm using to rehab my shoulders:

Katy Bowman's Alignment Snacks - 20-30 minute downloadable videos, only $5

The shoulder sequences in The Roll Model by Jill Miller using Yoga Tune Up balls

Being mindful of my arm swing when I walk

Have fun playing with this and here's to strong and functional upper bodies!