Physically the shoulder is designed for mobility not stability. The arms move in a wide range of motion across multiple planes. Considerable power can be generated in complex movements such as throwing a baseball or hitting a golf club. This degree of mobility comes at the price of low stability and increased risk of overuse injuries.
Keeping the shoulder safe is largely about efficient biomechanics. The scapula, humerus and clavicle work in concert to provide stability with the greatest range of mobility. If biomechanics are not sound, and the three are not working in harmony, injury will occur.
The scapula is the heavy hitter for efficient movements in the shoulder. The scapula lies on the back spanning T2-T7. It attaches to the axial skeleton only at the articulation of the clavicle – the acromioclavicular joint. This articulation site lies at the top of the shoulder joint. Tendons and ligaments run under this site and over the head of the humerus or arm bone. If there is dysfunction in the rotator cuff muscles, the head of the humerus bangs up against the acromioclavicular joint and can cause impingement resulting in tendonitis, bursitis, fraying and even rupture of delicate tendons and ligaments.
There are 16 muscles that attach to this “island” of bone that sits on either side of the spine. These muscles move the scapula to support the movement of the arm and provide maximal stability. For every two degrees the arms move in abduction the scapula move one degree.
The scapula can move in many directions including elevation, depression, abduction, adduction, upward rotation, downward rotation and winging. Holding patterns from repetitive activities in daily living can create postural imbalances. Today’s modern society with its’ reliance on the computer causes us to sit with a head forward rounded shoulders flexed low back posture. Over time this results in chronic downward rotation of the scapula and high risk of impingement.
Energetically the shoulders are in the domains of the fourth and fifth chakras. Deficiencies in the fourth and fifth chakras can result in kyphotic posture with protracted, elevated and downwardly rotated scapula.
Balance in the fourth chakra requires openness to loving and being loved particularly as it pertains to our-selves. Self-love is difficult and self-compassion is necessary to allow our body to heal. Guard against the inner critic that keeps the mind in negative rumination and prevents the body from healing.
Balance in the fifth chakra is dependent upon authentic communication and creative expression of our deepest desires. Knowing what we want through fourth chakra exploration positions us to speak our mind and create a life that increases our vibrational frequency.
Keep the shoulders safe through care of the physical and energetic body. Physically, work to maintain postural balance by stretching pectoralis minor and strengthening trapezius and serratus anterior to prevent downward rotation of the scapula. Energetically, work to maintain self-compassion and speaking from the heart with compassion and empathy.
Pilates has been a wonderful experience both physically and mentally – it relieves stress and gets your body in a “can do” spirit to stretch and feel good. The instructors are the best and the people I’ve met in class are fun to be with. Friendships develop. I will do this forever!
My experience with SDK Pilates has been outstanding. All of the instructors have been knowledgeable and welcoming. All levels of fitness and capabilities are embraced, addressed and challenged. Individual needs are seamlessly met with in the class. Every class is different and I always walk out feeling better than when I walked in. I take Pilates twice a week and wish I could take it every day!
I love the classes and instructors at SDK Pilates! Stephanie, the owner, has been a tremendous help to me with understanding challenges I face with a bad hip. Her expertise and medical background have helped me select exercises that are appropriate for me and I have learned there are still plenty of things that I can do to strengthen my body! At other places, I sometimes overdid my workouts (and hurt myself) – SDK’s instructors have helped me increase my flexibility and strengthen my body in a s…
SDK Pilates is great! So far I’ve taken Pilates classes with Steph and Nancy, and I’m looking forward to Yoga with Mark. Currently working on core strengthening, shoulder mechanics, overall conditioning, and my golf game.
I have been a client of Stephanie’s for several years. What I think makes her stand out from other studios is that she was a doctor & understands each individual clients bodies. The new studio is airy spacious & calming
I have taken yoga and Pilates classes from Stephanie for many years, and I can say that she is terrific. Her background in physical medicine and rehab makes her uniquely qualified to instruct and coach with a focus in balanced strengthening, proper alignment, and prevention of injury. I enjoy the low key environment at the studio, and have made many friends in her classes.
SDK Pilates is wonderful! I have been taking classes from Stephanie for a number of years and thoroughly enjoy both her Pilates and therapeutic yoga sessions. Her training as a doctor enables her to work around physical limitations and injuries and strengthen weaknesses. She has helped me immensely with chronic shoulder issues. The fun nature of the classes, the camaraderie of the attendees and the great workout make SDK classes my favorite way to exercise!