Many people have thoracic mobility restrictions and just blindly throwing thoracic mobility drills at them is going to be suboptimal without an accurate assessment. Some need to focus on extension, some rotation, and others can move well, they just don’t!
Shoulder impingement really is a pretty broad term that most of us likely take for granted. It has become such a junk term, such as “patellofemoral pain,” especially with physicians. It seems as if any pain originated from around the shoulder could be labeled as “shoulder impingement” for some reason, as if that diagnosis is helpful to determine the treatment process.
Unfortunately, There is no magical “shoulder impingement protocol” that you can pull out of your notebook and apply to a specific person.
I wish it were the simple.
A thorough examination is still needed. Each person will likely present differently, which will require a variations on how you approach their rehabilitation.
But the real challenge when working with someone with shoulder impingement isn’t figuring out they have shoulder pain, that’s fairly obviously. It’s figuring out why they have shoulder pain.
One of my big principles of rehabilitation and corrective exercises is that you follow up mobility drills with some sort of activation or strengthening drill. You want to use the body in this newly gained mobility.
For some reason, I feel like this is often ignored with thoracic mobility.
In the video below I show an extremely easy way to start working on thoracic extension endurance. Certainly not groundbreaking, but an important drill that is often overlooked.
Limited mobility of the thoracic spine is a common finding and something that tends to get worse over time. To me, it’s one of those “use it or lose it” types of mobility in the body. Several issues can occur from limited thoracic mobility, such as shoulder, neck, and even low back pain.
Thoracic mobility drills are common, but only part of the puzzle. I have a new presentation where I’ll be reviewing some of the self mobility, manual therapy techniques, and corrective exercises I use to enhance thoracic mobility.
Sometimes people don’t respond to common thoracic mobility drills. In this video I’ll demonstrate how I use muscle energy techniques to enhance thoracic rotation. This is a great drill that anyone can perform on their own.
The latest Inner Circle webinar recording on my How to Improve Overhead Shoulder Mobility is now available.
Overhead shoulder mobility is an important movement skill that is required for optimal health and performance during many lifts. Here are 4 areas to work on and ways to improve overhead shoulder mobility.
This month’s Inner Circle webinars discussed strategies to enhance the balance between the upper and lower trap, a common dysfunction I see.
Find More Great Content
My Educational Products
I offer a wide range of online educational products and programs, including my exclusive Inner Circle mentorship program.
Work with Mike and His Team
Mike is the co-owner of Champion Physical Therapy and Performance, located just outside Boston, MA. We help people feel, move, and perform better.