Welcome to Purposeful Foam Rolling Blog:
Our purpose here is to help you understand what is causing your muscles to become tight stiff and sore, and the problems that can develop because of this tightness. We want to give you the knowledge and the tools so that you can take control of your self care.
Many times pain in the outside of the upper arm isn’t a Rotator Cuff Tear, but an overly tight Deltoid muscle. I would like to share my experience with pain and tightness that I had in my right upper arm (My Right Deltoid muscle).
The reason we do these Facebook lives is to help you understand that many body aches and pains that make us feel older than we are, can be caused by overly tight muscles. Overly tight muscles can create significant pain. The good things is:}
You can take control of it.
You can reduce the muscle tightness and muscle pain before it becomes a serious problem.
I tore my right Deltoid muscle years ago. Probably a moderate or grade 2 tear and it gives me grief if I’m not doing the self care and foam rolling I should be doing. The main reason its still around is that there was no therapy back then. You just waited until you could use your arm again without pain and then went back to your life. Usually with the strict instructions not to do something like that again. So I have had a good bit of scar tissue in that arm since that time. Compound that scar tissue with the typical way people use their Deltoid muscles. Like most people I use my Deltoid in very short movements. Meaning, I don’t generally move my arms in a way that takes the Deltoid through their full range of movement. Think about how you move your arms throughout the day. Typically we move them in very short movements like when your using your computer or mouse or driving. So we use our Deltoid muscles a lot, just not through their full range of motion. This has a tendency to make the Deltoids very tights. SO today we are going to talk about tight Deltoid muscles.
This muscle is located on the front, side, and back of your upper arm. It starts roughly at the outside third of the clavicle, continues along a bony part of the shoulder called, the acromion, and continues along the spine of the shoulder blade. All three parts the front, the side and the back run downward to attach onto the middle of the upper arm roughly 6-8 inches down.
How To Find It:
Place your hand on the outside third of the opposite clavicle. Follow the clavicle outward toward the arm. Follow a imaginary line between where the shoulder ends and the upper arm begins. You should feel a boney edge. Follow it all the away around to the back where you should feel a hard bony ridge. (This is the spine of the shoulder blade). Follow the ridge till it ends. This is roughly the upper part of your Deltoid muscle. Place the palm of your hand on the upper part of your upper arm. Your hand is sitting on the Deltoid muscle. Now take the are your are feeling and move it forward, sideways, and backwards. You should feel the Deltoids move. Now move your hand back to the middle Deltoid and slide your finger down the center of your upper arm roughly 6-8 inches. This is where the Dletoids attach into your upper arm.
What Does This Muscle Do:
All 3 of the parts of the Deltoids bring the arm outward. The front portion brings the arm forward, and rotates the arm inward. It also brings the arm inward when it is in a horizontal position. The back portion brings the arm backward, rotates the arm outward, and when the arm is horizontal it brings the arm outward.
The most common complaint, when the Deltoids are tight, is pain with shoulder movement. A less common complaint is a deep pain while at rest. As the muscle gets tighter you can experience difficulty with raising the arm to horizontal in any directions such as to the front, side or back. As the tightness gets worse you may experience serious loss of strength. Due to the pain, loss of movement and loss of strength it is common to feel ike something is wrong with the shoulder joint.
The Deltoids have eight trigger points spread throughout all three portions of the Deltoids and they refer pain mainly to the front, side, and back of the upper arm but can also send pain down the side of the upper arm almost to the elbow.
What causes this muscle to be tight
These muscles get tight mainly because we over use them in a very shortened movement such as typing on a computer, using a mouse, driving (moving the steering wheel). It is rare for most of us to use are Deltoid muscles through their full range of movement. This causes them to get very tight and one they develop trigger points they can really impact our ability to move our arms.
Look at the type of activities you do throughout the day that require you to move your arms in a shortened range of motion. Ex: (typing, driving, Holding your phone out in front of you. Now most of these activities are part of our normal day so the idea is not to eliminate them but to reduce what you can and then be aware of how you often you use this muscle throughout the day which will help encourage you to foam roll these muscles.
Warm moist towel over the shoulders will help relax these muscles
Foam ball and foam roller to work the muscles
Gentle stretching: Stretching can aggravate a tear. If you stretch it and it gets angry ( Have it looked at by your PT or Doctor.
Gentle pull the arm across the front of your body.
Gentle pull your arm behind your back.
If you would like to take control of your own self care and learn more about our online Foam Rolling Program
“Purposeful Foam Rolling”
Make sure to check with your doctor prior too engaging in this or any exercise activity. If you have any concerns or issues with your neck or the spine of your neck, check with your doctor first before performing these stretches. Stretching should be done to a point where you feel a gentle stretch on the muscle. If you feel pain stop and consult with your doctor. These stretches are for educational purposes only and are not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose.