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What Are My Options for Strengthening My Shoulder?

What Are My Options for Strengthening My Shoulder?

Dr. Matthew Pifer is a top-level orthopedic surgeon with a busy practice in Santa Barbara, California. He specializes in knee and shoulder injuries, sports medicine, and biological therapies that tackle musculoskeletal rehab at the cellular level.

During college, Dr. Pifer was also an NCAA football scholarship recipient and holds one of the highest-scoring records in the school’s history. 

This experience, along with his extensive medical expertise, gives Dr. Pifer a unique understanding of the conditions and activities that can compromise shoulder strength and functionality.

Basic shoulder anatomy

Occurring where the shoulder blade (glenoid) and arm bone (humerus) meet, the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint is normally the most mobile of all joints in the human body.

This “ball and socket” structure is surrounded and held in place by a group of muscles and tendons (rotator cuff) that attach your upper arm to the chest shoulder blade and provide the strength and stability the joint requires to function.

Other components of the shoulder include the:

Dr. Pifer explains that the complexity of the shoulder joint, as well as the many demands placed on it throughout your day, make it especially vulnerable to injury.

What causes shoulder weakness?

Stiffness, pain, and weakness in your shoulders may be linked to the joints, tendons, or muscles and can be caused by:

Incomplete recovery following a previous shoulder injury or surgery can also impair shoulder function.

Physical therapy/rehab programs are tailored to meet your needs and designed to aid in restoring strength, flexibility, and normal function to your shoulder. Skipping or speeding through this portion of your healing can affect treatment outcomes.  

Strengthening your shoulders

If you are not experiencing any pain or limitations and are interested in improving strength in your shoulders, your exercise routine should target the:

Be sure to balance your strengthening workout with movements designed to improve flexibility.

For athletes and others interested in improved musculoskeletal health

If you’re an athlete looking to boost your performance or someone who is interested in a guided training program, come in for a sports medicine evaluation

Our programs target cardiovascular fitness as well as strength and flexibility training. We also provide nutritional counseling that’s focused on keeping you healthy at the cellular level.

When pain is holding you back

Dr. Pifer recommends you schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing shoulder pain, stiffness, or weakness that’s interfering with your sports/work routine or otherwise disrupting your daily activities.  

Depending on the results of your evaluation, your treatment strategy may include:

Should conservative treatments fail, Dr. Pifer may recommend shoulder surgery, which is often minimally invasive, to repair any damage and restore normal, pain-free shoulder function.

For more information about your shoulder health or any of the services we offer, schedule a visit with Dr. Pifer today. 

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