Here’s What You Need To Know…
1. Shoulder pain is climbing the ranks as one of the most common orthopedic conditions diagnosed and treated in today’s medical community.
2. A combination of bad posture and the rise of hand held technologies can be to blame for this epidemic of shoulder, neck and upper back pain.
3. The shoulder screw home mechanism (also known as shoulder packing) can position the shoulder in optimal position for functional exercise, even if your posture is less than stellar.
4. The same setup position using shoulder packing can be used in every movement involving the upper body.
Shoulder and upper back pain is one of the most common chief complaints I see on a daily basis from my patients as a performance physical therapist and soft tissue specialist. Regional shoulder pain is present in a majority of the population, no matter if you are throwing a baseball for a living, or working a 9-5 in your cubicle. In a current day society that is so highly dependent on handheld technology, our posture has become a serious risk factor to our orthopedic health.
The Screw Home Mechanism
The screw home mechanism, also known as “packing the shoulder,” is the most centered position of the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the glenoid fossa (portion of the shoulder blade, think the socket). The ability for an individual to achieve true shoulder centration is made more difficult with the presence of a postural stress syndrome (PSS).
PSS is a form of chronic malalignment that causes soft tissues such as muscles and fascia to get fibrotic and shortened, ultimately weakening movements and limiting functional range of motion. With the inability for the shoulder and neck complex to move with efficiency through a useful range of motion, that region of the body will assume a “new neutral” position that negatively effects function.
This is where it gets tricky. Our new neutral position is not functional, and it actually increases our risk for injury if not negated before any movement integrating the upper quadrant (shoulder, upper back and neck complex). Our first option is obviously to correct the PSS with focused exercise and soft tissue work. That being said, people are going to train, even if they do sit at a desk 11 hours a day. The screw home mechanism activated stabilizers of the shoulder, and positions the shoulder in a neutral position before any pressing or loading movements.
Improve Your Shoulders in Dr. John’s 12-Week Functional Hypertrophy Training Program
Shoulder joint centration is a combination of external rotation of the glenohumeral (true shoulder) joint and depression, downward rotation and retraction of the scapulae (shoulder blade). Check out this video where I demonstrate a bad position (hike the shoulder upward) then center the shoulder with the screw home mechanism: