“Not a doctor…shhhh!”
Brooklyn Nine Nine credits
DISCLAIMER: I’m NOT a doctor, so the following is all intended for entertainment purposes only. Please have your doctor check you out before making any self-diagnosis. For instance, one time I was nursing what I thought was a torn bicep muscle for many months — when I finally went to the doctor, it turned out if was referred pain from a pinched nerve in my back (my biceps were fine), requiring massage to unclench that muscle in the back, not rest and no training as I had prescribed to myself, losing months of training opportunities. The doctor spotted it instantly and pushed on the spot and said, “is that the pain?”.
The shoulder muscles and tendons on humans are capable of generating and transmitting tremendous energies.
Human beings have pressed well over 400 pounds over their heads. Other people have thrown a ball 105 miles an hour. People have punched a sensor with a force in excess of 1000 pounds per square inch.
Yet this complex of muscles, bones, and tendons we call the shoulder is also potentially very delicate and difficult to repair when damaged.
A lot of us in Wing Chun get these injuries from training in partial ignorance. We do the Bong Sao slightly wrong or our partner hangs on it with their Fook Sao and next thing you know we start getting sore. Then we ignore it for months or years and develop a more chronic condition.
I’ve had all these issues and recently I developed problems of the chronic variety, I think because I switched jobs and the new position is more sedentary. Some days I sit nearly the whole day and nearly two years of this started to take its toll.
So I had to read a bunch of books, go to a masseuse and my doctor and a finally a physical therapist to determine first what the problem was and then a treatment and rehab plan.
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder. This idea of stabilization is very important. The four muscles of the rotator cuff are the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the teres minor, and the subscapularis.
Your shoulder joint is also composed of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone).
So the best way to think about this area is that you have these three bones which are tied into a cup-like structure by the tendons. Its like the way the hands of two people intertwine to become a Fireman’s carry.
Your shoulders are the most movable joints in your body. They tend to be somewhat unstable because the ball of the upper humerus is larger than the shoulder “socket” (that cup of tendons) into which it inserts.
To be stable, the humerus must be pulled into the socket by the muscles, tendons and ligaments. This stability requires good structural habits which are easy to fall out of, especially since we all form bad habits due to the demands of modern life, which push us toward doing a lot of “rounding” of our shoulders and backs..
Sitting at the computer in a shoulders-forward and round-backed manner will weaken the habit of having good posture aka a stable shoulder joint. Sitting a lot on soft couches will also encourage a rounded back and shoulders which sit forward of the collarbone. This creates a weak and structurally unsound capsule for the activities of the humerus.