In Part I we tackled lower body injuries. In this post I want to target shoulders, arms, and lower back.
The shoulder is a highly mobile joint and is subject to several injuries which include rotator cuff tears, tendonitis, dislocation, impingement, and subluxation.
tendonitis is commonly caused by overuse or muscle imbalance around the shoulder joint. Weight-lifters tend to overdevelop the internal rotators and underdevelop the external rotators (infraspinatus and teres minor). The best way to keep this joint healthy is to avoid exercises that put the joint in a compromising position: Behind the neck lat pull-downs, behind the neck overhead presses, full-range-of-motion peck decs, deep bench presses and deep push-ups, and upright rows above 90 degrees.
Therefore it you are having pain in the shoulder, avoid all of the above exercises and REST. You can also modify shoulder, chest, and back strength exercises by using lighter weights or no weight and keeping elbows in while doing overhead presses.
Elbow & Wrist: I am sure you have heard the term, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) which are caused by overuse of the wrist through excessive flexing, extending and/or rotating the forearm. Again, the best way to avoid and prevent these injuries is to strengthen the appropriate muscles: Forearm wrist extensors, wrist flexors, pronators, and supinators. (Squeezing round objects, bicep curls with palms facing down, use light weights with flexion and extension) Also stretch the extensors and flexors, and minimize using these muscle groups in daily living.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is also overuse of the above muscles in addition to reduced blood-flow. When recovering from these injuries, keep the wrists in a neutral position (straight) when working with your hands.
Lower back: Lower Back Pain afflicts about 80 percent of the population at some point in their lives. The biggest factor contributing to LBP is poor body mechanics or body composition. The entire core must be strengthened in order to prevent the pain AND the individual must practice the correct way to walk, sit, stand (posture) as well as lift and exercise.
If you do have a serious back injury you MUST rest before attempting core strengthening and stretching of these muscles. I fractured my back in college and had to take a couple of months off before getting back into regular exercise.