Do you remember the song from school about the ankle bone being connected to the leg bone and the leg bone being connected to the knee bone?
This might be why your shoulder injury is not getting better.
I’m going to show you exactly how a shoulder problem can be traced to your ankle and vica versa.
Let’s try an experiment.
Sit tall in a chair with your feet placed firmly on the ground and your arms hanging loosely at your side.
Try to bring your left shoulder blade back towards your spine as far as it will go into what is called retraction. Make a mental note of how far it went.
Now try the same thing but first rotate your trunk all the way to your right.
What did you find?
Ok now try the same thing but instead of sitting tall try slumping forward into what is traditionally thought of as ‘bad’ posture.
Did you find you had less shoulder motion when you changed the position of your trunk?
Good. Me too.
Now try this.
Stand up and rotate your trunk to the left as far as it will go again. Keep your feet firmly on the ground and make a mental note of how much range you have available.
Before trying the same thing again rotate your left hip inwards.
What did you notice?
Your trunk didn’t go as far the second time?
Lastly standing nice and tall again, try lifting your left foot off the ground as far as it will go whilst keeping your heel on the floor. Take a peek and see how far it went.
Now try the same thing after rotating your left hip inwards.
What did you find?
Was it more difficult the second time?
For sure right?
So what did we just prove?
By changing the positions of certain joints we can affect motion at others.
So it’s entirely possible that a lack of retraction at your shoulder (which will have a whole heap of consequences for how your shoulder moves) can be caused by a lack of motion in your trunk, which can be caused by a lack of motion in your hip, which can be directly influenced by a lack of motion at your ankle.
Sounds obvious when you think about it.
The problem is who looks at your ankle when you complain of a shoulder problem?
That’s why you continue to get substandard results from your injury rehab programme, because most people are looking at the thing that hurts rather than the bigger picture.
As the song says, it’s all connected.
To truly resolve injuries you have to understand that and look deeper.