Help! I’ve Got Tight Shoulders!

Photo by: Pixabay

Anyone reading this who suffers from shoulder pain raise their right hand!


But seriously shoulder pain is fairly common among BJJ enthusiasts.

Thankfully, trainer Dharma Shay — who we’ve met in previous articles on the Jiu-Jitsu times — has some advice for us.

Dharma Shay: The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body and has both the greatest range of motion and greatest use overall. With that being considered, dysfunction in the shoulder has a wide variety of roots. This is common in 15-25% of men and women and becomes more prevalent with age. Now shoulder pain or tight shoulder could root from several shoulder problems from dislocations, arthritis, a fracture, a sprain, a tear, or even disease in some cases.

Tight shoulders are generally seen in a person’s limited range of motion, and being that the shoulder has the greatest range of motion, BJJ practitioners should do their best to prevent shoulder injuries and maintain shoulder mobility. A few things to identify immediately with tight shoulders is what type of restriction does it have on your movement (flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, or rotation) and in what direction do you feel the movement restriction or the pain.

If you read the last article on injury prevention and mobility you are likely aware of the flexibility and mobility relationship. It is important for people experiencing tight shoulders to consider warming up the region and stretching out scapular muscles, clavicle related muscles, and humorous related muscles. Often the tight feeling is related to being inflexible within a related muscle group, overdeveloped or imbalanced muscles, or some form of acute or chronic muscle or skeletal dysfunction. Be aware that pain and stiffness are two of the body’s first signs of a dysfunction in a muscular system. They are a sign that your muscles need recovery. Due to the nature of BJJ, overuse is a major issue when it comes to most injuries, but overuse injuries can be avoided by being aware of the body’s limitations, doing strength stability exercises, and doing proper pre and post-workout mobility and stretching drills. Fortunately, many shoulder mobility drills benefit full range of motion for the shoulders (I’ll be sure to get a shoulder mobility drill up).

Always remember, shoulder pain can be an early sign of a much greater issue, so talk to your doctor if you feel you are not able to identify the root of the pain. The last bit of advice avoids depending on pharmaceutical painkillers or anti-inflammatories, as not only do they often turn into full dependencies, long term use will likely affect your gut microbial environment in a negative way leading to gastrointestinal issues. ”
Instagram : @dharmayourway


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here