The Importance of Thoracic Mobility in Managing Shoulder Pain

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Compensation Patterns

Compensation patterns are defined as your bodies ability to overcome deficiencies by altering movement patterns. They occur after an injury to protect an area (i.e. limping after a sprained ankle) or can be used to compensate for muscle and joint imbalances. While this may seem like a great solution to movement issues there is one major problem.

Compensation patterns only work for so long before something breaks down

One of the most common compensation patterns we see is increased shoulder motion caused by decreased motion of our thoracic spine (mid back). Increased hours of sitting and slouched forward posture cause decreased motion of our mid back. To compensate for this lack of motion our body defaults to over reliance on the shoulder joint, which, over time, leads to pain and injury.

Any good rehabilitation program for the shoulder will involve thoracic mobility and core strengthening exercises to account for this common compensation.