Thread: Running and Upper-Body Pain
3/21/2009 1:51am, #11
3/21/2009 7:22pm, #12
3/21/2009 8:57pm, #13
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
- Porcupine/Hollywood, FL & Parmistan via Elbonia
Your shoulders seem to be very elevated. I had that problem with both shoulders, but specially with my right one (which is the direction in which my neck was banged.) Neck injuries usually cause the upper traps and the Sternocleidomastoid to cramp the **** up.
Also, shoulder injuries tend to have the same effect as well as excessive pressing movements. In short, in one way or another, the traps go crap (and usually taking the rhomboids with them), puts pain on the neck and traps and causes your shoulders to be constantly elevated (the later being the most visible give-away.)
Incidentally, I've been unemployed since 12/31, and thus I've been away from the PC for quite some time. About the 6th week of not working in front of a computer, most of my neck and trap pain had go away. Having said that, I had also been doing the exercise below (scapular depression) on a set of rings I made at home.
YouTube - Dip Scapula Elevation and Depression (www.trainatp.com)
It is this exercise that has been the most beneficial in relaxing my upper traps and release pressure on my neck. The only differences from what I do and what's on the video are:
1. I do them on rings (the instability is beneficial for recruiting all muscles in the shoulder girdle.)
2. I stay a bit longer on the top of the movement. Sometimes I lean forwards, contracting my serratus anterior. At other times, I lean backwards, contracting the lower traps (counteracting the upper traps.)
3. During the entire movement, I attempt to rotate my arms externally (thumbs pointing out) to engage the shoulder external rotators. This is easier with rings, but with a dip machine, you just grip the handles and isometrically rotate the arms externally.
4. Also, I bend the elbows a bit. This helps me make sure I'm using only shoulder depression to go up (instead of using my triceps by accident.)
I'd suggest you do those in a dip machine, with paraletes, or with two chairs (though, you'd have to raise your legs, which is a distraction to scapular depression.) I would also suggest trigger-point massage right on the upper traps and rhomboids (and if possible, on the Sternocleidomastoid muscle.) Rather than attempting to stretch the neck, stretch the traps and make sure your shoulders get pressed down to release pressure.
Last edited by Teh El Macho; 3/21/2009 8:59pm at .Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.
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3/21/2009 11:10pm, #14
as always, what Teh said^
Also, this is one instance where jogging with weights in your hands (1kg or whatever) might be a good idea. Tension in any part of your body, beyond what is needed, is problematic in running. The "shock" from each step is transferred to your spine. For jogging, it's 5x your bodyweight onto each step, for running it's 10x.
That is alot of force! So even a micro-dislocation in posture and joint alignment can cause much trouble. Keep those shoulders down mate! Also, there is compensation in your body for the vertebrae injury, be aware of how your body is trying to adapt/work around that.
I could be seeing it wrong, but it looks like your torso twists from your hips, this could transfer stress up to your neck. Everything looks too rigid.Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
-Mentat Text Two (dicto)
3/22/2009 12:11am, #15
Mostly, I'd suggest pulling your shoulders back a little, keeping your arms low, and concentrating on directing your energy forward instead of to the sides. Doing that should, in theory, correct most of the the issues I noticed. Also, it opens your lungs up a good bit. Try it out, see if it helps any. While you're at it, try to make sure your feet are impacting the ground as close to directly underneath your body as possible, as that really minimizes wear and tear. If you've had back or neck problems in the past, form is going to be the difference between running without pain and finding a new hobby, which is why I'm being nitpicky."No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
3/22/2009 12:15am, #16
Very helpful - thanks, Macho and Serge.
I'm not sure I could do those dips (with my buggered neck), but the general principle is right: I need to work on those traps/shoulders. I might ask the specialist if there are any equivalents.
You both seem to think my shoulders are too elevated. I'll try to work on this - perhaps I need to run more loosely, more relaxed? Perhaps I begin tightly, and then loosen up as I run? I'll have to look into this.
I'll look into that torso twist, too. How should I be doing it?
In fact, this is a good question: do any of you have videos of good running style?
3/22/2009 12:18am, #17
3/22/2009 12:51am, #18Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
-Mentat Text Two (dicto)
3/22/2009 1:46am, #19
If you decide to swim, get a coach unless you have good form already. Proper form ensures good breathing and that is a big part of getting the most out of swimming as a cardiovascular exercise.
Have you considered biking?
3/22/2009 2:22am, #20
So, yes: this would be helpful. But I don't know if I can afford a dedicated swimming coach.
One of the reasons I like running is its simplicity and cheapness: I run out the door, keep running, and run back. Simple!
Have you considered biking?