Shoulders are a common problem area for many people. Is easy to see why when you look at the anatomy of the shoulder. Our shoulders are designed to move….. ALOT!! However this comes at the cost of stability.
When looking at rehabilitation for the shoulder, the rotator cuff often takes the spotlight. While it is an important stabiliser of the shoulder it is not the only one, and it shouldn’t be the only focus of rehabilitation programs. One area that IS often neglected however is grip strength.
How could working on grip strength be beneficial to shoulder strength?
Well looking into the origin of shoulder problems, a weakness of the muscles responsible for grip can cause compensations much further up the chain ….. including the shoulder! The function of the shoulder is to position the hand to have the best mechanical advantage. In fact the whole upper limb works together in all activities and hence it is virtually impossible to neglect any aspect of this chain.
Looking from a neurological perspective, the hand contains many sensory receptors that send information to our brain about the position of the arm and where it needs to be. This information is essential to direct and guide the movement of the arm. Every movement of the hand causes an activation of the shoulder musculature. Hence working on grip strength directly helps to activate the musculature around the shoulder.
So if you have any shoulder problems, make sure you test out the strength of your grip so you can get a hold on your pain!