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Your Guide to the Anatomy of the Shoulder

Welcome to the Lila Wellness Summit with special guest speaker Paul Ochoa. Paul joined us to discuss the anatomy of the shoulder.

For yoga practitioners, alignment is essential to the order of each pose. Proper posture is possible when the joints stack and muscles are balanced, which creates more mobility and flexibility in the body. Alignment allows you to conserve energy and avoid injury, strain and fatigue. When one area of the body is out of its natural position, it affects the entire body. 

I want you to understand how connected our shoulder is to the rest of the body. Specifically to the spine, the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind that are perfectly normal that you should do not to affect the other parts of the spine. If you want to do something to your shoulder, you cannot do it without affecting the neck. You cannot do it without affecting your lower back. — Dr. Paul Ochoa. 

In the lecture, Anatomy of the Shoulder, Paul outlines the components of the shoulder; the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the shoulder and its movement. Plus the 

10 Things You Will Learn in
Anatomy of the Shoulder with Dr. Paul Ochoa:

  1. The four joints of the shoulder that support mobility and stability. 
  2. The four main muscles of the shoulder that affect movement. 
  3. How the rotator muscles work as a unit to support the shoulder.
  4. Actions to strengthen and stretch the muscles around the shoulder 
  5. Loading positions of the shoulder and why we don’t ‘Shame the Shrug.’ 
  6. A definition for stability and how it relates to yoga poses. 
  7. Tips to avoid impingement in the shoulder. 
  8. Cues for teachers to use with students that will enhance stability. 
  9. How movement at the shoulder affects the spine. 
  10. Actions to open and release the muscles at the front of the chest to decrease strain and enhance motion at the neck and shoulders.

Watch the full lecture on Anatomy of the Shoulder with Paul Ochoa.

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About the Lila Wellness Summit

Knowledge is power –
With knowledge, we can make more informed decisions. 
Join us for an educational Wellness Summit to learn more about your body, from the anatomical to the energetic, from the material to the subtle. 
We asked 4 health care practitioners to offer a lecture on what they are most passionate about and what they feel would benefit our community.
What they brought back to us was magical.

Meet Paul Ochoa—

Orthopedic Therapist and special guest speaker for the Lila Wellness Summit.
Paul joined us to share his expertise in kinesiology in the anatomy of the shoulder and how its position, load, and impingement relates to specific yoga postures. 

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Introduction to Anatomy of the Shoulder

Read the excerpt taken from the on-demand lecture with Dr. Paul Ochoa, COMT.
 
We want to stress the joints. We want to stress our ligaments. We want to stress our muscles, bones, and tendons because we’ve evolved to get stronger.

The less stress we put on our bodies, the more sensitive we are to pain and discomfort. That’s why it’s really hard to get back into exercise after we haven’t been exercising for a while. 

We have a saying in physical therapy: the more mobility, the less stability and the more stability, the less mobility. And what that means here is the more mobility you have, the greater chance of instability you have.

If you’ve never seen the bones or the shoulder, you might picture this big old socket with a big old ball fitting into it. When in fact, the socket of the shoulder joint is super shallow. So if I just had that with absolutely no stabilizing tissue around it, it would just fall out. It would dislocate all the time. That’s not the case. 

Another main part of the shoulder is your humerus bone. This is the head of your humerus that creates a little bit of a ball and socket joint. For this reason, the shoulder will require lots of dynamic stability, meaning things coming in from your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

The other part of the shoulder is your clavicle or your collarbone. And this little bone is quite important as it connects your shoulder to your body. It also participates in a lot of the movement that we do going into flection, extension, and rotation. It’s quite a flexible bone. It bends; it twists just like your ribs. 

The four main muscles of the shoulder that people know about are the rotator cuff muscles. We use the acronym SITS (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, and Subscapularis). Essentially the rotator cuff muscles work as a unit, and they grab the ball and pull it into the socket, and they keep it in there as the shoulder moves out, forward, back, and rotates up overhead.

I want you to understand how connected our shoulder is to the rest of the body. Specifically to the spine, the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. If you want to do something to your shoulder, you cannot do it without affecting the neck. You cannot do it without affecting your lower back. There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind that are perfectly normal that you should do to not affect the other parts of the spine. 

One of my favourite MythBusters is something I like to call, Don’t Shame the Shrug. What I mean by that is that when we have our arms up over ahead, our teachers or coaches may tell us to pull the shoulder blades back and down.

When you load the shoulder when you add any sort of weight, that could mean when you’re standing, and you’re pushing the weight up, or that could mean when you’re in a downward dog, and you’re bearing weight through your arms, the shrug is a normal part of our motion. 

As the arm starts to move up in the body or up overhead, the shoulder blade we’ll then rotate along with it. And then, at the very end, it’ll do a little bit of a shrug. This is what we call an upward rotation of the shoulder blade. It’s just a natural action. 

A myth that I’ll dispel is that your ribs are solid, hard bones. They’re not at all. Your ribs can bend and twist. And that’s because they’ve evolved to protect our organs and have evolved to assist in breathing and expansion. 

About Paul Ochoa

Dr. Ochoa is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) with a specialty in Orthopaedic injuries (OCS) and a Certified Orthopedic Manipulative Therapist (COMT) with an extensive background in massage therapy.
As a native New Yorker, he founded F Squared in 2011 and has maintained its unique one-on-one treatment model, ensuring the highest quality of care. He is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the North American Institute of Manual Therapy (NAIOMT).  He has been an active Trapeze Flyer at the Trapeze School of New York (TSNY) and has a passion since 2016 and has worked with local and international Dance companies and professional circus performers.  
His passion for working with runners has been fueled by his studies with research giants like Chris Johnson and Bryan Heiderscheit.

Join the Lila Wellness Summit!

Join us for this educational Wellness Summit to learn more about your body, from the anatomical to the energetic, from the material to the subtle. 

Clara hand-picked each speaker to share their expertise with you!

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Meet Our Guest Speakers at the Summit:

The Advantages to Savoring the Small with Erin Moon—Yoga Therapist. 

Your Guide to the Anatomy of Meditation with Ramesh Tarun Narine—3000-hour RMT + Yoga Teacher.

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