Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What to Know About Nunchunks for Shoulders?

The muscles that comprise your shoulder's rotator cuff, the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis, are responsible for holding this very flexible joint in place. When these muscles are weak, your shoulder can slip out of place, causing it to become weak and unstable. This instability is often treated with exercises to help strengthen your rotator cuff muscles to hold your shoulder in place. The traditional martial arts weapon known as the nunchuck can help strengthen your muscles, but there are things to consider.
Nunchuck Use
The use of the nunchuck requires muscular balance in your shoulder to counteract the centrifugal forces developed by the spinning end of the weapon. The user can hold one end and allow the other end to spin, creating a great deal of speed and force similar to the end of a whip. The weapon was developed in the 1600s on the island of Okinawa after a Japanese occupation. When weapons were declared illegal on the island, martial artists developed the nunchuck, ostensibly as a rice threshing tool, and learned how to use it as a devastating weapon.
Shoulder Instability Treatment
If your shoulder doesn't require surgical intervention, your doctor may send you to a physical therapist to develop an exercise program to help strengthen the muscles of your rotator cuff and shoulder blade. In addition to strengthening your rotator cuff muscles, the exercises help develop shoulder control. The specific exercises prescribed are often tailored to the individual patient and depend on your particular condition, but many of these movements are required to control the nunchuck.
Rehabilitative Exercises For Shoulder Stability
The strengthening exercises prescribed for shoulder instability include movements that mimic the movements necessary to control the nunchuck. These movements include internal and external rotation of the upper arm, flexing and extending your shoulder,and moving your arms away from your body. Using the nunchuck requires all these movements to be performed under control and with a fluid motion. In addition, the spinning of the weapon keeps the muscles of your shoulder under a low level of constant resistance.
Check With Your Doctor First!
Although the movements necessary to control the nunchuck mimic many rehabilitative exercises necessary to strengthen an unstable shoulder, they often go much farther than what your shoulder can handle. One of the benefits of using nunchucks to help improve shoulder stability is that your shoulder must move through a full range of motion to control the weapon. This can be detrimental to a weak or unstable shoulder. While the nunchuck doesn't require a lot of strength to control, it does require a great deal of stability, range of motion and muscular balance in your shoulder. Check with your doctor to determine whether he thinks using nunchucks could help you.

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