GIRD Rotation

Example of limited shoulder rotation. Arm should rotate to table.

Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit (GIRD) is the medical term for limited rotation in your shoulder.

It has been identified in many baseball pitchers but in reality it is present in everyone. We all have limited forward rotation in one or both of our shoulders. It is always present in the right shoulder and may also affect the left. Rarely is it seen in the left only. This loss of motion is very important to throwing athletes and volleyball players, but in anyone it is always a sign of postural malalignment. The traditional treatment for GIRD has consisted of stretching or forcing the arm to rotate against its will. But, because the loss of motion is not a result of soft tissue tightness, I believe the stretching is ineffective and may actually be harmful.

GIRD is actually due to poor positioning of the shoulder blade and ultimately the shoulder joint which results in mechanical restrictions within the joint. Therefore the solution is to restore the position of the shoulder blade and thereby restore the normal mechanics within the shoulder. After restoring this posture of the shoulder, the rotation is immediately returned. See video.

GIRD Exercise

Typical exercise used to maintain shoulder rotation.

This restorative process is relatively easy but the maintenance of full motion is a bit more involved. Because this repositioning process involves many areas of the body including ribcage, spine, pelvis and associated muscles, all of these areas must be addressed in the treatment exercises.

So there is a better way to give range of motion back to your shoulder. A less traumatic and more affective way. However, to be effective, the treatment program does need to be guided by a Postural Restoration trained therapist.