Understanding the Link Between Poor Posture and Shoulder Pain
Did you know that the shoulder joint is one of the most complex joints in the human body? It is made up of the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround the shoulder joint help to stabilize and move the arm in different directions.
If any of these structures are damaged, it can lead to shoulder pain. Because the joint is so complex, there are many potential causes for shoulder pain. One of the most common causes is poor posture.
Poor posture can be triggered by a range of factors, including conditions like ‘tech neck’ and rounded shoulders. Activities that cause the body to remain in a downward and forward position for an extended period can lead to slumped shoulders. This position can adversely impact the functioning of muscles in the neck, back, and shoulders, which play a significant role in maintaining the body’s posture throughout the day.
Common daily activities such as using a smartphone or tablet, sitting for prolonged periods, using a computer or laptop, driving a vehicle, repeatedly bending over, and carrying heavy objects can all contribute to rounded shoulders.
When you have poor posture and your shoulders tend to round forward, which can cause the muscles in the front of your chest to become tight and the muscles in the upper back to become weak. This can lead to a condition called “Upper Crossed Syndrome,” which is characterized by tight chest muscles and weak upper back muscles.
As a result of Upper Crossed Syndrome, the shoulders are pulled forward, which can put pressure on the rotator cuff tendons and impinge the nerves in the neck. This can cause pain in the shoulders, as well as numbness and tingling in the arms and hands.
Poor posture can also lead to shoulder pain by compressing the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that run from the neck to the arm. When you have poor posture, your head tends to jut forward, which can put pressure on the brachial plexus and cause pain in the shoulders, arms, and hands.
Coping With Posture-Related Shoulder Pain
There are several things you can do at home to improve your posture and reduce shoulder pain. One of the most important things is to be mindful of your posture throughout the day. Try to keep your shoulders back and your head up when sitting or standing. Avoid hunching over your desk or computer for long periods of time. Take frequent breaks to stretch and move around.
Another way to improve your posture is to incorporate regular exercise into your routine. Exercises that strengthen the muscles in the upper back, shoulders, and neck can help to improve posture and reduce shoulder pain. Yoga, Pilates, and weight training are all great options.
Seeing a Professional
If you’ve tried to alleviate your shoulder pain at home and are still suffering, it may be time to see a chiropractor. Chiropractors are experts in the musculoskeletal system and can assess your posture and identify any structural imbalances that may be contributing to your shoulder pain. They can then develop a personalized treatment plan that may include spinal adjustments, massage therapy, and exercises to help correct your posture.
Spinal adjustments can help to realign the spine, which can alleviate pressure on the nerves and soft tissues in the shoulder. Massage therapy can help to loosen tight muscles and improve circulation, which can reduce inflammation and promote healing. Exercises to improve posture can help to strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight muscles, which can help to restore balance to the musculoskeletal system.
Changing Your Habits
Posture is an example of how a person’s habits can affect their physical body. Changing your habits can help improve your posture and in turn, help you alleviate or prevent shoulder pain.
If you need help improving your posture or dealing with shoulder pain, the team at Cianci Chiropractic Center is here to help. Book an appointment to see how we can get to the root of your problem and come up with a plan to have you feeling pain-free as soon as possible.