Quick question: Have you ever suffered with a pain in your shoulder without having a clue where it came from in the first place, and hoping it would just go away on it’s own?
Many people have, and one of the most common causes of shoulder pain we see here at the clinic is this:
Sitting down for long periods of time, and sitting in an awkward position.
Take our patient Sarah for example, 52, from Elwick:
Prior to Sarah coming to see us her shoulder pain got so bad that she suffered from countless late nights tossing and turning to find that one position she could fall asleep in ’comfortably’… For almost two years.
No matter what she did, shoulder pain seemed to always find her.
Sarah was sitting down all day at work hunched over a computer, she tried to improve her posture herself, but it didn’t work.
Then Sarah tried standing more, which only worked for a little while, and then the pain started showing up elsewhere – in her neck and back.
She tried buying a new mattress and special pillows.
It was the most frustrating thing Sarah had ever been through… but when she came to see us she soon realised she wasn’t alone.
A lot of people suffer with the exact same annoying and frustrating pain too.
Did you know that a huge 45% of office workers suffer from shoulder pain at some point in their life?
So if you have shoulder pain it is NOT a coincidence.
If you didn’t already have an idea that your posture at work may be causing your shoulder pain, we’ve seen hundreds of patients who suffer from it as a consequence of using a computer, how they sit at work and a sedentary lifestyle.
The two are linked, and I’m going to show you why, and how to ease the aches and pains they cause.
And even if you’re active but your shoulder pain is stopping you from exercising properly at the moment, there’s something for you to take away here too, read on…
Shoulder, neck and back pain are extremely common health issues that occur in people who spend a lot of time sitting throughout the day (and those who are sedentary). The reason you’re probably getting that burning sensation in your upper back, in your shoulders and that dreaded neck pain is because they’re all related.
For a moment I want you to sit in your natural position as if you were at a table, or a desk.
How are you sitting?
Is your back hunched over, your shoulders slightly raised and your neck reaching forward?
Or… Is your spine straight with no arch in your back, your shoulders and arms relaxed on the desk, and your head positioned up straight as if a piece of string were attached to the crown of your head holding you up?
One of them instinctively looks and feels more natural and healthy, right?
This is one reason why you’ve got neck and shoulder pain.
Firstly, misaligned shoulders that are typically hunched lead to a misaligned neck (sticking out forward), which leads to a great deal of strain on the neck muscles, which leads to chronic pain and a build up of tension and potential other long term effects like headaches.
Here’s what’s happening to your shoulders, when you have your shoulders repeatedly in a hunched over position, you’re impairing how they are naturally supposed to move.
As a result you get grinding, popping, clicks, overuse injuries and burning sensations between your shoulder blades.
So how can you begin to ease your shoulder pain as soon as today?
You’ve got to learn how to sit at your desk. Might sound simple, right?
Most people don’t like to hear it because it’s not a magic, surprising answer, but the thing is, if you sit properly throughout the day you won’t have problems and pains in your shoulders when you get to the end of it. It really is as simple as that!
Next time you’re sitting at your desk, be aware of your posture, set a reminder to have a check in every hour and ask yourself…
- Is my neck leaning forwards?
- Are my shoulders hunched?
- Is my back rounded?
So, make sure your computer screen and printer and close enough to you so that you don’t have to strain your neck when looking at the screen, and you don’t have to over reach for the printer when you need to use it.
If you ignore your overall posture throughout the day, you’ll just find the pain coming back again and again. So fix you posture to say goodbye to frustrating aches and pains.
And lastly, another thing we do for our patients that helps ease pain fast while they’re monitoring how they sit is massage.
When you’ve got a lot of tension held in your back, neck and shoulders from sitting all day, we massage the areas to help eliminate those points of tension.
Sometimes tension can cause aches and pains in other areas such as your back and can even result in headaches, so massage is a great way to help you live with less pain quickly.
If you’d like to know more quick and easy ways to ease shoulder pain click here, where you can download my free shoulder pain tips report: www.paulgoughphysio.com/neck-shoulder-pain
You might know Paul as an expert Columnist who writes weekly health articles for TWO of the North East's biggest daily Newspapers, The Northern Echo And The Hartlepool Mail, he is a regular Speaker at Industry Seminars around the globe and a Radio Personality, often heard on the BBC. Paul has been an expert guest on dozens of Radio shows and regularly interviewed in newspapers, magazines and trade journals all over the world, including the Guardian.
Paul’s background included working extensively in the Premier League with a Top Professional Football Team, and since quitting his job in Professional Football in 2007, his Physio Practice has become the fastest growing in the UK and biggest in the North East. So successful, that companies like BUPA, ASDA, The Vela Group And Coast & Country, repeatedly retain his Physio company's services to keep healthy their own staff and workforce. Paul Gough Physio Rooms is now a large multi-physio, multi clinic speciality practice in Darlington, Durham, Guisborough and Hartlepool.
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