Most people don’t know that a poor posture can trigger shoulder pain. A typical shoulder pain examined in the therapy clinic is known as Shoulder Impingement. Frequently, rotator sleeve ligaments push on the coracoacromial arch of the shoulder which makes routine shoulder movements painful.
Although some pressure on the shoulder is good, sometimes the pressure causes too much interaction during shoulder movements in the affected shoulder. Some common causes of shoulder impingement are:
Pressure to the shoulder due to injury or trauma:
- Vitamin D Deficiency
- Poor posture
It’s imperative to know that there are various reasons for shoulder pain. Getting a consultation from a shoulder surgeon once is the first step to evaluate the reason behind the impingement. Key factors for managing this condition include improving the posture and increasing muscle strength.
How do you strengthen your shoulder?
When talking about shoulder strength most people refer to the rotator cuff because these muscles provide strength and stability to the shoulder joint. The larger muscles must provide support to the smaller muscles to function.
The posture of your shoulder and back muscles influence the position of the spine, neck and shoulder blades. Sitting for more than 5 hours, inactive lifestyle and increased utilization of phones and computers exert pressure on your shoulder muscles. This ultimately prevents the shoulder joint from functioning properly.
Movement of shoulder and posture
How does poor posture cause shoulder pain? When you are relaxing, you may not feel a thing. Sadly, changes in posture also cause changes in the way you move and work with your body. Your posture can affect:
- The position of the shoulder blade
- The flexibility of shoulder muscles
- Muscle function
- Space accessible for the shoulder to move
- Positioning the arm in different angles
To make it easy for you, we’ll explain how your posture changes the movement of your shoulder.
When sitting slouched, raise your arm up high. Do you feel tired? Now sit with your back straight and repeat the same process. Does your posture changes? Do you still feel the same pain? You got the answer, right?
3 reasons your posture is causing shoulder pain
Irregular movement causing injury
Disproportionate movements of the shoulder blade due to slouch positions, muscle tightness and weakness can cause accidental injury to the shoulder joint. In fact, most of the shoulder injuries are unpredictable and sudden for no specific reason. Poor motion between the shoulder blades, spine and shoulder usually leads to the friction of the rotator cuff against the acromion. People with minimum movement often suffer from wear and tear of the muscle tendons or tendonitis.
The decrease in motion due to muscle tightness
Sitting in a slouch position affects the function of the shoulder, chest, and back muscles. Most patients complain about pain in the shoulder, ears, arms and upper back as the day ends. Although it may seem normal, this posture stiffens the trapezius muscles. Another study revealed that people suffering from shoulder pain had an abnormal upper trapezius as compared to people who were pain-free. This is the time where you stop and realize how important shoulder exercises are and how frequently you should do them to improve your posture.
Loose muscles lead to loss of strength
Due to a poor posture, your muscles will stretch out too much leading to muscle imbalance. Weak muscles lose the ability to function even in the optimal position. When you slouch, most of the muscles come under stress, while the front of your chest develops a slant position. An extended time of muscle imbalance leads to prolonged muscle pain that has no particular reason.
Here’s how you can improve posture
Fundamental changes in the posture significantly improve shoulder movement, which includes rolling them and bringing them back and forth, relaxing them and sitting up from your hip while tucking the chin down. By standing straight against a wall and reaching for your hips, with your back and head to the wall can also help you gain a flexible posture. Pull your shoulder blades down and back up again to feel the tightness. The pain and tightness that you will experience initially is a sign that your body is improving and you are developing a good posture.
Exercising frequently and changing your posture, with enough awareness of different positions is important to develop good and healthy habits. If you feel you are unable to develop a posture, even after a lot of practice, consider consulting a specialist who will help you gain strength and movement in your muscles and joints either through physiotherapy or counseling.