FEELING GREAT: Sit up and pay attention to posture

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 its own?

Many people have, and one of the most common causes of shoulder pain we see here at the clinic is this - sitting. 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. She tried buying a new mattress and special pillows.

Nothing worked.

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 yo.

Shoulder, neck and back pain are extremely common health issues that occur in people who spend a lot of time sitting throughout the day.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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