If you want to fix your shoulders read this!!!
You ARE using your shoulders every day in these simple scenarios:
- Drinking (And I mean water !!!)
- Giving cuddles to your other half (if you do, if you don’t make sure you do!!!)
So, your shoulders do go through normal-physical stress on a daily basis. Therefore any additional stress will only cause one thing…PAIN!
And this additional stress can be anything from as simple as shifting on one hip when you sit down in the office, answering the phone and holding it in with one side of your neck, or simply looking down at your phone all the time.
Let’s start with bad sitting positions in the office and especially this one here…watch….
Take a look at the damage you cause to your shoulder when you shift on one hip in your chair…
Can you see it???
I can. So, by shifting your body weight onto one hip you start to lean on that side’s elbow too. This pushes your shoulder slightly out of its socket but chances are you will not feel anything at the time. The more times you fall into this bad habit of yours, the more times your shoulder will be taken in and out of its socket. This will only put your shoulder joint into a big risk of muscle tear or even worse, ligament damage and pain!!!
And that’s because the muscles and ligaments around your shoulder, some of them named “Rotator Cuff”, will be trying to push the joint back to its socket. And it’s this repeated effort that will eventually cause damage to these muscles and ligaments…
So, don’t shift on one hip when you sit in your chair!!!
Now let’s have a look at what happens when you answer the phone. The worse thing is, to answer it and then rest it on the top of your shoulder with side bending your neck onto it…It’s a complete disaster and that’s because the muscle on the top of your shoulder called the Trapezius (look at the picture below) will be working so hard to keep you and your phone in this position, God knows for how long !!!
And rememeber what we said in my previous blogs, the more work one muscle does the tighter it gets. Basically, it becomes shorter and it shrinks, as a way to protect itself. When a muscle shirnks, it basically brings both of its ends together. Imagine it like an elastic band that you hold out stretched and then you start bringin your hands in together. This muscle is very important because it covers a large area over both neck and shoulders. So becoming tighter will also mean that your shoulder will start comin closer to your neck, only a fragment. And looking at you from behind, this is what you will end up looking like.
Look at the left shoulder how much higher it is comparing to the right. But you won’t know unless you get someone to take a picture for you!
When this muscle goes this tight, it can also cause neck pain and most of the time you think that you just slept funny. But in reality, it’s the amount of times you answer the phone at home or at work, and it’s the amount of times you are resting your phone on your shoulder. And you do that because you are busy and it saves time typing and being on the phone at the same time.
Am I not 100% right???!!!
Let’s move onto the MAIN thing out of all. The HUGE mistake we all do every day and we don’t think that this itself can damage our shoulders…
So, how many times do you go on your phone, in one day?
I would say, at least 40-50, yes indeed!!!
Have a think how many times you go on social media or on google…I am not saying don’t but do it in that way that you will not be putting extra pressure on your neck. Yes neck, not shoulder. Because when you look down at your phone, your neck is under pressure because you bend it too much. But once again, you don’t realise that because time is too precious to think about anything else, or you are simply too distracted texting your mates and planning the evening ahead.
What you don’t realise is that this neck pressure WILL weaken your neck. And this is a matter of weeks, not years!
So what does this mean?
Having a weak neck means your muscles around your neck will refuse to protect your neck as much anymore. Don’t forget that your neck muscles, pretty much every single one of them (like the big Trapezius mentioned above) stretches down to your shoulder. Meaning neck and shoulders always and i mean ALWAYS go together. So if you have a weak neck you will also have a weak shoulder. And when your shoulder is weak this means you will not be as strong to do basic stuff like reaching for the pan in the kitchen or lifting the kettle up. I suppose this can be a great excuse for you :):):)!!!
By the way sorry for using more lads in the pictures today, it’s a pure coincidence!
We said weak neck but there is another thing, far more important than just weakness. This important thing is called, the pressure point. Pressure point is a small area in your muscles that is very tight and causes pain locally but also to the areas around it. So, when you have this bad posture on your phone then your neck muscles (before going weak) will be trying so hard to keep your head back. This repeated effort will result in only one thing…What do you think?
It will result in tightness because these muscles will eventually be very tired to continue trying. And this is the point when they become weak, so does your neck, so do your shoulders…
Back to the pressure point though. The tight muscles, just before they give up and become very weak, they go through a process of shrinking (as we previously explained in this text) and tightness. Tight muscles bring both ends of them together. Again, imagine you hold a piece of elastic band and you first stretch it out. Then start bringing your hands closer together. the band will shrink, so will your neck muscles in this occassion.
A shrunk muscle (a tight muscle) will create pressure points all inside it. Pressure points are those areas in your muscles that you feel pain when you press on them. A lot of pressure points together create “knotts” and we all know about these aren’t we?
Basically, the more you bend your neck to look at your phone, the more the effort from your neck muscles (which are also the same muscles that go over your shoulders). This effort make them very tired and they therefore go tight and they shrink. This makes pressure points inside those muscles and then knotts. And knotts are no good folks, because they change your movement and they also give you PAIN!
What is also important to understand here is that at no point you will feel pain in your neck or shoulder. But things happening one after the other as we explained above, and then you feel shoulder pain. It’s this sequence of events that is so important for you to understand and hopefully prevent any more problems.
However, when and if you feel stiff neck then you know it’s a sign for a coming shoulder problem.
So let’s quicky address the things you need to avoid so as to prevent yourself from a shoulder problem, pain or injury:
- Don’t bend your neck that much when on your phone. Maybe lean back on a chair and bring your phone level with your eyes. Perhaps resting your elbows on the desk will help even further.
- Avoid leaning on one hip when you sit in your chair at work. And that’s because you will put more pressure on this side’s elbow. As a result the same side shoulder “pops” out of place every time you fall into this habit. And going out of place mean only one thing, muscle or ligament tear (and PAIN!!!).
- When you answer phone calls, please please please don’t rest the phone on the top of your shoulder. If you don’t do that anyway, then make sure when you are on the phone in general, you resting your elbow on a cushion or on your desk. This will help your shoulder muscles to do a little bit less work whilst you are on the phone. And remember what we have been saying about muscles doing less work, they will not be as tight. And this is something good for your body. It even sounds good!!!
Now Click on the video and watch this. You won’t believe this !!!!
So this is another thing to avoid then!
Now, if you already have a nagging shoulder or an actual pain with it then you have been doing at least one of these things wrong. By starting to correct them WILL NOT treat the pain, but it will prevent it of getting worse.
However, if you are in pain with it at the moment these are the steps you need to take:
- Locate the area of pain (Front, Back or Side)
- How long have you had the pain for?..if it’s longer than 3 weeks then go to point (4).
- Start applying some ice, ice packs or a pack of frozen peas (!!!) on your shoulder, 10 minutes every day, for a week.
- If cold doesn’t work, try heat pads or a hot water bottle 15-20 minutes daily for a week.
- Avoid any over- head movements of your arm until the pain eases. Also avoid over-reaching.
- Give your shoulder 4-5 weeks to recover. Once recovered, start applying all of the advice in the text above so as to prevent future problems.
And let’s face it folks. We all slump. And we all do it every day. If you drive to work take a look at this BONUS video for you. This will massively help your shoulder!!!
And I shall leave you with this video until next time!
For more information or any questions on your shoulder pain please contact me on email@example.com or on 07527-836-754. All the best !!!