Neck And Shoulder Pain: You’re Going To Want To ‘Sit up And Read This’…
As a kid, whenever we heard someone say that posture is important, or that you can do damage if you don’t sit or stand currently we didn’t quite pay attention to the importance of it.
There is nothing worse than hearing:
“Stand up straight, or ” sit properly”, and “stop slouching!…”
However sometimes it can’t be helped.
We did assume that we were just being nagged at that it wasn’t really a “big deal”.
Oh how we were wrong!
We have learnt that this is anything but the case.
What surprised us is that posture is one of the biggest causes of shoulder and neck pain today….
And when you realise just how easy it can be to rectify, you’ll be mind blown to think why don’t more people understand the importance of ‘good posture’.
The best way for us to explain this would be to give an example about one of our clients.
This client came in complaining of really bad shoulder pain when he was running on the treadmill.
The pain would only come on after 5-10 minutes and would stop after a while, after he had stopped running.
Now this client loves to keep fit, i.e. running, and going to the gym but he especially liked going to a weekly spinning class.
I’m sure you can imagine the position he would be in on the bike in this spinning class, he would be slumped over whilst pedalling.
We ended up spending some time with him trying to correct his position, keeping his back straight and shoulders high, and before he knew it, as if like magic his pain had disappeared…
Not by magic however, but by changing the dreadful position his body was put into each time he was working out. This didn’t solve the problem but it was the first important step to getting him to be pain free.
There are a few quick tips to help you spot your “bad posture” and how to improve on it.
Look at yourself in the mirror. (Remember there can be signs of poor posture before pain even occurs, so if you can spot the signs early, it is often easier to fix.)
Signs of poor posture include:
- Slumped or rounded shoulders
- Protruding abdomen
- An excessive curve in your lower back
- A caved appearance to the chest
- And the one people usually notice last- Pain
Now to improve your standing and walking posture “Think tall”, imagine a wire being pulled from the top of your head pulling you upward.
Another great tip we use is practice tightening your abdominal muscles and flattening your stomach. hold it this like for a few seconds, then relax, repeat this throughout the day.
When standing for long periods a lot of people tend to rest their weight predominantly on one foot. Try instead standby evenly balanced on both feet and if this proves tiring, then shift the weight from one foot to another regularly.
One of the most common causes of poor posture is desk work, on computers for long periods of time, which puts the back and shoulders into an unnatural position.
Try and take a break every 30 minutes and stand up during this break.
When sitting at a desk, lean forward at your hips, bringing your trunk forward, rather than bending at the waist or neck and try to keep your lower back pressed against the support of the chair.
This should really help improve your posture and prevent problems from surfacing.
If you have any more questions about the importance of posture, with shoulder and neck pain just ask us and we’ll be more than happy to help.
Just remember….“Think Tall.”
Kodchakorn (Ked) Tawonsupajalean
Head Therapist at Form Recovery and Wellness
Kodchakorn received a Degree in Physiotherapy from Mae Fah Luang Univeristy in Chiang Rai. Kodchakorn is the Head Therapist at Form Recovery and Wellness and works closely with all the therapists from all departments to ensure that every single client who comes to us has the highest chance of success.