Can A Desk Job Cause Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain comes from past injuries and daily life activities one may partake in. Sometimes it may even come out of nowhere or just by doing the simplest thing like reaching for a cup. Oftentimes shoulder pain is overlooked because the pain can be disguised as coming from the back or neck. Yes, indeed shoulder pain can come from sitting at a desk.

Common shoulder injuries from sitting at a desk

This type of pain is often referred to as a repetitive strain injury. Repetitive motions can strain the muscle and tendons such as your shoulder. There are many forms of repetitive strain injury such as tendonitis, neuritis, fascitis, myositis, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, degenerative arthritis, tendinosis, fibromyalgia, herniated disk, focal hand dystonia, and neuropathic pain.

Learn how to improve the range of motion in your shoulder.

Symptoms can include but are not limited to pain, aching stiffness, throbbing, tingling, numbness, and tenderness.

Some causes of this pain are:

  • Doing an activity that involves lifting heavy objects
  • Performing an activity for a long time without breaks
  • Poor posture from working at a desk
  • Or activities that involve working in an awkward position

How Can I Subside Shoulder Pain While at Home?

Yoga helps to release those tight and achy shoulder muscles. Yoga is very beneficial in helping you to relax and also unwind after a long day. Yoga is a great way to relieve that stress tension in the shoulder.Yoga

One simple yoga exercise is downward dog. This pose helps to open your chest and shoulders. This can help to realign your spine, improving your posture. To do this pose you must keep your toes pointed forward and your feet on the ground or mat. Then sink your heels toward the floor and your hands flat on the floor with your arms straight and your legs straight as well. You want to push your hands away while bending and keeping your core tight.


Warrior || Pose is another excellent yoga pose to perform to release tension and hopefully pain in your shoulders. It also helps to stretch your chest and neck if you are also experiencing tightness in those areas, which is typical when having shoulder pain or vice versa. From a standing position bring one foot back and another one forward. Align the heel of your back foot with the front being in a slightly slanted v shape. Then lean into your front foot, bending the knee, therapy stretching your back foot. Lift both your arms and spread them as far out as you can. One arm faces your front foot, while the other is facing the back foot.

These are just a few simple yoga exercises but there are many more you can do or classes to follow along to help you.

Hear Dr. Nick and Ulyssa Preciado talk about club pilates and how Pilates can benefit you.

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A perk of working at home is that you are more able to get up and take small breaks away from your desk. Being able to take these small breaks will help to feel less stiff and move around to increase your movement. This would be the perfect time to do a simple yoga exercise or some stretching before getting back to work.

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Shoulder pain can make it hard to do everyday activities you may need to do. Washing the dishes, putting away dishes, playing basketball, tennis, swimming, driving, and much more. You don’t want to have to live with this pain stopping you anymore or living in the shadows of your own life. Physical therapy can help you get stronger and get rid of the pain.

If you put in the work and want to change your life it will happen and our therapists can help. It all starts with the first phone call. This is where our front desk team learns what you’ve been going through, missing out on, and wanting to achieve with physical therapy.

They then share this information with all of the physical therapists so everyone knows what is going on with you specifically. You then come in for an initial evaluation where you do some simple tests with the therapists and talk one-on-one so they can learn more about you and your case. They will then diagnose you with a set amount of appointments depending on how much care they think you’ll need to achieve your goals.

Read more about neck and shoulder pain.

Your hands-on and exercise treatment is solely based on you and your needs so everyone's treatment looks different. You may work with a different physical therapist every time you come since we want to make sure you get different opinions and treatment but a unified ending of being pain-free. Our physical therapists discuss every patient and work together to create a plan. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in and are ready to change, call 623-486-3333.

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Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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