How Your Lifestyle Could Be Making Your Shoulder Pain Worse (and How to Ease it)

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain

Often it can be hard to see what you’re doing wrong in your habits because, well, it’s your lifestyle.

Your daily routine is so uniform to you that it can become second nature to read before bed, play on your tablet, or go for that golf game on Saturday morning.

What if I told you that all of these have the potential to make your shoulder pain much worse? That all of these movements cause unnecessary strain on your shoulders, leaving you in pain for days.

I’m giving you a few tips that can benefit you in easing shoulder pain in your day-to-day routine…

First thing’s first, when you wake up, don’t forget to stretch! I hear this all the time… “When I wake up I feel very stiff, but as soon as I get going in the morning I begin to feel better.” Many of our patients often underestimate the power of stretching! Or are concerned that they’ll do something wrong and cause more damage.

Imagine this… Someone has been in the same position for roughly eight hours, without much movement. Do you think that they’ll need to stretch afterward?

I bet your answer would be… yes!

You might be awake, but your joints aren’t yet. It’s like going for a run without warming up first. With this in mind, stretch before you get up! Even if it’s just for a few minutes. Something is better than nothing.

Looking at your phone or tablet has to be one of the worst culprits of shoulder pain. It’s no surprise that looking down at your phone or tablet can have a major effect on your neck. But the pain often begins at the neck and spreads down into your shoulders.

I understand that you may need to check emails on your tablet, but with many of us spending hours on our devices, it begins to interrupt our body’s natural state.

Since your head is facing down while using these devices, it can result in poor posture and slouching shoulders. What most people don’t realize is that the head is supposed to be in a position where the ears are in line with the shoulders. As soon as you begin looking down, the body is more likely to feel a strain in the neck and shoulders.

My advice on this would be to only use your phone for about 10 minutes at a time to avoid any strain. As for other devices, there are now cases available that provide stands for tablets and e-readers…. Perfect!

My tips would be to take advantage of that stand and use it so that your eyes do the adjusting- not your head!

This also goes for reading at night too. I understand that reading at night is often a habit picked up early on, and a great habit nonetheless. For your body, however, it can often have a negative effect on your posture.

Another problem that can come from reading at night is actually holding the book. It’s not something that many people think about, but holding a book causes certain muscles to be tensed.

Not only this, but your neck is also likely to be tensed in order to keep you upright while reading. Now think of how long you actually read for. How many times do you say, “just one more chapter” before you finally drift off to sleep?

I love to do this as well. So, I would recommend continuing reading, but to only sit in the same position for a maximum of 20 minutes. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.

Another great way of thinking about your shoulder pain throughout the day is to think about when it actually occurs. Is it when you’re reaching for your purse? While you’re sitting at work? Or while you’re exercising? Maybe it’s while you’re reaching behind your back to tuck in a shirt or to get your wallet?

If you have an idea of when it occurs, you can focus on making sure your head is straight and your ears are in line with your shoulders. This is the best tip that I know and if you apply it as much as you can to your daily routine, you will start to notice a difference.

If you would like more quick tips like this to ease shoulder pain, click below where you can download my free tips guide instantly:

Click Here To Download Your Free Shoulder Pain Guide
Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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