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Is Your Lifestyle Causing Your Shoulder Pain?

So far in this series, we’ve covered all things neck pain, shoulder pain and even headaches. I just want to quickly recap what we’ve looked at. First we looked at why everyday activities can cause neck pain and what you can do to change that. Then we looked at how sleeping can cause neck and shoulder pain. It can be eased by sleeping with only one pillow and trying different sleeping positions that are comfortable and supportive.

We then switched gears a little to look at headaches, and how most people think that they can be caused by something they’ve eaten, when it’s more often down to neck and shoulder tension causing a headache, and you could try things like relaxing in a warm bath to help ease the tension, or talking to a member of our team. Shoulder pain then became topic and I gave you some simple exercises that you can do from your desk to help ease it. Finally, last week we looked at how stress can actually be a big cause for headaches and that finding ways to relax can be really beneficial, including trying Yoga.

Bringing It Back To Shoulder Pain

This week I want to switch back to shoulder pain. It can sometimes be hard to see what you are doing wrong in your lifestyle because, well, it’s your lifestyle. Your daily routine is so well known to you that it can become second nature to read before bed, look on your tablet or going for that game of golf on a Friday night. What if I told you that all of these could be making your shoulder pain worse? That all of these movements cause unnecessary strain on your shoulders, leaving you in pain the next day? So I’ve given you a few ways to get a great benefit to easing shoulder pain in your day-to-day routine…

First things first, when you wake up don’t forget to stretch. I know this is something I say often but it’s because a stretch can often be underestimated. Imagine this, someone has been in the same position for roughly 8 hours, without much movement. Would you think they would need to stretch afterwards? I bet your answer would be – yes! Exactly. You may have woken up but your joints haven’t yet. It’s like going for a run without warming up. So with this in mind, stretch before you get up. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, it’s better than doing nothing.

These Bad Habits Might Be A Cause

Looking at your phone or tablet has to be one of the worst culprits for shoulder pain. Yes, looking at your phone or tablet can have an effect on your neck as well, but the pain often starts at the neck and spreads to your shoulders. I understand that you may need to check emails on your tablet, or are very popular on your phone, but with many of us spending hours on our devices, it interrupts our body’s natural state. Since your head is facing down using these devices, it can result in poor posture and slouching. What most people don’t know is that your head is supposed to be in a position where your head is in line with your shoulders.

As soon as you start looking down, your 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 strain. As for other devices, now we have cases for them that can sometimes provide stands for tablets and e-readers. Perfect! My tip here would be to take advantage of the 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 sometimes a habit picked up as a child, which is a great habit to pick up. For your body however, it can sometimes have an effect on your posture.

Last But Not Least

Another problem that can come from reading at night is actually from holding the book. It’s not something you really think about but holding a book can cause particular muscles to be tensed. Not only this, but your neck is also likely to be tensed to keep you upright whilst reading. Now think of how long you read for. How many times do you say, “just one more chapter” before you finally drift off? I really love this habit so I would recommend to continue reading, but to only sit in the same position for up to 20 minutes.

Another great way of thinking about your shoulder pain throughout the day is to think about when it occurs. Is it when you tend to carry the shopping, when you sit at work or whilst you exercise? If you have an idea of when it occurs, then 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 to as much of your daily routine as possible, you will start to know a difference.


The new episode of “Stay Healthy South Sound” – Dr. Penrose’s monthly podcast – is now live! This month she interviewed Christine Kulhawik, Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Functional Nutritionist. She owns Watershed Wellness in Tumwater, WA and you can find them here on Facebook or visit them online at Topics include benefits of acupuncture, who it’s for and how it works (including its connection to your immune health). Listen to it today at these links!


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Now On Our Website Page:

Check out all other articles HERE


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Jennifer Penrose

Penrose Physical Therapy

"Leading Experts Helping People Become More Active and Mobile, Reduce Stress and Achieve Longevity… So They Can Enjoy Great Health For Years to Come!"

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