Vale Health Clinic

A Quick Guide to What Causes Shoulder Pain and How to Avoid It

One of the more common problems we see at our chiropractor clinic is shoulder pain. This part of the body is pretty complex with numerous components which enable us to perform a wide range of movements.

Any damage or injury to the shoulder area can have a huge impact on comfort and mobility. Whether it’s through wear and tear because of age or you’ve had a fall or injury playing sport, it’s important to make sure you get yourself checked out if symptoms persist.

Here we take a closer look at what causes the three major types of shoulder problem and what you can do to avoid them.

Tips to Avoiding Shoulder Pain

1. Poor Posture

Talk to any chiropractor or osteopath about the causes of joint pain and most will put poor posture near the top of their list. We have become a fairly sedentary species in the 21st century. Many of us work in offices, slouched over our computers all day. We walk home with our shoulders slumped forward and then we hit the sofa once we get home. Lack of exercise and poor diet can add to a general lack of fitness.

If we have or develop rounded shoulders, it separates the shoulder blades, tightens the chest and has the potential to cause weakness in the back and shoulder joint. Once it becomes a chronic issue, it can lead to problems, causing pain and reduced mobility of the shoulder joint.

It’s relatively easy to solve a problem such as rounded shoulders or slouching. It takes a bit of work but it is worth it if you want to avoid injuries later.

The first step is to be aware of your posture more often. You can do this by looking at yourself in the mirror sideways with your hands hanging loosely by your side. You’ll be able to see the curve of the shoulder and neck area.

Rounded shoulders can be fixed by undertaking muscle strengthening exercises that help move your upper back to the right position. The NHS has a list of simple exercises you can do at home which should help improve your postures. Find out more here.

Even if you don’t have rounded shoulders, we suggest paying attention to your posture at work, especially if you are desk-bound. Getting up and stretching every so often and sitting correctly at your workstation should make a difference.

2. Overloading Your Shoulder

If you’ve ever lifted a heavy case into a luggage rack, you’ll know what overload is. That sudden twinge in the shoulder can be pretty painful. It’s something that people who play sport often encounter. They try to throw a ball extra hard or deliver a really fast serve in tennis and end up in pain.

It often happens if you haven’t done any activity for a while and suddenly do something physical. Lifting weights in the gym when you aren’t used to it, for example, can easily cause injury. Sometimes we can just overestimate our ability and try to do too much, putting pressure on the shoulder area.

The key to not overloading your shoulder is being aware of the potential problems. If you are about to play a sport where you’re going to be using your shoulder in a different way than you’re used to, it’s important to check your range of movement. Don’t overexert yourself until you have properly warmed up.

It’s not just sudden movements that can cause overload. At our chiropractor clinic, we often see trades persons like plasterers who often get their bodies into awkward positions when carrying out their work. Nurses who often do plenty of heavy lifting can also suffer from back and shoulder problems.

3. Shoulder Injuries

The third shoulder problem we see at our chiropractor clinic is from an acute injury. This could be something like a fall on the shoulder area, a tackle during a sport like rugby or cycling crash. Shoulder injuries can be severe and include dislocating the joint and fractures. In other cases, there’s damage to ligaments and tendons which are be extremely painful too.

There’s little you can do to prevent shoulder injuries as they generally happen by chance. If you play regular sport, being as fit as possible and not doing things beyond your ability can reduce your risk. With any acute shoulder injury, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent the issue becoming chronic.

It’s amazing how we tend to suffer in silence when it comes to back and shoulder injuries. Many of us put chronic pain down to old age and wear and tear without realising we can do something about it.

A chiropractor or osteopath uses gentle manipulation to improve range of motion and ease pain, helping individuals overcome issues such as shoulder pain. If you are currently suffering from a shoulder joint problem, contact our clinic today to book an appointment.


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