Neck and shoulder pain is a common issue that many of our patients complain of. Often times these patients cannot recall a specific event or activity that caused the pain. Some speculate that they may have slept wrong the night before while others claim they turned their head in a strange manner which caused the pain. While it is possible for these events to cause neck pain, there is often a much simpler reason for their pain. Bad posture. In this article we will discuss how your posture directly contributes to neck and shoulder pain.
When you come for your evaluation, the first thing your physical therapist will evaluate is your posture. Often times we do this without the patient even being aware of what we’re doing. The postural examination begins the minute you sit down in the waiting room. Many people with neck and shoulder pain can be observed sitting with slouched forward posture with the head positioned in front of their body. In this position the weight of the head puts an enormous amount of strain on the neck and shoulders.
A recent study published by the Washington Post showed that sitting or standing in a hunched over position can increase the forces on the spine from 10 pounds of force to 60 pounds! That’s the equivalent to the weight of an average 8 year old child!
When your spine is forced to hold this load for hours on end, the body will recruit the muscles of the shoulder to help support the load. This is because many of the larger muscle groups that help to support the head and neck have attachments the shoulder complex. Many patients with neck pain will describe tightness that occurs from the base of the skull down to the scapula, also known as the shoulder blade.
When you come for you evaluation our physical therapists will work with you to identify these muscular imbalances and will provide you with a detailed exercise prescription to correct the problem. Once you become more aware of your posture and how it contributes to your neck and back pain, you may begin to find yourself sitting up straighter and having a more pain-free life!
If you or someone you know is suffering from neck and shoulder pain, please contact our office at (352) 404-6908. Offices are located in Clermont, Florida and Ocoee, Florida.