In recent years we have seen a significant increase in the number of shoulder patients referred to our office. Although at times the onset of symptoms is related to trauma, falls, throwing or lifting injuries, there are many patients that indicate there was no “incident” that precipitated the onset of symptoms.
Examination often finds some common factors that are likely contributing to increased stress on the shoulder anatomy. Postural findings of forwarding head and increased thoracic kyphosis often described as “rounded posture” result in the shoulder also positioned forward and rotated inward. Maybe the exact position you find yourself in as you read this article. This position places the humeral head closer in proximity to the acromion with a bursa (fluid-filled sack found in areas of bony prominence) and the very important rotator cuff tendons in between. Chronic forward positioning can aggravate these structures potentially causing inflammation, compression of the tendons, resulting in pain and inability to elevate your arm or reach backward. Caught early these symptoms can be reduced with the use of ice and anti-inflammatory medications in conjunction with an awareness of proper positioning at your computer and using your other devices.
Upright position includes keeping your head and neck upright, shoulders positioned beneath ears, shoulder blades back and down not forward and up looking like they are attached to your ears!
While texting maintains this upright position and holds your phone in front of you more at eye rather than waist level.
If your pain doesn’t resolve with these recommendations a visit to your Doctor and or Physical therapist may be indicated to avoid potential structural damage and persistent pain.