In a workshop, Pavel Tsatsouline asked the assembled crowd, “Put your hands up if you’ve had a shoulder injury… anyone who doesn’t put their hands up probably can’t!”
Shoulder pain is one of the leading causes of discomfort. With laptops, mobile phones and tablets being all the rage, most people spend at least half or more of their day in front of a screen. And being hunched over a screen leads to a bad posture which is bad for the neck, shoulder, and spine.
The result of screen addiction is that almost everyone has shoulder pain from time to time. Wrong posture can lead to multiple problems with neck and shoulder pain at the top of the list. Here are some exercises to prevent shoulder pain and improve your posture.
Scapular retraction refers to pulling your shoulder blades back and towards each other without pulling up your ears. Essentially, you are supposed to pull your shoulder blades back and then hold the position for at least ten seconds.
This exercise is best for improving your posture. Remember, a good posture means a healthy back and pain-free shoulders. Bad posture almost always results in a crick in the neck and a sharp, shooting shoulder pain.
Sit straight and then slowly bring your neck forward. Rotate your neck and shoulders in a clockwise direction until your shoulders feel relaxed. After clock-wise rotations, switch to rotating them in the other direction. Be sure to move your whole neck and shoulders, don’t just rotate your head.
Move your head to make a large circle and keep your chin well tucked in your chest. Try to do ten rounds anti-clockwise and ten rounds clockwise.
If you feel pain at any point, stop right there, relax and take some deep breaths. When the pain subsides, take a deep breath and continue from where you left off. This ensures relaxation of the neck and shoulder muscles.
Stress can make your head and shoulders stiff and heavy. It is important to get rid of this stress and relax these muscles to reduce the stiffness.
Improve your breathing
Sometimes the best way to de-stress is to improve your breathing. A renowned yoga teacher once told me that 90% of body ailments occur because we have been breathing wrong our entire life.
Sit up straight and take a deep breath. Voila, if your stomach goes in instead of going out, you are breathing wrong. Plus, your shoulders aren’t supposed to lift at the start of your breath. They will only rise at the end of a good deep breath.
When you blow air in a balloon, does the balloon inflate? Yes, so when we pull air in, our belly is supposed to expand too. Now, here’s how you can improve your breathing. The key is to concentrate.
Consciously suck in a deep breath, let your inner sense take over and push your stomach out. Lie down and keep a small object on your belly. Now consciously try to lift that thing on your belly before your chest rises up. Keep practising until your stomach inflates with every breath.
Yoga and meditation are also the best exercises for overall body health. Yoga keeps your mind and body free from stress, it releases toxins from the body and is great for mental and physical health. Many people have sworn to have their shoulder and curvature problems resolved once they did yoga regularly. Proper posture while working and also sleeping will make sure you don’t get shoulder pains and cricks in the neck. Remember, serious shoulder injuries require surgery as treatment.
If you can’t quit your job, at least try to stay active in the workplace and eat balanced meals. Schedule an online appointment with your GP using a HIPAA compliant telemedicine app or visit a healthcare facility to seek medical attention if shoulder pain worsens.