Back Posture in Relation to Shoulder Pain

The scapula, or shoulder blade, rests on the rib cage and creates the socket for your shoulder. When you slouch your back, your shoulder blade tilts and rounds forward, altering the position of the shoulder joint. A simple test to demonstrate how posture can affect the shoulder:

  • Sit tall and lift your arms forward over head
  • Sit slouched and do the same motion with your arms

**You should notice less motion when you slouch because of the poor shoulder alignment caused by relaxed posture.**

Treatment

Positioning

  • Manual Therapy: Your PT can use various hands-on techniques to help the spine and shoulder align in a way that avoids vulnerable positions of your shoulder while doing the activities that you love.
  • Therapeutic Exercise: Different exercises will be recommended to reinforce the positions your PT helps you with. As addressed above, your therapist can manually position the shoulder joint in its correct alignment. What the therapist can’t do, however, is KEEP it in alignment. Strengthening the surrounding musculature of the shoulder helps to keep the correct joint alignment which prevents pain and other debilitating conditions.

Flexibility
Having enough flexibility in the front of your shoulders and chest will allow the muscles that support good posture to work more efficiently.

Strength
The muscles around your shoulder blades need to be strong enough to hold your mid-back in a better position and also need to be strong enough to stabilize the shoulder through activities.


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