A wise man (it was probably a woman behind a wise man), once said, “If it hurts when you do that, then don’t do that!”. Sources of shoulder pain are numerous and sometimes not “doing” it is easier said than done. The shoulder is one of the more complicated joints in our body, when it hurts it effects all areas of our life. Here are 5 reasons why your shoulder might hurt and what you can do to prevent it.
- Poor Form with Upper Body Workouts – Most of us when doing an upper body workout will place the weight or resistance in our hands. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of the whole body. The sacrifice for increased range of motion is instability. Therefore it is import to know your limits when it comes to your ability to perform an exercise that requires some “skill” to master. Always go lighter while performing exercises while you are learning the skill and progress the resistance as you master the skill. Often injuries to shoulders occur when someone neglects form to increase resistance. Have someone spot you and train you in proper exercise form before attempting aggressive weight training that involves the shoulders.
- Pre-existing Injury – Remember when you fell and put your arm out to brace yourself, well guess what, it is connected to that shoulder and your shoulder took a brunt of that fall. It may have hurt a little at the time, but inside that shoulder a more severe injury could have a occurred that has made the shoulder even more unstable. So even the simplest of activities will aggravate the old injury. If this keeps reoccurring visit your local physical therapist or orthopedic specialist to evaluate your shoulder.
- Lack of warm-up before physical activity – When the baseball coach calls up a pitcher to come into the game they always have them warm-up. This of course is good before any physical activity, it helps get the blood flowing to the tissue and loosens up the joint so that the range of motion is optimized for the activity. Think about doing some shoulder shrugs and arm rotations before doing any lifting with the shoulders.
- Your computer workstations – Yes, believe it or not how you interact with your computer can encourage shoulder pain. The height of your desk, the support of your chair, the distance from your keyboard and mouse, and the height of your monitor can add to the stress on your shoulders. Proper work station ergonomics is important in addressing this potential risk. Have questions about your computer workstation email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sleeping Postures – Have you ever woke up in the middle of the night to feel your arms are numb? Well that is often related to your shoulder position. Avoid trapping your arm under your body or placing you arms above your head when you sleep. Try to sleep more on your back. If you can’t do that then when sleeping on your side keep your arms out and not above your head. Stomach sleeping should be avoided at all times as it encourages arms above head and awkward neck rotation.
Remember if you have chronic shoulder pain then it is best to have a medical professional check it out. Ignoring it not only leads to a decrease in quality of life but potentially to more serious shoulder issues.