Modern living often entails hours of driving and hunching over workstations, which can put unnecessary strain on your shoulders over time. As such, neck pain is the second most common condition that chiropractors treat. Millions of people experience neck pain and therefore seek care from a chiropractor at some stage in their lives. Here we identify three trouble areas and provide simple strategies to help lessen your discomfort.
Three Reasons Your Shoulders Are Perpetually Tense
The most common breathing you will see while strolling through Seminole is chest and shoulder breathing. Chiropractors recognize this is what comes natural, but unfortunately, this type of breathing relies heavily on the muscles of your neck and shoulders which can put an excessive amount of strain on them. A good strategy to combat this is what is called diaphragmatic breathing, or breathing from the abdomen. Simply put, it’s allowing your stomach to contract and expand with your breath as opposed to your chest. When sitting you should focus on breathing deeply from your abdomen using your diaphragm. Unfortunately, this type of breathing is rare in our stress-filled lives and takes a certain level of focus initially until it becomes closer to second nature. But done consistently over time this chiropractic tactic will begin to lessen the burden experienced by the muscles in your shoulders.
How often do you find your shoulders up next to your ears? Shoulder hiking is a common response to fear or stress. Keeping your shoulders hiked for an extended period of time keeps these muscles active which can cause pain and tension over time. One of the muscles that hikes your shoulders is attached to the top four vertebrae in your neck, which is one of the reasons there is a link between shoulder tension and headaches. Shoulder hiking is a hard habit to break but it can be done. To break the habit chiropractors of Seminole suggest putting a post-it note at your desk with the word “shoulders” on it as a reminder to lower and relax your shoulders. Over time you will teach your shoulders to remain in a relaxed position.
There are many indicators of poor posture, but some of the more common are hunched shoulders, rounded upper back, forward head carriage, and arched lower back. Another indicator is back pain. Unsure if you have good posture? Call Dr. Marc Rogers of Coastal Chiropractic in Seminole to schedule an appointment for a spinal examination.
Appearance benefits associated with good posture are obvious, but there are many less-obvious health benefits you should be aware of.
Good posture can:
- Conserve energy as muscles are used more efficiently
- Maintain correct alignment of bones and joints
- Prevent muscle strain, overuse and pain
- Reduce stress on ligaments, minimizing risk of injury
- Decrease abnormal joint wear
Research has shown that poor postures may increase feelings of depression, affect your digestive tract, and influence confidence and stress levels. So what does our chiropractor suggest in order to improve our posture? The first step is awareness! Bring your attention to your posture as you sit, stand, or lie down. If you’re sitting, keep both feet on the floor or on a footrest. Don’t cross your legs to use low-back support. While standing, keep your knees slightly bent, relax your arms, and pull your shoulders back. When lying down it’s critical to choose the right mattress and pillow. Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach otherwise more frequent visits to your local Seminole chiropractor may inevitably be in store.
The three reasons that we mentioned above also lead to dysfunctions in the joints of the neck and upper back that perpetuate tension and soreness. At Coastal Chiropractic of Seminole we incorporate a variety of techniques to restore this lost range of motion and eliminate shoulder and neck tension.
How is Shoulder Pain Treated by a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor could use a variety of modalities as part of a treatment plan, which might include things like heat or ice, ultrasound, cold laser, stretching and strengthening exercises. And your chiropractor will most likely give you very careful home instructions. Things like what position to sleep in at night, how to work at your computer so that you’re ergonomically correct, how to carry things so that you don’t put a strain on your shoulder. You may also use homeopathic creams that contain arnica, sometimes essential oils, or other topical creams that help decrease inflammation. Contact Dr. Marc Rogers, your local Seminole chiropractor for an adjustment today.