Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain And How To Avoid Them
Work Wellness

Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain And How To Avoid Them

AutonomousAutonomous | Mar 5, 2021
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Sore, aching shoulders are something many people take home with them at the end of a long workday. If you are one of them, have you ever wondered what exactly is causing this pain? Unless you have a shoulder injury history, you likely have certain habits contributing to this issue.

A healthy and productive lifestyle depends on you identifying the causes of shoulder pain and eliminating them. With this article, we’ll be covering the topic of shoulder pain step-by-step. That way, you will be in a better position to get adequate treatment and prevent it.

Types Of Shoulder Pain

Types Of Shoulder Pain

We will be discussing causes and preventive measures alike. However, let’s first get a brief overview of the different types of shoulder pain, one of office ergonomic injuries. Yes, there can be more than one. So it is essential to know just what pain you are suffering.

  • Rotator Cuff Injury And Impingement: Most prevalent among people over the age of 30, this pain results from inflammation or tears.
  • Shoulder Strain: This is often an injury to muscles like the deltoid or the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Osteoarthritis: This shoulder arthritis involves the breakdown of the cartilage wrapping the bone ends in the joint.
  • Labrum Tear: These are injuries to the glenoid cartilage lining.
  • Frozen Shoulder: Also known as adhesive capsulitis, this condition has three stages. It starts with pain in the first stage, movement restriction in the second, and finally improvement in the last.

Causes Of Shoulder Pain

Many everyday actions that you don’t think twice about can be the root of your shoulder pain. So let’s consider a few shoulder pain reasons.

1. Poor Sitting Posture At Work

Poor Sitting Posture At Work

While you may start the day at work sitting upright before you know it, you’re slouching in your office chair in the workspace. This sitting position is terrible for your posture and puts a lot of pressure on your body. The result? It becomes one of the most common shoulder pain reasons.

Another bad habit people have when sitting is not placing their feet the right way. For instance, they may let their feet hang because the chair is too high. Even crossing your legs while sitting is terrible for your body because it disrupts blood circulation.

2. Heavy Shoulder Bags

Heavy Shoulder Bags

The go-to work bag for many out there seems to be a one-sided shoulder bag. However, such styles of bags will not do your shoulder any favors, especially when loaded with stuff. As the bag pulls you down on one side, your back and neck muscles work overtime to keep you upright. So inevitably, these muscles are under a lot of strain.

3. Poor Desk Habits

Poor Desk Habits

When you work at a desk that isn’t ergonomic, you’re due for some pain. If your mouse and keyboard aren’t within reach, you’ll have to strain the muscles in your arms to use them.

Similarly, if frequently used objects aren’t close to you, you will often stretch to get to them. While this may not seem like too much of a problem, the frequency of reaching out can cause shoulder pain. Other poor work habits include working at a too-high desk that causes you to rest your wrists against the hard disk edge.

4. Repetitive Actions

When working, doing the same small actions for hours can put a lot of pressure on your arms muscles. Activities like typing at a computer or speaking on the phone when not dispersed with breaks can cause a shoulder pain problem.

How To Fix Poor Habits To Prevent Shoulder Pain

People tend to overlook the causes of shoulder pain. However, doing so only leads to the problem worsening. So, fixing poor habits is of utmost importance. Let’s see how you can do this.

1. Correcting Posture

Correcting Posture

The first step to preventing a shoulder pain problem involves correcting your sitting posture. Here are some tips on achieving the best sitting position:

  • Plant your feet flat on the floor. If you cannot reach it, use a footrest or a stool.
  • Do not cross legs or ankles.
  • Ensure there is a little space between the back of the knees and the chair.
  • Keep your knees either parallel to or a little lower than your hips.
  • Place your ankles in front of your knees.
  • Relax your shoulders.
  • Ensure forearms and elbows are parallel to the ground.
  • Create an L-shape with your elbows at your side.
  • Sit straight and look directly ahead without straining.
  • Use the backrest of your chair. If any portion of your back, especially the lumbar region, doesn’t meet the chair, employ lumbar support or a cushion.
  • Take a minimum of 10-minute breaks between long periods of sitting.

2. Create The Ideal Workstation

Ideal Workstation

Sitting at a desk or working on a computer for hours are causes of shoulder pain. So the question is, how do you fix that? Here’s what you can do:

  • Opt for a standing office table like SmartDesk 2 so you can switch between sitting and standing from time to time.
  • Ensure you are using an ergonomic chair such as ErgoChair 2 and Kinn Chair. Yoga ball can be another alternative.
  • Personalize your workstation with footrests, wrist pads, or backrests, if needed.
  • Place your monitor an arm’s length away and no more than two inches above your natural eye-level.
  • Ensure your keyboard and mouse are within reach. If not, opt for an adjustable keyboard.
  • Invest in a headset to avoid holding the phone manually.

3. Use A Backpack

Use A Backpack

Instead of a shoulder bag, consider using a backpack. These tend to balance the weight across your shoulders. However, if such bags aren’t your thing, here’s what you can do to reduce the strain from your shoulder bag:

  • Reduce the weight.
  • Shift it between your shoulders.
  • Place it down whenever possible.

Wrap Up

Without you even realizing it, your daily actions can be the root cause of shoulder pain. As shocking as it is, even activities like sleeping and playing with your kids may be reasons for this problem!

So the key to preventing it or treating it is first to identify what is causing it in the first place. Then follow this analysis up with the appropriate measures to eliminate the shoulder pain problem. Hopefully, with this article, you now know just how to do that!

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