5 Simple Practices You Can Add To Your Life Today
When it comes to joint troubles, shoulders are one of the most injury-prone spots in the body. That’s because the shoulder is a ball and socket joint which can move in multiple directions, so it’s less stable than most other joints. Additionally, our shoulders are almost always being used in some way, even when we’re sitting still.
Because of this — and because the shoulder includes four muscles that all need to be healthy and working in harmony — a shoulder injury can be debilitating, even if it’s a minor one.
Fortunately, there are a few simple habits you can pick up that will help you prevent shoulder injuries and pain before they start.
Maintain Good Posture
One of the most important things you can do for shoulders — not to mention your entire body — is to improve your posture. Good posture is less about keeping everything perfectly straight and more about engaging your core while allowing your back to follow its natural curves.
Keep your shoulders level and avoid slouching, but also try to avoid adding tension to your shoulders or pushing them up toward your ears.
Strengthen Your Whole Body with Exercise
While exercising your shoulders is important to help prevent injury, it’s equally important to focus on improving your body’s overall health. Strengthening your back, neck, arms and core through exercise will help decrease some of the daily stress that wears on your shoulders and can lead to injuries now or later in life.
When concentrating on your shoulders, don’t feel the need to use heavy weights or large, strenuous motions. The easiest way to strengthen your shoulders is with targeted exercises and small movements that concentrate on the joint and its four muscles.
And don’t forget to stretch and complete a warm up before working out, as failing to do so can increase your risk of injury.
Take Care When Performing Physical Activity
Whether you work at a job that requires physical activity or you’re completing some home improvement projects, it can be easy to push your body too far for the sake of getting the job done. To prevent shoulder injuries while doing physical activity, try to pay attention to how your body is feeling and respond accordingly if you start to feel pain or strain.
- Avoid lifting objects that are too heavy for you
- When lifting any objects, use proper technique (Ex: bend at the hips and knees instead of bending your back)
- Don’t keep your arms raised over your head for long periods of time. If that’s unavoidable, be sure to take breaks, switch arms regularly, and stretch before and after starting your work.
- Avoid repeated motions as much as possible
- When reaching for objects, try not to strain your shoulders. Use a step stool if needed.
- Give your body time to rest and recover after exerting yourself
Make Your Work Situation as Ergonomic as Possible
If you work at a desk job, you may not realize how much strain your work situation is putting on your shoulders. But sitting for long periods of time — often with your arms stretched out in front of you to type or write — can cause stress on your shoulders and lead to pain over time.
To help prevent this, be sure to take regular breaks to stand up, walk around or stretch.
If possible, it will also help to find a desk that’s the proper height for you, one where your forearms can comfortably rest on top. If the desk is too low, you may find yourself slumping in your chair, and if it’s too high, you might notice your shoulders scrunching up to raise your arms high enough.
If you work in an office and don’t have the option to switch out your desk, you may also be able to raise or lower your chair to a height that’s better for you.
Be Proactive When You Experience Pain
Whether you’re sore from a difficult workout or experiencing a minor injury, it’s important to care for your shoulders at the first sign of pain, because ignoring it could cause more severe issues.
If you start experiencing shoulder pain, one of the first things to do at home is try to reduce any inflammation. Try icing your shoulder for 15 minutes at a time, repeating this several times for the first few days of experiencing pain.
If you’re struggling to sleep because of shoulder pain, try resting in a recliner or propping yourself up with pillows in order to sleep with your head and torso elevated.
Suffering from a Shoulder Injury? We Can Help
If you’re suffering from a shoulder injury and none of the above at-home treatments help — or if you’re still experiencing pain after several days of rest and care — it may be time to seek a Pembroke Pines chiropractor for treatment. Even if an injury seems minor, it could be an indicator of a more serious problem. By working with a chiropractor, you can recover more quickly and easily.
At Rush Chiropractic, we can take you through a comprehensive exam that will help us to better understand the pain you’re experiencing. From there, we will work with you to create a specific, tailored treatment plan that will help you heal any existing injuries while also preventing future pain.
We can even refer you to other healthcare providers if other types of care are needed, so visiting us is a great first step if you’re not sure where to start.
Give us a call at 954-432-5006 to schedule your consultation today.
Dr. Rush is a 1994 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and Wellness.
Dr. Rush earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in 2000 where he was honored with magna cum laude. Dr. Rush was born and raised in South Florida where he returned after graduation. He currently practices in Pembroke Pines where he owns and operates Rush Chiropractic and Rehab.