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Can poor posture cause shoulder pain?

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Have you ever experienced feeling moderate to severe pain in your shoulders? If you’re not actively doing any high-intensity exercises or performing any strenuous work activity but feel a “pinching” pain when you move your neck and shoulders, then maybe you have poor posture that’s triggering the discomfort in those areas. A shoulder pain caused by poor posture is called shoulder impingement.

How can poor posture lead to shoulder impingement?

Our shoulders are composed of the upper arm bone called the humerus, the shoulder blade called the scapula, and the collarbone called the clavicle. The humerus is covered by muscles and tendons known as the rotator cuff, where the shoulder blade is attached. The rounded socket on the shoulder blade, where your arm is kept, is linked to the upper arm bone. There is a lubricating sac called bursa, located between the rotator cuff and the bone on top of the shoulder called the acromion, that is responsible for allowing the rotator cuff to move your arm freely.

Shoulder impingement develops when the space between the rotator cuff and acromion narrows. If you try to raise your arm to shoulder level or above the head, the acromion causes friction against the tendons and the bursa causing pain and irritation. Shoulder impingements can be caused by the following:

  • Poor posture

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Injury and dislocation

  • Repetitive activities such as sports or exercise

  • Occupation requiring heavy lifting

  • Old age

Some of the causes of poor posture are the habit of slouching, living a sedentary lifestyle, looking down for long periods when using smartphones and tablets and prolonged sitting positions while studying or when using a computer or laptop. Without regular movements, this could lead to muscle tension and weakness around the shoulders, neck and lower back, which have complex joints, tendons and muscle connections. According to Harvard Health, having poor posture can lead to serious health risks such as incontinence, constipation, heartburn and slowed digestion. Therefore, constant pain in the shoulders should not be neglected.

Here are some of the symptoms of shoulder impingement:

  • Pain radiating on the top and outer side of your shoulder

  • Sudden pain when lifting your arm above the head

  • Continuous pain when doing any activity or while resting

  • Shoulder pain that’s already affecting your sleep

  • Weakness in the arm

Seek professional medical advice if you’re experiencing constant or severe shoulder pain to determine the cause of discomfort. Physical therapy also helps with recovery and reduces the recurrence of shoulder impingement and muscle fatigue.

Can EMS training improve posture and help with shoulder pain recovery?

EMS or electro muscle stimulation is also known to help with pain relief, muscle activation and strengthening, and improves body posture. Having a good posture means no overarching of the back, the spine is in a neutral position, the core muscles are engaged, and the shoulders are even. It improves mood and breathing, and reduces the risk of developing shoulder impingement, back pain, and muscle fatigue. Efficiency is one of the great benefits of EMS training because it not only saves time but also improves the exercise routine, and the machine can be used for muscle recovery after the 20-minute workout. Discuss with your certified EMS instructor to assist you with how you can improve your body posture and relieve shoulder pain through EMS training.

Volt Fitness is a luxury EMS studio in Melbourne that offers short, intensive training sessions with maximum efficiency and sustainable results in a feel-good atmosphere. 20 minutes at Volt Fitness are as good as 4 hours of sweating it out at a traditional gym.

Ready to start working on your fitness goals? Take a look at our training options or chat with us on (03) 8393 5131.

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