Stiff Shoulders: a Desk Working Epidemic
Tight shoulders are epidemic
If you are coming home from a day spent at the desk with tight shoulders, or an upper back full of knots, you are among a legion of Americans whose entire spine is up against it in the workplace. What will differentiate you from the crowd is your willingness to do something about it. We are able to function with a stiff, sore upper back because it usually doesn’t progress beyond this stage; our muscles get used to that tight, scrunched up position you constantly demand of them and they adapt: the upper trapezius constantly contracts, pulling the shoulders up and holding them there while the middle and lower trapezius weaken from lack of use.
How do we fight tight shoulders on the job?
Stretching is the number one way to fight against the physical (and mental) stress that accumulates during your eight hour work day. You can relax a stiff neck and tight shoulders from the space you are sitting in, which will help you reset, refocus and refresh. Remember that if your muscles are super tight, they probably don’t want to be stretched too aggressively for fear of injury. Keep the movements simple and always remember to breathe.
- Try a deep breath. Inhale and lift your tight shoulders up slowly toward your ears. Exhale and let your shoulders fall and the tension along with it. Repeat as many times as feels good.
- Neck circles: lower right ear to the right shoulder, then roll it down across the chest so that left ear is down toward left shoulder.
- Squeeze shoulder blades together to open up your chest
Try doing these once every hour or whenever you think of it.
How does the chiropractor help your tight shoulders?
We help by identifying the root cause of your pain and stiffness- for example, a sore neck could be symptomatic of tight hips, but it may not appear that way to you. We help identify and adjust spinal imbalances that create nerve irritation and focus on improving range of motion. We show you the zones that matter for maintaining good posture- the core, and load-bearing regions, and focus on strengthening them so that a day at the desk doesn’t take too big a toll. For help on protecting your body against the rigors of daily work and releasing those tight shoulders, give our office in Milpitas a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.