How Low Back Positioning Can Affect Shoulders

One thing most of our clients are surprised to learn after a few visits with us is that typically, the pain that they’re experiencing in one area of the body is often related to an issue in a totally different area.  Let’s take shoulder pain for example.  Most of us spend the majority of our day seated at a desk, which can lead to a whole host of postural issues.  Proper positioning and support of the lower back can put us in a place to optimize the range of motion of our shoulders.

Most of us are guilty of poor posture while sitting, typically resulting in a rounded back and shoulders.  In this position, it becomes impossible for us to access the ideal range of motion of our shoulder joint when moving our arms overhead.  If we take this poor posture into a gym and start doing any type of overhead lifting with this limited ROM, it’s a recipe for a shoulder injury.  

Now where did these rounded shoulders come from? Let’s go back to our seated posture.  When we sit, we want to have our hips pushed all the way back into the chair, and to make sure that our low back is supported (tip: if you’re using a chair that doesn’t have much low back support, try placing a rolled up towel at the curve of your low back.)  This support will help create alignment throughout the rest of our spine and make it easier for us to keep our shoulders down and back, as opposed to rounded forward.  Ensuring our computer screen is at eye-level so our head can point straight ahead will also help prevent any extra stress on the neck or shoulders.  Taking this proper posture from the desk to our workouts to our daily lives will go a long way towards keeping us safe and preventing future injuries. 

Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance specializes in helping active individuals in Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and San Francisco get back to exercising and working out pain free without having to take time off or relying on injections/pain medication. Pro+Kinetix offers physical therapy and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services

AUTHOR

Dr. Ben Bagge

Pro+Kinetix

"We Help Active Adults & Athletes Get Back To Workouts and Sports They Enjoy without surgery, stopping activities they love, or relying on pain medicine."
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