If you’ve ever injured your shoulder, you know that a shoulder injury, like a rotator cuff tear or impingement, can involve a lengthy recovery with costly and inconvenient complications along the way. It quickly becomes apparent just how much you rely on your shoulder joints when you experience the pain and immobility of an injured shoulder, and you probably don’t want to go through it again.
Whether or not you’ve had an injured shoulder in the past, it’s always beneficial to consider adopting habits and practices to keep your shoulder joints functional and pain-free. Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants in Merrillville, Indiana, welcomes patients from the Northwest Indiana area, including Munster, Crown Point, St. John, and Dyer, Indiana, to visit our experts with concerns about shoulder pain.
Our providers, John Pomponi, DO, FAAOS, FAAHKS, and Jonathan Javors, DO, DLaws, MBA, FAOAO, FACOS, FAAHKS, are ready to discuss optimal shoulder habits so you can avoid or minimize the need for services like physical therapy, injections, or shoulder surgery.
Maintaining your shoulder function doesn’t have to be a challenge, even if you’ve had shoulder complications in the past. Consider adopting these positive habits and tendencies to support your shoulders for life.
Most people realize that their posture can influence the health and function of their back and neck, but optimal posture is crucial for your shoulders too. If you sit or stand for long periods during the day, you should check in on the position of your spine regularly.
To improve your posture or verify that it isn’t harming the muscles of your upper back and shoulders, make sure your head is directly over your shoulders and that your shoulders are slightly back.
Even your sleeping position can influence your posture and lead to long-term shoulder pain. When you go to bed, try to sleep on either your back or your side rather than your stomach.
Our team can offer helpful tips and tricks on how to stretch and strengthen your shoulders with no gym membership necessary. In the comfort of your home or workplace, try adding some light shoulder exercises to your routine. You can build up your shoulder muscles and reduce injury risk with simple exercises like:
If you work in a job that requires you to stay in one position for prolonged periods, like a desk job, you can benefit from taking a break every hour or so and performing these exercises.
That goes for backpacks, too — try not to hold weight on just one shoulder all the time. If you carry a bag with a single strap, you can lower your risk for shoulder strain by switching the side that you carry it on every so often. That is especially important if the bag or other item you carry on your shoulder is heavy.
If you need something from up high that’s just out of reach, don’t strain for that extra inch or two. Instead, use a stool or ladder to get what you need, or ask a taller friend to grab it. Straining your shoulder as you reach puts you at a higher risk for shoulder injuries and the pain that comes with them. If you have trouble getting objects from high shelves, consider rearranging your space to make your items more accessible.
Shoulder pain can affect you at any age and is often due to repetitive motions or muscle strain. To explore the many conservative treatment options for shoulder pain, schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants today.